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The Water Poet information

The Water Poet is a charming pub in Spitalfields with a separate dining room, pool room, basement bar and slouchy sofas in the main bar, The huge garden, barn and BBQs make it a popular destination in summer months.

Ranked #95 of 5241 restaurants in London
"The Water Poet is a multi-tasking backstreet boozer with an array of spaces including a dining room, an enormous beer garden (with a barn!), a pool parlour and a cinema. Proper pub grub, done well – served from 12pm until 930pm Monday to Saturday. Our irresistible and critically acclaimed roasts are served on Sundays between midday and 8pm, with booking advisable. The huge beer garden, often boasted East London’s best, offers an outside bar, and our awning will keep you covered come rain or shine. Many areas are available for smaller non-exclusive bookings alongside our larger private hire spaces, although please note we do not offer hire of the entire venue as a whole."

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Opening Hours
Opening Hours
MON

11:00 - 23:00

TUE

11:00 - 23:00

WED

11:00 - 23:00

THU

11:00 - 23:00

FRI

11:00 - 23:00

SAT

12:00 - 23:00

SUN

12:00 - 22:30

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What did you think of The Water Poet?

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The Water Poet reviews



By Andrew M.

The Water Poet is good if you fancy something a little different. The pub has a good mix of atmospheres and is above all very friendly. I would recomend The Water Poet for those who aren't afraid of change.


By Chrissy G.

We had a really great lunch here last Thursday, made even better by the fact that it was a sunny day and we could sit out back in the huge garden. Our dishes were generous and good value for money, with huge portions thoroughly enjoyed. They had a great list of ales which we'll come back and sample no doubt, with the barbecue and Sunday lunch sounding very tempting too. Great pub, good find!


By X X.

Took friends here on Sat on basis of good reviews. Never again! £19 for a round of 4 drinks (guiness and 4 ciders) and £40 for 4 tasteless burgers. What a rip off. Plus the added bonus of a barmaid who rather move glasses around than serve the queue of people waiting for a drink. Yes it's got a nice layout but that's really the only thing going for it. Pretentious and not worth the money!


By Hannah B.

This is a great pub. Brilliant atmosphere for all occasions, whether watching sport, meeting friends or eating food. Great staff. Large beer garden/smoking area. Had lovely roast dinner on sunday, will go here time and time again.


By Bea A.

We spent a very long afternoon in the company of good friends and great wine at The Water Poet last Sunday. The occassion was even more enjoyable as the lunch was fantastic. Huge, generous portions cooked just as you'd expect Sunday lunch to be cooked – moist, tender meat, whole glazed carrots, crisp roasted potatoes, lashing of gravy… Puds were good too. Indulgent and filling. Lots of custard for me and no room for the cheesebroard after unfortunately, altough we did like the look of the Irish cheese selection and chutney. To be honest, this place fits the bill perfectly, whether it be lunch with the folks, a birthday celebration, parents on a day out with the kids..... Not too pricey either. Staff efficient and friendly, which is always a bonus. I don't think you'll find a better Sunday lunch in the area. Lovely setting, just to the side of Spitalfields market, so shopping, drinking and eating all in one day! We'll be back!


By Sheena D.

Use this place a lot since I moved to London, and it reminds me of the best pubs in Dublin. It's good for lots of things, but it's really great for having a drink with friends. Food is good, makes for great casual eating. A few weeks ago they had a Christmas fair with a hog roast in the garden, and a choir singing carols and then some jazz. Great day. Sunday lunch is really good but very busy, so get there early. Really like the staff too. Good place to watch sport.


By Simon A.

We had our works Christmas lunch at The Water Poet last Thursday and this is just to say a big thanks to the staff (and the chefs!). We were made to feel very welcome, looked after for drinks and the food was delicious. Really impressed for such a busy pub. we'll be back next year (and a fair amount in between).


By C G.

This place seems to get better and better every time we visit. Last week there was a whole hog roast on Saturday afternoon, and this Sunday we were treated to live jazz! The crowd is very mixed and all of ages, but not too rowdy for such a large pub. The garden is probably the Water Poet's best feature, currently covered by a marquee and heated enough to spend a crisp December evening in. The ale selection is pretty good too, with Truman and Meantime here. The kitchen seems permanently busy, and portions are massive. The current menu is a real winter warmer of a feast, both weekdays and weekends. Probably the most welcoming pub that serves food in the area.


