Sunday, 15 November 2009

The Palm Tree

'This is both my hairdresser's and my milkman's favourite pub', I happily declared to the landlord in the Palm Tree (Haverfield Road, E3) on my first visit  'Well, don't tell anyone' he snapped back Mercifully free of any pretensions, this little gem is a bit of a throwback to when pubs were pubs and landlords were as moody as they wanted to be Forget gastro – you can have a packet of crisps if you're lucky – and if you want tap water it's £1. In the middle of Mile End Eco park, The Palm Tree is not easy to find, but in a lovely spot next to the canal, with a grassy bank that is great for summer lounging. The interior, complete with gold, flocked wallpaper, remains unchanged from the 1930's, there's live jazz every weekend and the locals are as real as they come.


Winter Wonderland

Dark days may be here but a welcome bit of magic and sparkle can be found in a small but enchanting exhibition at Hackney's Museum of Childhood ( Wonderland is open now and runs all the way until the new year (10th Jan 2010). A wonderful world of dark beauty and imaginary beasts is explored through more than 80 artworks. Old European favourites are there, like the bewitching Hansel and Gretel, but the cultural landscape of folklore from other countries is travelled too. Wonderland is thanks to the East London Printmakers ( an independent collective of 200 artists and printmakers based in Hackney that offers studio space and workshops.