Golden Heart

110 Commercial Street,
E1 6LZ

Although this pub is not a listed building, it is on the London Regional Inventory where the description is as follows: “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 the pleasing dimpled and coloured glass in the windows. None of this is showy and represents one of the two main faces of inter-war pub-building – the careful, restrained Georgian one as opposed to nostalgic brewers’ Tudor. The one real blemish is the modern pot-shelf on the public bar counter. History round about: Spitalfields Market was established in 1682 to deal especially in vegetables. The present buildings were put up by the Corporation of London and opened in 1928 as a fruit and veg. market with special heated cellars for ripening bananas. The area has an intensely rich cultural history and has seen waves of immigrants who brought distinctive trades and traditions with them – the Huguenots, expelled from France in 1685, Jews in the 19th century and Bangladeshis (of Brick Lane fame) in the 20th. The current licensee, Sandra Esquilant, is of Huguenot descent.”

The Golden Heart featured on the Daytime Crawl of SW Essex and E London in June 2006, the Breweries and Markets Past and Present: Evening Crawl of Shoreditch, Bethnal Green and Spitalfields in December 2009, and the East End Survivors: Evening Crawl of Bethnal Green, Shoreditch and Spitalfields on 13 December 2017.