Anchor Bankside - My favorite pub in London
Updated: Apr 12, 2018
This pub is the sole survivor of the riverside inns that existed in Shakespeare's time when the south bank of London was the heart of British Theater.
The Anchor Bankside on a very cold and snowy day. A great place to grab a meal and wait out the weather.
“The Anchor Bankside feels like old England...but with better food...and more beer and ale options (and without the cholera).”
I generally find an excuse to visit "The Anchor" every time I visit London. There is something about the old wood panels, creaky floorboards and incredible view of the Thames that leave me feeling like this pub in some way represents London.
I am told by the manager that the pub was once a favorite place for river pirates and smugglers which makes me love the place even more.
Today, I found myself in London on a one day layover from Barcelona to Oakland (March 2, 2018). It was a strange and wonderful day to be in London because the city was being buried under snow (a week that was being dubbed as "Snowmageddon"). I had my day off and wanted to take advantage of my time so I choose to take a "Jubilee Walk" on the south side of the Thames. This is an incredible walk to take if you want to get to know the city because it takes you by many famous sites such as the Globe Theatre, The Tower Bridge, The Clink Prison and so many others.
The only problem was the the snow was so thick and it was so cold that even my gear from Norway was not providing much by way of protection. After passing the Globe Theatre, I found myself in front of The Anchor and decided to duck in and grab lunch.
One of the small challenges with The Anchor is how you place an order. You start by grabbing a table. Each table has a number on it. You then go up to the bar and order your food which is brought out to the table. The challenging part is that, on a busy day, you need a way to hold your table...which if you are alone (like me), can be tough. Luckily there were very few people out to brave the weather and only about a half dozen patrons in the restaurant when I arrived. I picked a great table near the window where I could enjoy the snow falling and place my order.
Steak & Ale Pie...Oh My!
The food at The Anchor is arguably "stick-to-your-ribs" food. Its not a restaurant with a lot of lite menu choices. This is something you need to know going in. It is the type of meal that obliterates the need for the next meal and maybe the one after that.
My wrecking ball of choice is the Steak & Ale Pie. It is what I generally think of when I consider examples of great British food. It is usually served with peas and vegetables and some potato dish. I always ask for the fries which are exceptional at The Anchor.
Twenty minutes later my meal arrived.
The crust is always flakey and cooked to perfection. My favorite part of this particular meal however, was not the food but the storm outside. It felt great to be indoors and still feel connected to the city.
34 Park St, London SE1 9EF, UK
+44 20 7407 1577