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The Widow’s Son – Devons Road

The Widow’s Son is a Grade II* listed public house at 75 Devons Road, in Bromley-by-Bow. It came under new management in April and has food, cocktails and live music nights.

I popped in on a hot Friday afternoon, and they had free water outside for passers-by. The bar was really friendly (complete with a dog) and a local resident told me how the pub is one of four Grade II* listed buildings in Tower Hamlets – along with York Hall in Bethnal Green, Whitechapel Gallery and Wilton’s Music Hall. The beers on tap included London Fields Brewery and Estrella – the makings of a good night! They have a deal of beer and a burger for £10 on Monday’s and Tuesday’s.

The pub was built in the early 19th century, and it is claimed that the existing building is on the site of an old widow’s cottage. The pub has a long tradition of ‘Widow’s Buns’ where hot cross buns are put in a net on the ceiling by sailors. The legend is that the old widow’s only son left to go to sea, possibly during the Napoleonic Wars, and wrote to her explaining that he would be returning home at Easter and to have a nice hot cross bun waiting for him. He never returned, but his mother continued to keep a fresh hot cross bun every Good Friday for the rest of her life. After her death, a huge collection of hot cross buns was discovered in a net hanging from the ceiling of her cottage.

The Widow’s Son – Devons Road

Opening hours:

Monday – 5–11pm
Tuesday – 5–11pm
Wednesday – 5–11pm
Thursday – 5–11pm
Friday – 4pm–1am
Saturday – 3pm–1am
Sunday – 3pm–1am

75 Devons Road, E3 3PJ

Closest station: Devons Road DLR