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Pub Of The Month - November 2021 with rpadam on the Pub Forum

The Anchor, SE1

34 Park Street
Phone: 02074071577

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Pub Type

Taylor Walker (Spirit Pubs)
Page: 1 2

Reviews (Current Rating Average: 5 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Tris C left this review about The Anchor

The Anchor dates from the late 15th century but was rebuilt around the 1770s though the exterior appears to be modern, sporting hanging baskets and oriel windows. It also features a raised railed off patio by way of a beer garden, with views out towards the Thames and Cannon Street railway station.
Employed are much in the way of gastro colours with plenty of wood panelling and glass partitions as well as brick fireplaces with some bare brick and nogging along with wooden rafters; windows feature tie-back curtains with artificial light coming from a variety of lamp styles, from Wellington lanterns to sconce lights and downlighters inset into the white Anaglypta ceiling.
Furniture is traditional and eclectic with armchairs, conventional chairs and stools in the bar area, the bar itself appearing to be modern but traditional with a brass footrail and tiled bar apron, punctuated by an ugly ATM, games machines and TVs, combined with prints to the walls. There’s food, but it’s all a bit chicken wings, burgers and fish ‘n’ chips rather than gastro.
Typically very crowded, I've never really taken to this place, with its all things to all people approach to hospitality and tourist trap location. The patio isn't too bad, but there are better riverside pubs outside touristy areas and better pubs south of the river.

On 16th November 2020 - rating: 3
[User has posted 1316 recommendations about 1295 pubs]

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Brainy Pool left this review about The Anchor

it certainly looks the part from outside, but the corporate branding everywhere gives the game away. This is just the pub equivalent of those dreary chain restaurants that dominate this stretch of the Thames. it has probably the best outdoor seating location in London with the view of St Pauls etc so it’s naturally the mother of all tourist traps. It’s nothing special anyway.

On 17th May 2019 - rating: 4
[User has posted 838 recommendations about 813 pubs]

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Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about The Anchor

Still has the Taylor Walker branding outside, but the menus and other printed material inside is all Greene King. Otherwise, little seems to have changed in the split-level interior since my last visit some nine years and two incarnations ago in its Spirit days. However, the service seems to have improved and the beer choice which is (marginally) better - I found 1730, IPA, London Glory, Old Golden Hen and (thankfully) Scary Man from Long Man Brewery from the two banks of four handpumps in the main bars (plus the solitary upstairs example). Great riverside location though, so inevitably very much a tourist trap.

On 5th November 2016 - rating: 6
[User has posted 6620 recommendations about 6620 pubs]

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Blackthorn _ left this review about The Anchor

A large, multi-level pub on the banks of The Thames, it is inevitably something of a tourist trap given it’s location, but does nonetheless manage to maintain a fairly traditional feel to it, and we found it a pleasant enough pit stop on our walk along Southbank. It is also recognisable from one of the Mission Impossible films when Ethan Hunt stopped here for a drink.

The pub is split in to a number of different areas spread over a couple of levels. The central room is probably the cosiest with a low beamed ceiling whilst a much larger and open room to the right had a couple of plasma screens in ornate gilt frames and a disused fire-place. Flooring was predominantly black boards and there was much exposed brickwork, some of it inlaid with black timber. Elsewhere, extensive wood panelling lent something of a hotel drawing room feel to the place and there were numerous old photographs and drawings on the walls.

Beers on tap were 1730, London Glory, Green King IPA and Old Golden Hen, whilst the ciders were Aspall’s Suffolk and Symonds Founders Reserve.

On 26th January 2016 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1771 recommendations about 1701 pubs]

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john gray left this review about The Anchor

Quite a gloomy pub with little traditional sash type windows that restrict the light.Upstairs beer garden/patio.About 4 cask beers on inc my Trumans -Swallow in good nick.The most touristy of the river pubs that I visited.

On 25th September 2015 - rating: 5
[User has posted 940 recommendations about 927 pubs]

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john mcgraw left this review about The Anchor

A refurbished thameside pub that had 4 real ales on with the London Fields Hopster being in fair form. Plenty of drinking areas but unfortunatley is now a tourist trap with tourist prices.

