This was the last stop on the best pub crawl we have ever had. We had seen some of the oldest and finest pubs in London. What better place to end this at the pub that Charles Dickens has immortalized. He stood on the tables singing to the customers as a child, and based “Six Jolly Fellowship Porters” pub in “Our Mutual Friend” – regarded as one of his most sophisticated works.
The Grapes was built in 1720 and Dickens described it as “‘a tavern of dropsical appearance… long settled down into a state of hale infirmity…’ with ‘corpulent windows in diminishing piles’”. There are also other stories of harsh reality. Drunks were taken from the pub, drowned in the river, and then selling the corpses for medical dissection. But enough of the history!
This is not the situation today. The Grapes is a friendly and inviting pub. We entered and there were a huge white “some kind of polar dog” lying at his masters’ feet. That was the last I saw of my wife in that pub, she befriended this four leg creature and took it to her heart. The master of the dog was sitting reading his daily paper and enjoying an Ale. There was also a water bowl for dogs at the door.
The front of the bar has wooden chairs and tables, with Dickensian prints and memorabilia on the walls. The back bar has a nice open fireplace. There is a solid bare wooden floor and wood paneling. From the back bar you can go out on a terrace/platform with an excellent view of the Thames. An excellent place to get to see the sunset and meet new people!
The kitchen had just closed when we were there, but has a good reputation for fish and seafood, and prompt service.
The atmosphere was very good. Definitely with the “pub x-factor”. Friendly service, and a good mix of customers. We will definitely come back!
You find The Grapes here.
Today’s Beer Quote:
“A fine beer may be judged with only one sip, but it’s better to be thoroughly sure.”