By J D.

Love coming here wether it be with family for a roast on a sunday (including our toddler - they have highchairs which is great for a pub!) or for lunch during the week or a friday night out. You have to get in early if you dont want to miss out on a sunday roast but I would say that is standard anywhere in london and the portions are huge! Have to have the baileys cheesecake on a weekday as you can never fit it in after the roast dinner. The menu changes regularly but you can always get the usual burger, sausage and mash etc which never disappoints, my fav is the risotto but it doesnt always feature... The ladies loo's are a wicked bright pink, the music is good, and the service is always friendly. We always bring overseas visitors here and they always leave happy.


By Rupert C.

An early Sunday lunch in this enormously small pub was great. There are rooms everywhere, I counted 6 separate spaces, but we ate in the garden because my girlfriend isn't giving up smoking 'til tomorrow. Lots of heaters so it wasn't too cold. I digress though. Food was really good, unpretentious stuff. Just a well cooked Sunday roast with good veg and a fine Yorkshire. even early on there were loads of people with their families eating, always a good sign. I had a couple of Tim Taylors Landlord and she had a glass of Argentinian Malbec which she said hit the spot. Then she had a fag. I like the service here; it's friendly and chatty but not too in your face. Watched a bit of Munster Ospreys before dragged away to christmas shopping. Will be back.


By Katie C.

Popularity says a lot of things about a pub. And this place is popular. I've been to the water poet on two occasions now. There's a definite 'buzz' about the place. On a Sunday no one wants to be sitting in a dank dingy quiet place, and the water poet is the complete opposite. Great food (the best gravy I've tasted somehow sweet AND savoury) tender beef roast, the staff were busy, yet still very helpful and great craic. Jazz in the evening rounded it all off. This place is now going to be my weekly sunday hangover cure. Recommended.


By Jason D.

What can I say... the place has it all, the food is better than any restaurant and the portions amazing - great value for money. such a breath of fresh air during the week away from the other sterile environments the city has to offer, and at weekends is a great place to spend the day eating, drinking and watching sport on one of the many large screens they have. It even has a pool table. The staff constantly make me feel welcome. Cant wait until the summer to be able to sit out in the massive beer garden!


By Georgina G.

An excellent pub for a wide variety of occasions; be it a quick drink with a mate or a lager social gathering. The welcoming staff and quirky décor give this tardis like venue (the place is HUGE) an intimate atmosphere. Its a breath of fresh air in comparison to the oh so try hard cool of its Shoreditch counterparts. They also serve cracking chips!


By Charlotte P.

I am sorry you had such a disappointing time at the Water Poet, and the waitress's treatment of you was totally unprofessional. I apologise; she has been disciplined. It was wholly out of character for her to behave that way; she is much liked by our customers. If she hadn't had such a good record I'd have sacked her. The matter of the glass was unforgivable. The manager was dealing with another customer when you were leaving, and came looking for you as soon as he could. Your booking, I think, was made on a web site which we have blocked out for Sundays in December, so we could not know about it. This was, I think, explained to you. It was extremely busy. In the event we did the best we could by setting up a table for you in the barn, and I bought you a drink while you were waiting. I am the owner. I was the person who spoke to you about the erroneous dates on the wine list, and dealt with your complaint. I at no point said, "can we call it quits that you're getting this bottle for free", as your quotation marks state. I asked you was there anything else you wanted us to do for you, other than the free bottle you had had. Three of your party said no, that was fine, and one said, and I quote accurately here, "Well I still have issues!" at which point another member said, "Oh, he always has issues," and another member of the party concurred, "Yeah, he always has issues!" Everybody then agreed to move on. I am making a point of relating the conversation here at such length because your spin on it presents me as far less concerned than I was and am, and whatever the undoubted justification for your other complaints, misrepresenting me to strengthen your case is unjust. Given we set up a table for you in a place we normally do not have one to shorten of your wait, I am not too unhappy with the cutlery arriving with the starter. Not ideal, but understandable. About the rest, sorry again. I would love to discuss this with you if you call me. Peter


By Amar P.

