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The Anchor Pub

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by Peter Apps (subscribe)
An East London based journalist, seeking to describe some of my favourite parts of the city. Find me on twitter @peterdapps.
Published July 30th 2012
A favourite London pub since the days of Shakespeare
Image by Ewan Munro - Wikimedia Commons
Samuel Pepys and Shakespeare's old local

It's not everyday you get to sit down over a pint in a pub steeped in so much history as The Anchor.

Located on the South Bank, a short and enjoyable walk through Borough Market from London Bridge station, this pub has been a fixture on Bankside since the days of Shakespeare.

In the 16th century, when the Globe was in its prime, and the South Bank was the centre of London's theatre district, this pub was a hang out for actors, and possibly even the Bard himself.

In 1666, Samuel Pepys took shelter in this 'little alehouse' as he watched the flames of the great fire of London engulf the city north of the river.

Later the pub was a hideout for pirates and smugglers, and secret rooms where they stored contraband now form upstairs bars.

In 2008, the pub was extensively refurbished by current owners Punch Taverns and has lost some of its antique charm. However, its oak interior and odd little rooms mean it is still a pub with a great deal of character.

Outside a chunk of the river path makes a large beer garden, providing the perfect spot for a drink on a summer's afternoon with breath taking views across the river.

An upstairs roof terrace is also a nice spot.

The pub serves a range of beers, wines and spirits, including a few ales on tap. There is a menu of average and reasonably priced pub food.

A problem is the lack of actual bar space, which means queues on a busy night will be excessive, perhaps a problem not anticipated by Tudor architects.

But for the history of the place, and a great pint on the riverbank, it is generally worth the wait.
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Why? Enjoy a scenic pint at the local pub of Samuel Pepys and Shakespearean actors.
When: Open seven days a week, last orders called between 11 and midnight
Phone: 020 7407 1577
Where: Bankside, 34 Park Street, South Bank, London, SE1 9EF
Cost: Drinks prices are high, but not extreme for this part of London. 3.50 (av.) for a pint or a small glass of wine.
Your Comment
I went to this pub on s visit to London with my daughter's on Mon 24th feb just a fee days ago a lovely pub so much history and would like to know more
by sarah (score: 0|2) 2674 days ago
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