Victoria (aka “Vicky”) Park is the largest in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets at 86.18 hectares and has one of the highest visitor numbers of all the London parks with around 9 million visits per year.
It is a key link in a green corridor that stretches from the River Thames at Limehouse, along the Regents Canal and through Mile End Park, along with Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park virtually next door. The park is bordered on its northern boundary by the cool and trendy Hackney.
It also hosts All Point East, one of the best independent music festivals in London, and it’s surrounded by the following great pubs.
People’s Park Tavern
People’s Park Tavern is our favourite pub around Victoria Park. First of all, it’s almost inside the park, as a tiny door separates its fabulous garden with the Park.
It also has the biggest and most colourful beer garden of all the pubs on this list. But that’s not all, they also have their onsite brewery, bbq kitchen, popup-cocktail bar, beer box, live Sundays sessions, 2-4-1 burger Mondays, pub quiz, bottomless brunchm, a free weekly open mic night and even art nights.
East London Liquor Company
East London Liquor Company is a distillery producing and importing a range of quality spirits including gin, vodka, rum and whisky. And is also host a restaurant and a bar.
It is located in well known historical sites, the old glue factory in Bow Wharf, just 5 minutes away from the park. Its bar offers a seasonally-changing list of cocktail, a comprehensive list of classic cocktails, a rotating selection of local draught and bottled beers, and a modest wine list.
The restaurant has an Italian food emphasis, with a stone pizza oven and an array of seasonal sharing plates, and also set menus. In the summer they also offer grilled food in their garden.
The distillery uses high-quality botanicals, aiming to produce spirits that are accessible in flavour and price. They produce a 100% British Wheat Vodka, three London Dry-style gins (can be bought online here) and whisky, including a London Rye® that was released in November 2018. They also offer 3 different types of tours that you can book online.
The Kenton has become a Hackney institution. It is not as close to the park as the others but is close enough to stop by for a drink (~10 minutes walk).
They have a very good selection of beers on draughts, plus two rotating real ales hand pumps. The wine selection is not bad at all, with prices starting from £4.60 the glass.
The pub has a very local and friendly atmosphere. It’s spacious and includes a small dance floor and a beer garden. The decoration is a bit strange but nice, probably with Norwegian influence because of the owners.
It was voted ‘Most Loved Pub in London 2015’ ‘Best Pub in Hackney 2015 & 2016’ by Time Out London’s Love London Award, and nominated to ‘Best Place to drink the UK in 2019’ by The Observer.
Lord Morpeth is an authentic bar full of character and charm. It is right next to the park (Southern edge) and is easily recognisable by its amazing mural graffiti, as shown in the picture above.
They offer a good selection of beers, wines and cocktails, plus tasty pizzas (from £10) from their friends at Sourdough Saloon. They often release new original pizzas such as one with salt beef, pickled gherkins, sweet mustard dressing and crispy shallots.
They also show sports events (especially football) and their pizzas can be ordered by Deliveroo or Uber Eats. Quiz nights, live music and winter nights DJ are also available. And they have a late license until 1 am!
The Crown is probably the most popular pub on this list. It is next to the main gates of the park, on the conjunction of Grove Road and Old Ford Road.
It’s a light and airy gastropub, spanning over two floors with beautiful dining rooms and balconies overlooking Vicky Park. They offer a good and tasty selection of British seasonal, homemade dishes from vegan to vegetarian, from daily fresh fish specials to delicious meat treats.
They also offer a great selection of spirits and a fabulous wine and it is open daily for brunch and light lunches, dinner and Sunday roasts. Sports events are also shown, especially rugby.
The Sunday roasts are tasty and generous, for decent prices. Bottomless brunch, Quiz nights and music are also part of the offering. Moreover, they can host events of up to 90 people standing across 3 private spaces, complete with balconies overlooking Victoria Park, The Victoria Room, The Paper Room and The Conservatory.
The Hemingway is another neighbourhood gastropub serving tasty British meals made with locally-sourced ingredients.
Every dish is made in their open plan kitchen, using the best suppliers both locally and abroad. Their menu is a mix of classic crowd-pleasers and regularly changing seasonal dishes. It’s a pub and not a cocktail bar: “… we make a blinding Bloody Mary, and will happily mix you an Aperol Spritz or Negroni, we don’t do Pina Coladas.”
It’s cosy and has a very friendly atmosphere. The main room is full of comfortable leather sofas. It’s decorated with a subtle hunting theme. The outdoor seating area is spacious enough as well.
Bookings for weekend evenings and Sunday is strongly advised. Quiz night is the first Tuesday of every month. They are child-friendly and provide high chairs.
The Approach Tavern
The Approach Tavern is another favourite in the area, this time in the West side of the park, close to Cambridge Heath overground station.
“Real ales, real fires and real people” is its slogan. It has a good beer garden, decked with palm trees, heaters and rain cover. Inside there is a fire and good variety of real ales, plus mighty 20 beers on tap. It’s also pet and children friendly.
They serve unpretentious and hearty food, where burgers and Sunday roast are their signature dishes. They also offer from traditional beers to crafty ones from the likes of Tottenham’s Beavertown Brewery, alongside international brews such as Litovel and Little Creatures on draft.
The Lauriston is another Victoria Park local. With a laid back and friendly atmosphere, they specialise in stone-baked pizzas, pints and parties.
It’s located in the middle of the area known as Victoria Park Village, on the southern edge of the park. It also hosts regular karaoke nights, quizzes, DJs, sports events, art shows. Gluten-free pizza is also available for a £2 surcharge.