Avoid at all costs! This place looks nice, but is let down by terrible service. We booked a table for a Sunday lunch. We arrived early and had a drink at the bar. At the allotted time, we went to be seated, however were told that there would be a wait. The wait became an hour. The manager came over to apologise and offered us another round on the house. This was good. However we were then seated in the Barn which, despite the space heaters, was freezing cold. We ordered our food and some wine. 5 mins later we were told that they had run out of two of the roast dinners (this is about 3pm on a Sunday)! So a couple of us changed our orders. We had ordered a 2006 bottle of Malbec, but were served a 2009 bottle. At £18.50 a bottle, even the untrained palette knows the difference! We complained and were offered another bottle on the house. (There were no 2006 Malbecs at all.) We decided on a 2008 Shiraz. We ended up with a 2009 bottle - we had to ask for fresh glasses, one of which hadn't been washed. We complained again. They said well "can we call it quits that you're getting this bottle for free". We grumbled and said that's fine. The manager came over to apologise again, but couldn't really do much more to make us happy. He blamed it one their supplier who had apparently changed the wine selection. Starters arrived. 1 minute later the cutlery arrives. Food is OK. We decide not to order desert, and ask for the bill. We also ask that we not pay service. The waitress does not ask us why we felt that way, but incredulously states that we got a bottle for free. She then tosses the credit cards back on the table and says that she has to get a new till receipt. She comes back, we pay, and as she leaves she wishes us "a Merry Christmas and a tight-arse New Year"! At this point we get up and try to find the waitress who has now disappeared, and ask to see the manager because we've been insulted by our waitress. Apparently he was too busy,


By May Lynn B.

We had a tremendous evening at The Water Poet on Tuesday, really enjoyable. After agreeing to meet friends near Liverpool Street station to celebrate a recent engagement, we decided on this venue after searching online for somewhere that had plenty of room and outside space. We all congregated outside in the end as the huge garden was partially covered and heated enough to be lovely and cosy all evening.. The staff were warm and attentive and looked after our food and drink orders without fuss. The bar was busy with a very mixed crowd, but not too noisy and just perfect for a social gathering like ours. Have heard the Sunday lunch is one of the best in London so will be back to give that a try soon....


By Anna L.

I don't understand how this pub manages to hold onto a good rating! I've been in there twice now and it's twice too many times.The last time I was there was a Saturday afternoon, I was served by an incredibly rude girl who wandered off in the middle of my card transaction because she "wanted to change the music" and then screamed down the bar for another girl to finish my payment. My friends were both served flat beer in hot pint glasses that were covered in fingerprints(surely the best way to serve cold beer is to put in cold glasses?!).The second time I went there was for a weekday lunch and we were served stodgy dry burgers by yet another rude waitress who looked as if she hadn't washed in month.The mix of furniture in the Water Poet is nice but it's in no way the cool Shoreditch pub it's trying to be. Overall a dirty pub that tries too hard, run by unpleasant staff.


By Ruairi M.

My friends and I have just moved into Spitalfields and we found this pub a couple of weeks ago. We think it's a great pub, it seems to do everything. During the day the food is better than most restaurants, and the Sunday lunch is a blowout. In the evening it's really buzzy and the music is great, and so is the atmosphere. It even has a pool room and the best outside space I've seen in London. It's covered and warm in the winter, but they can take the covers off if it's sunny. They've got televisions for sport, but they aren't obvious, so they're not in your face. The staff are great, and friendly, which is a bit unusual around here sometimes, where some pubs are a bit too cool to bother serving you. They really seem to care at the Water Poet. We were there for the rugby last Saturday and the atmosphere was fantastic. It's great to have a place where you can sit and watch sport and eat at the same time.


By Maggie M.

