143 Bethnal Green Road, London, E2, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 3664 6454
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Tues-Sat 6pm-midnight
Style: Pub contemporary
Price guide: Middling
What's the best way of putting this? The Well & Bucket, Shoreditch, is very, er, Shoreditch. There are enough skinny jeans to make a fat man weep, beanies galore, and a set of bar staff that look like they just stumbled out of a Kate Moss birthday bash. But scratch beneath the surface and there's a bar of real substance and charm.
Previous incarnations as a leather shop and Chinese restaurant have been torn away to reveal the space's true origins - a 19th century pub. Quite what your average Victorian east-end drinker would make of a crisply presented set of Southern fried oysters with tartare sauce - not to mention the "sliders" - is debatable, but they would certainly celebrate the return to its origins. Especially as they've paired the original worn and tattered tiling with a beautiful copper bar and lots of lovely dark oak, and have a collection of beers that put most of their counterparts to shame.
We counted 16 pale ales by the bottle, 12 Belgian beers, 14 on draught and 13 bottles of porter/stout alone - all from around the world, and staff clued up on each. Wines are an afterthought - but it's a pub, isn't it?