"Wildly popular...epitomises local beer scene..."
"If you wander into The Florist on a Thursday night, don't be surprised to find a couple of priests mixing the tunes..."
Bethnal Green Directory, Christmas 2011
"Probably the most significant thing to hit Bethnal Green since the Luftwaffe"
Pub of the year competition
"...Joe Hill and John Young took over this down-on-it's-luck boozer in the far flung reaches of Bethnal Green. A lick of blood red paint, a serious amount of industrial disinfectant, some nice leather sofas and a few old tables and chairs were all were required to bring this place back to life again. With DJs driving a seriously cool sound system, a fabulous tapas menu, a decent wine list and great beers, what more could you ask for?"
Pub of at the year competition
"The judges were Sir Tim Rice, Annabel Croft, Ross Burden, Pub Landlord, GMTV's Esther McVey and Evening Standards Edward Sullivan.
The judges' report
The Florist in Globe Road, Bethnal Green, gets very high marks all round, and is a winner for Ross Burden: "There are so many wonderful things about this place that it's almost impossible to find fault with it - good drinks, a really good tapas menu and a terrific atmosphere." Tim agrees: "What they have done is simple, honest and straightforward. But it's a job very well done." "It's full of interesting characters, says Esther. "The sort of place that if I went there on a Saturday night, I know I'd be going home with smudged lipstick." We all know what she means."
Dreams of winning the Pub of the Year contest nearly went up in smoke for two East entrepreneurs.
The Florist, in Globe Road, Bethnal Green, run by Joe Hill and John Young has just been shortlisted for the 2003 prize. but staff had to flee the smoke after arsonists torched a BMW parked outside on Thursday evening. As the car went up in flames the fire spread to the pubs awning just two foot away. As the heat shattered the windows, the pub's wooden window frame caught alight. "As soon as the flames hit the window, I grabbed the curtains and pulled them down," said Joe. "If they had caught fire, the whole pub would have gone up as the ceiling and much of the bar is wood. "It seemed like ages until the fire engines arrived and at one point all I kept thinking was we'd lode the business. At the time it's was a nightmare."
The fire service received 11 separate calls to the blaze after neighbours reported seeing youths run off after smashing the windscreen of silver G-reg BMW and setting light to it.
But not even firebugs could dampen the spirits of The Florist or dash any hopes of not scooping the award. Within two hours Joe and John had re-opened.
East London Advertiser 13 February 2003