Shoehorned into one of Spitalfield's most attractive streets, The Water Poet is a rambling pub with an endearing air of mildly bohemian grunge that saves the place from taking itself too seriously. At the front there's a drinker's bar with big screen TV, London Pride, Timothy Taylor's Landlord and Trumans on tap, Meantime Beers and Lagers and Peroni on draught, Budvar or Corona amongst many bottled beers. Out back is an enclosed urban beer garden. Between the two sits a discreet little dining room, where cherubs dangle from the ceiling and the lunch menu (£9.95/£12.95 for two/three courses) offers the likes of chorizo and rocket salad followed by wild boar sausages with Puy lentils, cauliflower, parsley and red onion, or slow-cooked neck of lamb fillet with cinnamon, carrots and couscous. For afters, perhaps try Bakewell tart or chocolate brownie cheesecake. There's a more extensive menu on Sunday's, simpler fare is avallable at the bar, and the short wine list promises plenty of sub-£20 quaffing. Time Out rates the Sunday lunch as in the top 5 in this part of London, and we found that assessment to be more than justified. 35 of us booked for lunch last Sunday, and we were astonished at the faultlessness of the food in such a busy place. The waitresses were attentive without being obtrusive, and the food came remarkably quickly. There was some live jazz in the garden, which was a bonus, and very good it was too. We thought it was a great place for a party.


By Rupert M.

Good pub, great beer, good service, great food, great atmosphere, poolroom, garden, best Sunday lunch around, they've got Trumans and Meantime beers as well, and I'm a fan.


By Rupert M.

I have never written a review of a restaurant before, although I do read them. I was in the Water Poet for lunch last Sunday, got there at 3 pm and had a fantastic roast lunch with three friends. The service was fine and they had not run out of anything. The quality of the food was really fantastic and there is obviously some serious cooking happening in this pub. I would call them a gastropub, but they themselves eschew the term. I told the manageress about a bad review I had read here, and she asked me to write my opinion of the place, the service and the food. She did tell me that they had had an exceptionally busy week the Sunday before, with new staff, and things got a bit out of hand. She asked me to keep that to myself (sorry Manageress). I asked her if they ran out of food, and she said they did, normally around 5 pm. I asked her why they didn't just order more, and she told me that they are making stock for gravy all week, and preparing veg and roasting spuds, and they take great pride in the quality of the food they present, and that means that they cannot just churn out vast quantities of it. That review looks like the only bad one on this site, so that tell a tale. I reckon. I thought the place was great. Stay on for the jazz in the evening, is my tip.


By Danielle C.

This place has a few ok reviews so i was surprised they managed to get it quite so wrong yesterday! I met with 19 friends for sunday lunch and can only say not only will we never be returning but we'll do our best to ensure nobody else puts themselves through such an awful experience. The whole afternoon can only be described as the height of incompetence. It started with warm flat beer when we arrived in the bar (which if the ample bar staff knew how to change they were too busy bitching about their boss to do so) continued as we had to wait for our heater to be turned on for over an hour. Then was made worse by the fact that although we asked to order 3/4 times by the time we actually got to they had run out of almost all food! Each time our waitress took our order she would disappear for 10 minutes then return to tell us they had run out of yet another dish. We ordered 3 times and each time had to change our choice, at the end of it only 3 dishes on the menu where available. Our waitresses response "you should have been told when you booked we run out of food at 2pm every week!" What a ridiculous thing to say, if you run out of food every week you order more! Common sense anyone!! A vegan dish was ordered and came with buttered cabbage and yorkshire pudding, surely if you work in food you understand what vegan means? And half of our dishes came replacement accompaniments that we didn't want. The whole ordeal was meant to be made better by 20% off the bill but that didn't cut it as the bill arrived without being asked for and instead of the dessert menu! When we asked for pudding we were told "there is no more food"! This place is run so badly incompetent is not a strong enough word. They don't know what they're doing to such an extent i'm supprised they even know how to open the door! In fact it's a shame they do, it'd be better kept shut


By Peter D.

This place is so popular we had to wait for a table, but only for 15 minutes. The wait was well worth while; I had the best roast beef I've ever eaten, followed by a superb Baileys and white chocolate cheese cake. My girlfriend had slow roast lamb followed by a luscious Bakewell tart. i drank London Pride, and she had a glass of good Malbec from Argentina. Staff are efficient and friendly, casually dressed but with a service ethic not normally associated with Shoreditch cool. We found them charming and helpful. The pub has a great buzz, and is so much bigger than it seems from the outside, without ever losing its intimate feel. It must have the best garden in London, half covered and well heated on a wintry Sunday afternoon.


