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The Dickens Inn, E1

Pub added by Rex Rattus
St Katharine's Way
Phone: 02074882208

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 4 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Strongers . left this review about The Dickens Inn

From the outside the Dickens Inn looks very inviting with three balconied floors covered with green bushes, or flowers depending on what month you visit. At the entrance, steps lead up to a veranda with seating, and below are a couple of decked seating areas. The top two floors are restaurants and function rooms that I’ve never visited. The ground floor consists of two bars, a long one to the left and a smaller L-shaped one to the right. The bar counters run across the rear wall and seating runs across the front windows. This pub is designed for the hoards so most of the space is standing room. Thankfully, it was only just starting to fill up during my midweek afternoon visit so I was able to have a look around the dark wood and exposed brick interior of this former warehouse. The right hand bar was open, but there was only service in the left hand bar. I counted six hand pumps, five of which were in operation drawing two ales from Sambrook’s, Sharps’ Doom Bar and 2x Greene King IPA. Premium and craft keg was also available at tourist prices. I went for half a Wandle which was flat. I’ve never liked this place, and after a hiatus of over twenty years I still don’t.

On 19th March 2023 - rating: 3
[User has posted 5329 recommendations about 5297 pubs]

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Will Larter left this review about The Dickens Inn

A large, impressive building dominating St Katherine's Dock - what a pity it's such an awful pub. I was here just after opening time and there weren't many customers. Not much beer, either, with just two hand pumps active and several unused ones obscured by junk on the bar counter. Doom Bar and Greene King IPA, and my half of the latter was banana-ish and unpleasant. Perhaps they think that's what real ale is meant to taste like? Very disappointing - this could be so much better with a little effort.

Date of visit: 9th February 2022

On 9th August 2022 - rating: 2
[User has posted 3839 recommendations about 3562 pubs]

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Moby Duck left this review about The Dickens Inn

An elevated barn-like tourist hell hole complete with high vised security men strutting around inside and out. Six handpumps covering three beers, Sambrooks Wandle and Pumphouse Pale along with GK IPA. won't be back.

On 12th June 2022 - rating: 3
[User has posted 1919 recommendations about 1892 pubs]

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Bucking Fastard left this review about The Dickens Inn

Created in 1976 from a former warehouse,the interior is accurately described by PSM below,but despite lots of heavy timber beams and a stone and wood floor ,it appears very faux and has a transient customer base of tourists who may well get ripped off judging by an advert for the "Best Burgers in London,£15.99".There was a long queue at the bar with the staff overworked ,while the overflow bar to the right of the building was not functional.Folk spill out into the sunked beer terrace but this closes at 9.30pm ,so that the owners of the luxury vessels moored in the dock don't get disturbed by revellers.
The first floor is a pizzeria,while the top floor is a grill room,pub grub from corporate menus is available elsewhere.The two ranks of three handfpumps are at either end of the bar,so drift along if you want to see the full range which on my trip was St Austell Tribute,Doom Bar,GK IPA,London Pride,The Dickens Ale (provenance unknown,beware) and GK Scrumdown (tangy ,awful).
With that ale line up,I'm going to keep well clear in future,this place has few redeeming features.

On 25th March 2019 - rating: 5
[User has posted 2775 recommendations about 2775 pubs]

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Pub SignMan left this review about The Dickens Inn

This is a very big pub set across numerous floors in a former warehouse building on St Katherine’s Docks. The building has been cleverly reworked to make the building look a bit like an old galleried inn, when viewed from the front at least, and is quite a sight on approach. Inside, you find yourself in a large, stone-floored main bar area, which has a long servery along the back wall. Seating here was mostly confined to the far left end of the room, with a few more options along the front wall and plenty of standing room opposite the bar. The room felt very empty, even with all tables occupied, and the place felt very cold and unappealing as a result. Much preferable was the right hand room, where a large seating area can be found, with lots of regular and high stool seating filling the room, which is segregated into a few vaguely demarcated areas. There are some nice old pictures of the docks on the walls here and some tables had decent views out to the docks outside. There are two more floors, each offering different menus and dining/drinking experiences, including a grill on one floor and a pizzeria on another, neither of which we bothered to visit. The bar has its own typical pub grub menu, but prices were very steep and we must be the only people in history to go to Shoreditch in order to find a cheaper food option!
There are plenty of handpulls on the bar, some doubled up, but still offering a fairly wide range between them, with Fullers London Pride, Sharps Doom Bar, Greene King IPA, St Austell Tribute and Hardy & Hanson Rocking Rudolph all available on our pre-Christmas visit. The Tribute was pretty decent and the barman serving us was friendly enough, if perhaps not the most competent I’ve ever encountered.
This seems to be the only traditional pub in St Katherine’s Dock and is therefore somewhere worth knowing about if you happen to be visiting the area. I can’t say the place really grabbed me, but it does have the advantage of a reasonable ale range and at least one pleasant room in which to enjoy your drinks. I won’t be rushing back here, but it does the job and could’ve been a lot worse.

