Food Review: The Crown, Victoria Park
The Crown, Victoria Park
IN A NUTSHELL
The Crown is a decent, family friendly boozer on the park. Perfect for a pint after a delightful stroll on the lawns.
Hell is other people. The Crown has made a decent stab at Front Room Interior.
Like many pubs that ape lounge style the intention is to excite a feeling of instant comfort in the visitor.
From luxurious soft furnishings to tastefully patterned wallpapers and shelves crammed with artfully selected knick-knacks, it's all an exercise in seduction. "I wouldn't mind living in a room like this," think those swayed by its overtures.
But unlike my quiet, less stylishly appointed lounge, this one's packed with new East Endites.
About 70 per cent young families with babies in tow and 30 per cent 20-somethings who haven't the cash for Clapham or Highbury. Packed, on a Monday too.
Despite the knowing touches and irritating slogans on the walls that make my companion suspect he'll find a Keep Calm And Carry On Urinating sign in the Kings (not Gents), I warm to the place.
As fierce rain beats down on Victoria Park across the road, it's a decent place to sit. Even the babies behave for the duration and the beer's good.
Service is swift (supplied by sensible Scarlet) and while my goats cheese salad lacks bite, my friend's pea and asparagus quiche is as fresh as the smell of the downpour outside.
Then a loud man, this being a Monday, begins the regular pub quiz. There's no escaping his powerful Northern tones so, even though we're not participating, he treats us if we are, pausing to chat.
He's not disagreeable in the role but not exactly an enhancement to delicate dining.
Which is fine as my friend's lamb is a cut of two halves, one well cooked and supple, the other distinctly overdone.
My chicken is supreme in combination with a glass of The Infamous Goose sauvignon blanc, though and after a pair of tarts refresh we beat a hasty retreat, the quiz master's voice haranguing his audience over the use of mobiles.
It's a fair jaunt from the Wharf, but worth it.
Besides, you'll take in the beauty of Victoria Park on the way. Avoid Mondays or bring earplugs.
The Crown, 223 Grove Road, Bow, London, E3 5SN, 020 8880 7261,