Having a drink in this warm, friendly pub feels a little like a step back in time. Though it’s bright, clean and airy, there’s a distinctly traditional quality to this family-run, east London boozer.
Despite being just a ten-minute walk from Stratford train station, The Railway Tavern is a bit tricky to reach (make sure to leave the station via the overland exit, not the tube exit) and feels rather remote as it’s on such a long, quiet road. As a result, it feels like a countryside B&B inside and out. It’s huge and has bags of seating; the main pub area is spacious with a large central bar, and the conservatory – bigger than you’d expect – is a lovely spot for a quiet drink or meal. The décor is quite traditional, with patterned carpets, fringed curtains and photos of London on the walls.
Since it’s a little out of the way, the clientele tend to be mostly locals. Pop in after work and expect to find friendly men in their 60s propping up the bar, chatting to a waitress. It definitely does feel like a warm, family-run pub and it’s no surprise that it’s been around for four decades. Staff are welcoming, the vibe is relaxed and the punters all seem in a happy mood. Its proximity to the Olympic Park likely gave this pub a boost a year or so back, too.
The Railway Tavern serves a rather extensive menu of home cooked, locally sourced pub classics, like sausage and mash (£5.95), scampi with chips (£7.75) and pasta of the day (£7.95). For something lighter, try the potato wedges with cheese (£3.30), the roast beef and horseradish sandwich (£3) or the sharing platter (£11.95).
On tap you’ll find Guinness, Kronenbourg 1664, Stonewell Cider, Fosters, Strongbow, Doom Bar and London Pride. The pub stocks all the usual bottled beer suspects, and a glass of house wine comes in around the £3.50 mark.
The Last Word
If you’re in the area, maybe shopping at Westfield, this is a lovely place to stop off for lunch or a pint. There’s plenty of space and a friendly atmosphere, and with such a full menu of classic British grub, you’ll definitely know you’re still in London.