On 24th January 2019 - rating: 6
[User has posted 3150 recommendations about 3150 pubs]

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Graham Coombs left this review about The Dickens Inn

As described below, large reconstructed warehouse in middle of historic docks which is now a twee marina. Pleasant enough on a quiet afternoon if you happen to be there, but there are much better pubs around.

On 13th November 2017 - rating: 5
[User has posted 3353 recommendations about 3290 pubs]

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Tris C left this review about The Dickens Inn

A former warehouse indeed, moved 70-odd yards to its current position and opened in 1976. Essentially, it's two floors of dining (grill and pizzeria) with the first floor acting as a pub with food served until 6.00 pm. St. Katharine Docks - note correct spelling ;-) - was in part constructed by Thomas Telford, subjected to substantial bombing in World War II and then remodelled, not always sympathetically, in the 1980s.
I've only been here a couple of times before, the last time being the best part of 20 years ago. Unsurprisingly it hasn't changed except that the sports TVs are now wider and slimmer.
Inside it's...well...all wood. Even the glasses are turned on a lathe from wood. Ok, I made that bit up but you get the picture. Up a short flight of wooden steps, past the open gallery and bouncer and into the substantial exposed brick interior, essentially open plan; the long bar is at the rear, in front of which are high and low tables, chairs and drinking shelves made of...
The clients in here seem to be mainly tourists or young men in tight T-shirts, held together by hair gel and scantily-clad women; it's a bit loud inside, even for a Thursday evening made more so as the bouncers were herding in the terrace's drinkers due to noise restraints.
Service was pleasantly swift but the barman was clueless, failing at first to comprehend the concept of a *half pint*.
Ales: Fuller's London Pride, Greene King's IPA and St. Austell's Tribute at a thumping £2.80 a half and fine - nothing more.
It's almost worth coming here out of curiosity on the way to do a crawl of E1's pubs, not least because it's en route for The Town of Ramsgate, Turner's Old Star, et al. Otherwise the underwhelming experience, poor ale choice and obscene prices will probably rule it out of the discerning pub-goer's itinerary.

On 4th September 2017 - rating: 3
[User has posted 2032 recommendations about 1997 pubs]

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

Interesting-looking building, formerly a warehouse dating from the 18th century, which was moved a short distance and reconstructed in the 1970s. Very busy on a hot Wednesday evening, with all the outside seating areas full. The historic interior of the 'tavern' (all old wood) was much quieter, though, to the extent that it felt rather cavernous. Restaurants on the first and second floors, both with extensive balconies right along the main façade. Let down by a rather pedestrian beer offering, with just Pride, Tribute and the 'house' Dickens Ale available on handpump. Post-visit note: I was slightly surprised to find out that this place is run by Select Service Partner, the people who run the franchised food and drink outlets at many mainline railway stations and certain airports.

On 10th September 2016 - rating: 6
[User has posted 8164 recommendations about 8164 pubs]

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Rex Rattus left this review about The Dickens Inn

This is a large pub and restaurant occupying what looks to be an old warehouse in St Katharine Dock. The ales on were Old Speckled Hen, Adnam’s Bitter, and London Pride. The latter was £3.20 a pint, which is the sort of price you expect to pay in an area like this. This bar & restaurant looks good from the outside with plenty of foliage on all levels contrasting nicely with all the exposed beams. According to the board outside, the ground floor is a tavern; the first floor is the pizza restaurant; and the second floor is the grill. I only bothered with the ground floor – “tavern” is stretching it a bit; it might be one in America, but here it is a very large drinking barn. There was the usual sort of piped music, some TV monitors that were muted during my lunchtime visit, a games machine, and although I didn’t spot a one armed bandit I have little doubt that there was one lurking somewhere, plus terraces on each level for al fresco drinking and dining. The large amount of genuinely very old wood gives it a fair amount of character. Its floor is bare boarded of course, with some sofas, high tables and stools, settles, normal tables and chairs, and plenty of heavy duty wooden tables. Being located where it is, it is inevitably something of a tourist trap – but it is a fairly good one, with an excellent spot right by the water in the dock.
It’s not the sort of place where I would make a special effort to visit, but if you find yourself in St Katharine Dock, as many people do, it does provide somewhere where you can get a reasonably decent pint to drink.

On 1st March 2010 - rating: 5
[User has posted 2606 recommendations about 2520 pubs]