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Golden Heart

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Greater London East - London

Two star - A pub interior of very special national historic interest

Listed Status: II

110 Commercial Street
London, Spitalfields
E1 6LZ

Tel: (020) 7247 2158

Real Ale: Yes

Nearby Station: London Liverpool Street

Station Distance: 650m

Public Transport: Near Railway Station (London Liverpool Street) and Bus Stop

Bus: Yes

View on: Whatpub

This is a relatively rare example of an inter-war pub retaining its original layout of separate rooms, this one also having Truman's trademark gilt lettering advertising various Truman’s beers of the 1930s on the top of the panelling.

This magnificent ex-Truman's showpiece ‘improved’ pub is a rebuild of 1936 by the company’s architect AE Sewell. On a corner site facing Spitalfields Market, it has a very fine, three-sided neo-Georgian frontage of brick and Portland stone.

On Hanbury Street is the entrance to the elegant Saloon Bar. According to drawings of 1934, this was formerly subdivided, with a  lounge / dining room at the rear. A baffle is placed just inside the door, and there is fielded panelling to picture rail height throughout. The counter front features fielded panelling and has distinctive service doors; the entrance door, and  windows either side, have attractive blue and yellow stained glass. The arched brick fireplace is original, as is the small but decorative skylight at the rear. Fixed bench seating is extant.

Next to the Saloon was the Private Bar; this has been absorbed into the Public Bar, accessed from Commercial Street. At the back there was once a tap and dining room.  The counter here has matchboard panelling. The walls have fielded panelling to picture rail height, except in the rear, where there’s a panelled dado. Three brick fireplaces remain, and above that in the former Private Bar is a fine built-in Truman's mirror. Plentiful original fixed bench seating here also. There’s a central servery, and it appears that the bar-backs on each side incorporate new work. The modern pot-shelf is distractingly obtrusive.

None of this is showy and it displays one of the two main facets of interwar pub-building – the careful, restrained Georgian one as opposed to nostalgic ‘brewers’ Tudor’.

A good, relaxed place to soak up the atmosphere of a typical inter-war pub. The Golden Heart has an elegant, three-sided Neo-Georgian frontage facing Spitalfields Market. It was built by the major local brewers, Truman, Hanbury and Buxton, on a corner site around 1930 and is just a few yards away from the company’s very different Ten Bells.

This pub has two bars either side of a central servery but a blocked doorway in the centre indicates how the larger bar on the right is an amalgamation of two original rooms. This enlarged public bar is rather plainer than the other one but both have extensive panelling, brick fireplaces (note the Truman’s eagle over a couple in the public bar) and Truman’s house-style lettering for the advertising inscriptions running along the top of the panelling. Note also the pleasing dimpled and coloured glass in the windows. None of this is showy and represents one of the two main faces of interwar pub-building – the careful, restrained Georgian one as opposed to nostalgic ‘brewers’ Tudor’. The one real blemish here is the modern pot-shelf on the public bar counter.

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