Trying to find a decent beer in this part of London is a thankless task - a quick look at the Good Beer Guide is enough to suggest that large tracts of east London are beer deserts.
We're therefore lucky to have a pub like the Black Lion relatively close to hand. This is probably the first decent pub after travelling eastwards from Mile End.
You'll normally going to find 4 or 5 hand pumps on the go at any one time here - Courage Best appears to be a permanent fixture and there are normally various offerings from Adnams and Archers amongst the guest beers.
Nothing wrong with these but none are great favourites of mine so it was pleasing to see that they had JHB and Bishop's Farewell from the Oakham Brewery on tap. Both beers were on top form and after one pint of JHB, I settled into the Bishop's Farewell.
(left) Jenny, Mick and Rob soak up the sun
Chris and I igored the front bar - although virtually empty it's quite noisy, resembling the inside of bookies with the plethora of TV screens showing the racing - we settled into the quieter back bar instead.
As more London Millers joined us, there was a clamour to be out in the beer garden - all dangerously continental in my opinion but I was out-voted and so out we went into the sun.
At 2:30pm it was time to leave - Jenny had organised a fleet of taxis to take us to the ground to save us the hassle of the replacement bus service from Barking.