By Alan F.

If you ever find yourself at Liverpool Street Station and fancy a change from chain pubs and wine bars, you would do well to walk a block or two up and onto Folgate Street for this easygoing hostelry. For a start, the backyard is huge and heated, and even if you're not a smoker, it's still worth a peek to check out the distinctive city-scraper looming overhead. The pub interior, or should I say interiors, sport a bohemian-theatrical look in regal red, with antique mirrors, doll's house, a skeleton, and what appear to be sex dolls heads behind the bar! For your amusement, the tap-room has satellite tv, and off to the side, a pool room with two tables. To top this off, the service I received was pleasant, so there's plenty going for this place! Oh, yeah- this pub's on a lovely historic street, so when you exit after dark, check out the lovely gas lantern flickering outside the dickensian Dennis Severs House Museum across the road.


By Amanda B.

I really like this pub. As a smoker the outdoor smoking area is absolutely fantastic and one of the best i have seen this close to Liverpool Street. The staff are really friendly and helpful and not too trendy. The customers are a wide and varied mix from city-boys to Students. Two good pool tables and big screen TVs for football draw in a lot of guys...there never seem to be that many girls in the pub...i sometimes feel like the only one. There are two bars meaning it is never too much of a struggle to get served and the menu sounds quite interesting with small snack, larger mains and a variety of platters to share, although i haven't been in the mood for food yet when i have been there.
I definitely recommend it. Being so close to Liverpool Street don't get roped into going to one of those awful chain pubs and walk an extra two minutes to the Water Poets...added bonus it is sign-posted!!!


By Roxanne R.

This buzzing modern pub is the king of multi-function and has one of the best outdoor spaces in the area.

The Venue
With a spot in Spitalfields – between the City and nightspots of Shoreditch – this venue has a great location. And, unlike many of the packed neighbouring bars, there's a lot more to the pub than first meets the eye. There's five main sections to the venue, including a main bar area with tall tables, slouchy sofas and wide-screen TVs, a dining room with a second bar, dark wooden flooring and long curtains, and a pool room with two tables and a scattering of stools. An outdoors section has plenty of seating, a barbecue area and impressive lights, while a covered garden dining room sits to one side. And lastly, there’s a basement bar where screenings and events are held. The venue's decor throughout is a bizarre combination of quirky artwork, grand mirrors and chandeliers, as well as retro oddities, such as a large set of red scales, which sit right by the door.

The Atmosphere
There's loads going on in this venue, so the atmosphere can shift considerably. Generally speaking, Thursday and Friday evenings are packed and finding a seat can be near to impossible unless you arrive super early. Weekends are slightly quieter and during the day it's calmer still. The music pays due to who is in the pub – if it's a busy weekend night, expect to hear old and new pop hits being played, while the tempo drops somewhat during the day. The Water Poet is well staffed and, despite the crowds, you don't have to wait long for a drink.

The Food
Food is good value for money considering the quality of the dishes. Lunch is served until 3pm during the week and Saturday brunch until 4pm. The menu changes regularly, but expect to find dishes such as a West Country cured ham & free-range egg sandwich, with salad, fries and a cup of soup (£7.50), and big plates like an organic burger or Adnams ale-battered fish and chips for a tenner, when purchased with a small glass of wine or selected pint of beer. Desserts take the form of traditional pub favourites, such as warm chocolate brownie, whipped cream and berries (£6). Sharing platters are also served in the evening (£14) and on Sundays the venue prides itself on the roast dinners it serves – there are plenty of different meats on offer, as well as several veggie options and something for fish eaters, too.

The Drink
The selection is huge at The Water Poet, but drinks are rather pricey. Draught beers start at £3.95 and include Aspalls, Becks Vier, Estrella, several Meantime beers and Guinness to mention a few, while bottles include Peroni, Corona, Little Creatures Pale Ale and Anchor Stream Beer. The cider and fruit beer selections are good, too - including Bulmers, Rekorderlig, Crabbies and Mongozo Mango – but cost nearly £5 each.

The Last Word
With a prime spot, a multi-function space and food and drinks menus fit for any purpose any time, you can do a lot worse than visit this sprawling Spitalfields venue.

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