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Beer of the Week (w/e 24th October 2021) with Mobyduck on the Pub Forum

The Prospect of Whitby, Wapping, E1

57 Wapping Wall
Phone: 02074811095

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Pub Type

Taylor Walker (Spirit Pubs)
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Reviews (Current Rating Average: of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

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Ian Mapp left this review about The Prospect of Whitby

Another one of those must visit London Pubs - if you are in the area.

A board traces its history through the monarch's since Henry VIII. Frequented by Captain Kidd. Many stories to tell.

On this visit, it was a relatively quiet Saturday lunch which meant I could have a proper mooch - head to the back for the Thames Terrace or upstairs for the Smugglers Bar.

Seems churlish to talk about the beer in a living museum but my Isle of Rye from the New River brewery was in perfect condition.

Not bad for a Greene King.

On 2nd March 2020 - rating: 10
[User has posted 819 recommendations about 811 pubs]

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Danny O'Revey left this review about The Prospect of Whitby

Stunning old pub, beautifully old looking inside, with riverside terrace

On 1st July 2019 - rating: 9
[User has posted 1287 recommendations about 1265 pubs]

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Bucking Fastard left this review about The Prospect of Whitby

A classic riverside pub and very well worth exploring,despite it's ownership by Greene King with all that brings.You enter into a flagstoned interior with two bay windows and some high tables but also benches.The wooden beams give plenty of character,while beyond the bar there is a fine fireplace (unused) with some traditional furniture giving great river views.A little further on there is a raised section ,again with wonderful views and this would be my prefered vantage point,with a great set of windows.There is a courtyard with wooden benches for outside drinking described as the Garden.
However it is worth exploring the first floor with a calm Pepys Room to the front,and the Smugglers Bar to the rear ,both rooms with good wood panelling.Walk through the Smugglers (bar only occasionally used here and can be hired) to get to the Lookout with the best exterior river views and much quieter than the lower courtyard.
Sadly the food is from a corporate GK menu and when a waiting time of 45 mins was stated suddenly I lost my appetite.Mindless muzak was playing and the bar staff weren't serving in order of time spent waiting.
The bar offered GK IPA and Abbott but guests Twickenham Redhead,Truman Swift,ELB Pearly Queen London Porter and Black Sheep Bitter (decent) ,a better range than I was expecting and this would mean that this historic pub is most certainly worth a revisit.

On 25th March 2019 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2175 recommendations about 2175 pubs]

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Real Ale Ray left this review about The Prospect of Whitby

It was good to visit this pub when it was quiet, so a good look around the upstairs rooms and all around the downstairs was interesting. Six pumps, all in action on our visit, We went for the Trumans Zephyr and Blindside, which were both a good choice. Lots of interesting features in this pub, so well worth a visit.

On 2nd April 2018 - rating: 8
[User has posted 3012 recommendations about 3012 pubs]

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Tris C left this review about The Prospect of Whitby

Perfectly described below, but the cynic in me says that perhaps some of the interior décor isn't as old as the pub would have us believe, but certainly some old British riverside pubs were made from recycled ships' timbers. Certainly the ugly sauce bottles that adorn each table don't date back the early 16th century.
Ales, six in total but four were resting: Purity's Mad Goose, Greene King IPA, (GK?) Prospect of Whitby Best, Hopstuff's Fusilier and Sambrook's Pump House at £4.00 a pint (cheap considering) and fine.
This is a fine end to a tour of Wapping and should, for whatever reason, be on anyone's list of London pubs to visit at some time.

On 1st September 2017 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1174 recommendations about 1153 pubs]

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Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about The Prospect of Whitby

Historic riverside pub, with fine views of the Thames if you manage to get a decent seat. 'L'-shaped bar with various seating areas and an open 'courtyard' to one side. Function rooms and terrace upstairs. Very traditional furniture and decor. Five of the eight handpumps were operational on this visit, with Truman's Rio Gold being the pick of the bunch.

On 10th September 2016 - rating: 7
[User has posted 6556 recommendations about 6556 pubs]

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Pub SignMan left this review about The Prospect of Whitby

