The Anchor Bankside pub ★★☆
Favorite Southwark pub filled with cozy snugs and literary associations just a block from Shakespeare's Globe
Among my favorite pubs south of the Thames is The Anchor Bankside.
The present pub dates from the 1660s and 1770s, but a pub has been at this location since medieval times.
This is where Shakespeare got sloshed, Dickens Drank, and Samuel Pepys sat and watched the Great Fire of 1666 consume the City of London across the river (and wrote about it in his famous diary).
In the late 1990s, new owners had the temerity, shamelessness, and utter lack of style to modernize the main bar in the pub (how they got around various antiquities protection laws is beyond me), but thankfully in 2008 new-new owners refursbished most of that away—as best they could; at least it's now back to an all-wood look.
Most of the other little bars and snugs creating this multi-level maze of a pub remain—some of them named for famous patrons, including Dr. Johnson, who found fortification here to write his famed dictionary (much of which was penned whilst sitting here with a pint or two... or four).
The pub grub is modern travern fare—hot sandwiches, burgers, bangers and mash, decent fish & chips. Not the cheapest, but pretty good, with most dishes £7–£15.
There is also outdoor seating on a brick terrace by the Thames, and a new rooftop terrace.Anchor Bankside Tours
These might include Anchor BanksideMore tours
- Ales and Pubs: Sipping the history of British beer - Pubs and beer are a symbol of British society and tradition as much as tea and cakes and fish and chips . But beyond the well-known , and often stereotypical beliefs, do you know what lies behind the tradition of beer and public houses? This three-hour tour will give you a new perspective and appreciation of beer as you enjoy ample tastings at various pubs and breweries located in the East End London area. Led by a trained food anthropologist with expertise in the beer and brewing industry, we’ll focus on the history of brewing in London, highlighting beer’s evolution from a dietary staple, to the almost lost tradition of cask ales, to today’s renaissance of craft beer and brewing...Partner
- Traditional British Ale and Food Tasting Evening in London - Sample some of the fine food and beer for which Britain is famous on this 2-hour British ale and food tasting evening in London. Taste six ales with your host, hear about the brewing process and learn how to pull a pint. Enjoy dishes such as steak and ale pie, fish and chips and wild boar burgers, and see how the beers and food complement one another...Partner
- Private Tour of London's Historic Pubs - Arrange your private pub tour and let the charismatic pub tour leader take care of the rest! The tour normally starts around 3pm. Your guide is an expert on the London pub scene, beer and alcohol history as well as local architecture and British customs (having written books on all five subjects). The guide is a former Beer Sommeliers of the Year and makes regular appearances on British television and radio to discuss the subject...Partner
- Historical Pub Walking Tour of London - Discover ancient ale houses and literary drinking dens on a 3-hour afternoon pub tour of London! Centered on the area in and around the City of London, the tour visits at least four of London’s finest historical pubs, your guide will recommend different ales in each (not included). Hear the history of the pubs, learn the differences between Elizabethan coaching inns and Victorian gin palaces, and visit the watering holes frequented by legendary British novelist Charles Dickens...Partner
- Pub Tour of London's West End: Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden and Soho - Check out London’s best ale houses on a 4-hour historical pub tour of the West End! Led by a friendly local guide, your tour includes visits to five traditional pubs with beer samples in each. Visit locals’ favorites at Trafalgar Square, Soho and Seven Dials – the epicenter of London’s theater scene -- and discover atmospheric pubs down blink-and-you'll-miss-it alleyways near Covent Garden. Hear the history and culture of beer in England, get tips on London's pub scene and enjoy drinking like a local...Partner
- Greenwich Pub Tour in London - The tour starts at 6pm at the Sir Walter Raleigh statue in Greenwich. At each of the four lovely pubs on the tour, stop to flavor the ambiance and to enjoy a complimentary half pint of beer/ale as well. One of the pubs on the tour is the famous Trafalgar Tavern, on the River Thames. It is not the only riverside pub on the tour, but it has a fantastic location with outside patio. On tap are some wonderful ales from Cornwall and elsewhere in the U.K. The remainder of the evening is spent at the other three charming pubs on the tour...Partner
- Haunted London Pub Walking Tour - Discover murder most foul, the address of Sweeney Todd, public executions gone wrong, poltergeists, witch hunts, grave robbers and Harry Potter. Hear of England's worst serial killer and end the evening in the spine chilling cells of a Victorian prison. There is also plenty of opportunity on route to calm your nerves and pluck up a little Dutch courage...Partner
- Historic London Pub Tour - Discover London’s oldest drinking establishments as you explore the winding streets and back alleys of the historic city centre. Visit where Dylan Thomas drunkenly misplaced his manuscripts, learn how Victorians fed their gin cravings and stand in the secret alleyways where one of England’s most notorious poets faced a duel. Learn about London’s seedy drink-obsessed past, whilst taking in the splendor of modern day London and sensing the ghosts of yesteryear at some of the city’s top landmarks. This tour promises drama, intrigue and a good glug of history, before you relax in one of Charles Dickens’ regular watering holes with the world’s favorite drink (half pint included)...Partner
Also in Reid's List: London Dining:
- Wagamama★★★| ££
- Rules Restaurant★★★| £££
- Chor Bizarre★★★| £££
- The George Inn pub★★☆| ££
- The Spaniards Inn pub★★☆| ££
- Belgo Centraal★★☆| £
- Fox & Anchor Pub★★☆| ££
- The Ivy★★☆| £££
- Gay Hussar★★☆| £££
- Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese★★☆| ££