234 Park Street (entrance on corner of Bankside & Bank End), South Bank, London, SE1 9EF, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)2034 118 029
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Mon-Wed 11am-11pm; Thu-Sat 11am-midnight; Sun noon-11pm
Door: Open door
Style: Pub traditional
Recommended for: Historic interest
Price guide: Middling
Food: Full menu
Owned by: Taylor-Walker
Location and a richly historic building sadly does not equal a great pub. Indeed it's embarrassing for a Londoner to encounter a tourist in this most touristy of locations as you witness them experiencing what they believe is a good example of a traditional English pub. Sadly, all The Anchor has going for it is its history and Thames-side location.
The Anchor boasts five bars, a minstrels' gallery, a private 18th century dining room, a riverside terrace with picnic tables, a garden terrace and a restaurant.
Dr Johnson often supped here with his good friend Mrs Thrale whose husband owned it and the brewery next door. It became a sort of Groucho Club with Oliver Goldsmith, David Garrick and Edmund Burke holding court. Sam Wanamaker often ate here while his wonderful Globe was taking shape nearby. He favoured table 7 by the window.
A roped off front bar, even on a Saturday night, shepherds guests to a tragically badly merchandised and chaotic bar. Location makes this place a cash cow so poor management and service is able to thrive. You'll find 4 ales on hand pump with London Pride, surly a better bet than the poor wine offering. Best avoided.