This Thameside patio in sight of St Paul’s dome is perhaps the most agreeable (and popular) spot in London at which to sit with a fresh-pulled pint. There’s been a tavern here at least since the 1500s, when Londoners ferried to Southwark for bear baiting, gardens, brothels, and Shakespeare (the playwright surely would have known the place). Diarist and royal confidant Samuel Pepys is said to have watched London burn to the ground from the safety of this shore in 1666. The industrial Anchor brewery that subsumed it for 200 years was cleared away in the 1980s, and a spacious (but always crowded) riverside terrace was added. Beer snobs kvetch that it’s become a tourist draw, but that’s all right with me; pubs have always been hangouts for the common man. Few pubs so perfectly meld abundant history with an enviable location.
The Anchor Bankside
34 Park St., SE1
Our Rating Neighborhood Southwark Hours Mon–Wed 11am–11pm; Thurs–Sun 11am–11:30pm; Sun noon–10:30pm; food served until 10pm (Mon–Sat), 9:30pm (Sun) Transportation Tube: London Bridge Cuisine Type Pub Web site The Anchor Bankside
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