On 21st August 2014 - rating: 4
[User has posted 2044 recommendations about 2025 pubs]

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hondo . left this review about The Anchor

A large multi-level Taylor Walker pub with an outside terrace next to the Thames. Real ale and food served.

On 29th October 2012 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2802 recommendations about 2744 pubs]

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Rex Rattus left this review about The Anchor

This is now branded as a Taylor Walker pub, but the general ambience, including faux chalkboards, makes it pretty obvious that it is part of the Punch Pubco group. This pub still meanders through some smaller, intimate drinking areas before opening up into the big room at the back on the right as you look from the river. On my visit it was festooned with all manner of hallowe’en tat, and the usual games machines and one-armed bandits were present as well. The music wasn’t being played too loudly though. Most people in this area looked to be tourists in there for a bite to eat, so I would have to assume this is a food led pub catering for visitors walking along the Thames. There’s a board outside claiming that Pepys was at this pub watching the Great Fire of London of 1666, just across the river. Of course he did say that he watched the Fire from a little Bankside tavern, and although he didn’t say which one, it could well have been this one. There were a couple of real ales, which for some reason I failed to note, but they were nothing out of the ordinary. This is another pub in this area that has lost a lot of its original character, but nevertheless remains worthy of a visit for the historical connections and riverside setting, but it can become incredibly busy, particularly on a nice day during the tourist season.

On 30th October 2010 - rating: 5
[User has posted 2592 recommendations about 2506 pubs]

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Roger Button left this review about The Anchor

One of London’s most historic pubs and probably one of the most ruined having totally sold out its historic soul to the tourism trade. The story of Samuel Pepys sitting here in 1666 watching his city burn is part of London folklore but any resemblance to the Anchor of Pepys day and the current pub is purely geographical. The original Anchor was part of a large brewery that stood on the site of the current pub but was destroyed by a fire. The current pub is for the most part probably no more than late 18th / early 19th century but recent and numerous changes, extensions and refurbishments have ultimately destroyed most of the intrinsic charm that it undoubtably once had.

The main “Clink” Bar, named after the nearby prison, is a rather featureless bar with just a couple of photos of some prison cells to justify the bar’s name (any puns about prisons and bars are purely unintentional). Steps to the rear lead up to the false wooden floor and a fish and chip shop. Yes, a fish and chip shop. The large bar area to the extended right hand side of the pub could easily have been transplanted from any major chain pubs, very plastic, generic and as far removed from an old riverside tavern as you could imagine. When I was previously here (not that long ago) I sat in what was called the Servery Bar, situated in what was at the time the most unspoilt part of the pub. It was the only place in the pub to escape from the melee of the main bars but even that has now been turned into Dr Johnson’s Tea Room and Coffee Shop which leads me to think that the pub is gradually being converted in its entirety to a tourist visitor complex. The disjointed interior is completed by one small room between the Coffee House and the stairs to the chippy which does not appear to be named but is now probably the only bit that has any character with its old brick fireplace and fading portraits. Upstairs is a separate bar with a roof terrace offering better views across the river than Pepys would have experienced. The riverside location is probably now the best feature with the scenic beer terrace being a pleasant spot on anything that resembles a sunny day.

As for the beers, there were 3 Ales on my last visit, 2 standard (London Pride and Green King IPA) and a guest (Morrisey Fox Blonde Ale). I have always found the quality to be fairly decent and whilst prices are a bit steep, it is not exactly unexpected. I have never had a problem with service although I have always been here during non-peak times and staff have always been pleasant enough. For all its faults, and it is easy to be cynical about the place, it is not necessarily a bad place for a quick pint if you pick the right time and can see through the pretence, but it certainly is not worthy of the historical interest that is sometimes heaped upon it by the guide books.

On 29th December 2009 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1238 recommendations about 1232 pubs]

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Philip Carter left this review about The Anchor

Multi level/bar pub plus an outside seating area overlooking the river. Real ale available. Food served all day. Gets very popular with the tourists and regulars.

On 28th July 2009 - rating: 8
[User has posted 754 recommendations about 717 pubs]

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