The Prospect of Whitby has laid claim to the title of the Thames' oldest riverside pub and it seems there is a fair bit of justification in this, as records suggest that a public house has stood on this site since the early 1500's. Previously known as the Pelican and the Devil's Tavern, the current name was adopted in the 19th Century in honour of a ship that used to moor outside. Appropriately for a pub of its age, there are plenty of stories of smugglers, pirates and other nefarious characters frequenting the pub and it has also had its fair share of famous visitors including Pepys, Dickens and the infamous Lord Chancellor Judge Jeffries who has a noose hanging from the river-side of the pub in his memory. Turner and Whistler have both produced sketches of the view from the pub, which is still a pretty inspirational sight today. Visitors in more recent times have included Muhammad Ali, Judy Garland and (ahem!) the cast of Minder, much of which is documented on various boards and clippings throughout the pub.
You enter into a quarry stone front bar and are immediately alerted to the fact that the floor is over 500 years old - the only surviving feature from the pub's earliest incarnations. The servery runs down the left hand wall with a nice pewter counter, which was apparently once the longest counter in Great Britain, and a pleasant dark wood, hop lined canopy. The bar back looks considerably more modern and had a smart pub mirror as a centrepiece. Pews, standard chairs and high stools make up the seating options in this front area, mostly arranged around a simple fireplace. Some small tables run down the right side opposite the bar with the space broken up by dark wood pillars and situated underneath a large ship's wheel suspended from the ceiling. To the rear, the pub opens out slightly with a nice recessed fireplace in the rear left corner, several more tables and lots of interesting nautical items on display. To the left is a separate split level room which offers those on the upper seating level the chance to enjoy fine views over the river. It's mostly benches and standard chairs here with pictures of ships and other seafaring bits on show. Moving further to the left, you eventually reach the sheltered garden which is overhung by a large willow and would make a lovely shady spot in the summer months with its fine views over to Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf. A boundary stone on the far wall marks the line between Wapping and Limehouse whilst a board explains that the first fuchsia plant in the UK was traded from this site. Stairs near to the front door lead up to a function room and riverside terrace, but sadly this was roped off on my visit.
The ale range was much more extensive than I had expected with the options on this visit comprising Westerham 1730, Hardy and Hanson Rocking Rudolph, Fullers London Pride, St Austell Tribute, Wadworth 6X, Portobello American Pale Ale and Wells Bombardier. Old Rosie cider had recently been taken off the final pump. I had a good pint of the 1730 which went down nicely as I explored the pub at length.
This is a great pub with lots of interesting stories and enough character to just about make you able to visualise how it might have been all those years ago. I enjoyed trying to pick my way through its interesting history and was amazed at how much it could lay claim to. A good pint made this visit all the more worthwhile and it would appear that they are not content to let standards slide in the hope that the tourists will take care of trade. I would say it is one of those pubs everyone should visit at least once.

On 26th January 2015 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2607 recommendations about 2607 pubs]

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Quinno _ left this review about Prospect of Whitby

Situated on the north side of the Thames, this place is a bit of a tourist trap. It’s a Taylor Walker pub and as such I was expecting a bit more service-wise than I’ve received on my two recent visits (instead I got dopey staff, a mixed-up food order, no understanding of how cask ale works and a number of redundant handpumps). The pub has two floors, the ground floor bar area having a flagstone floor, a pewter bar plus various maritime knick-knacks and a fake gas wood-effect fire. There’s an upstairs room I preferred though it’s a bit more of a restaurant affair - it’s laid out in two distinct rooms, nicely decorated with dark wood panelling, carpet, beams and muted lighting at the front end and a more spartan wood-boarding to the rear. It’s all rather atmospheric. The rear area affords rather delicious views across the Thames to Canary Wharf and a little terrace makes for an ideal summer’s pint if you aren’t bothered by the swinging noose (a reference to the nearby pirate-hanging). The pub plays up the ‘historic’ factor to the max and there are plenty of painted board snippets around the place claiming (or in some cases, merely speculating) bits of history. Ale-wise it’s rather hit-and-miss; I’ve had decent pints of Purity Gold and TT Landlord from the row of handpumps but likewise I’ve seen pints of froth being passed off by the staff.

I certainly think it’s worth a visit here to sample to atmosphere and décor but don’t stray too far out of the ‘pint and a view’ mindset is my advice. Could and should be better but probably coasts on the bus loads of tourists. Gets a 7 from me but that's more to do with the fabric of the pub.

On 6th May 2013 - rating: 7
[User has posted 4155 recommendations about 4142 pubs]

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Malden man left this review about Prospect of Whitby

RR pretty much covers everything below. The beer selection was Doom Bar, Adnams Broadside, GK IPA and Suffolk Swift(3%) with Spitfire and Pride clips reversed. The pewter topped bar with barrel inserts is worthy of note and a framed information board makes the claim it is the longest of such type surviving in London. Various marine/riverine paraphernalia, including model ships and a suspended ship's wheel. An old pillar has a winch attached. Good river views especially from the balconies at the upper level.

On 14th March 2010 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1689 recommendations about 1664 pubs]

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Rex Rattus left this review about Prospect of Whitby

I’ve visited this pub a number of times over recent years, and have generally enjoyed the experience. It was refurbished a few years ago, and although some changes were made, primarily to the furnishings as I recall, the main features of the pub, such as the ancient flagstones and the pewter bar counter top, have remained in place. It claims to be oldest riverside pub in London, but although it’s not the only pub to make that claim it’s certainly a contender for the title and is definitely one of the oldest. It was originally named “The Devil’s Tavern”, but was given its current name in 1777 after the name of one of colliers’ boats that brought coal down from Newcastle. The interior is decorated with all manner of maritime artefacts and memorabilia, including several model ships, some in glass cases. Other features include the many painted boards scattered around the place with snippets of the pub’s history, and a large stone fireplace that had a gas wood effect fire on the go. The latter was clearly welcome by the couple who were sitting on top of it on my visit, as there was clearly something wrong with the heating on that day. There is also an upstairs room that can effectively be used as a restaurant. A somewhat macabre feature of the exterior is the noose that hangs out over the river, as a reference to Execution Dock that used to be a few hundred yards to the West, and where those found guilty of piracy – most notably Captain Kidd – were hanged.
I believe that it is still a Spirit Group pub – at least the lack of ale selection would suggest that it still is. They had on two or three mainstream ales (my chums and I went for the Sharp’s Doom Bar), plus something called “Swift” which turned out to be another weak 3% ale from the Greene King stable. We spotted that in time, and thus managed to avoid it. There is some seating outside, from which one can enjoy some superb views of the river. I don’t think that I would recommend a visit to this pub just for the ales, but it is worth a visit for the history, attractive interior, and the excellent river views best enjoyed on a nice day.

On 7th March 2010 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2583 recommendations about 2499 pubs]

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