A Pub Tour

I mentioned earlier this week that I went on a pub tour last Friday night. Isobel, the tour guide, is one of my favorite guides in London and I’ve gone on many walks with her and have never been disappointed. We started out at Blackfriars Tube stop for a quick introduction and then crossed the Thames to make our way to our first pub stop. What I liked most about this tour was that it wasn’t just about pubs. Isobel included history on some of the landmarks, the river, and many other things. Most of you know that I’m a history nerd. And to go on a walk that includes pubs and history, well, I was in heaven.

The first pub was the Founders Arms, located on the banks of the river near the Millennium Bridge and the Tate Modern Gallery. The weather on this night was fantastic so we didn’t spend much time inside the pub. The Better Half ordered our drinks while I took in the views on the patio overlooking St. Paul’s and the City. I sampled Young’s Waggle Dance honey ale. It hit the spot on a warm summer evening. Some of you may be wondering about the name. The Waggle Dance is the name of the movement bees make to alert the hive about nearby nectar. Back to the pub, I hear they have blankets and outside heaters for people to enjoy the views all year round. And you won’t want to miss the sights. 

The next pub along the river was The Anchor. In 1676 this pub was rebuilt after a fire destroyed the previous one. Over the years, there have been additions to the pub so when you wander through there is a network of peculiar beamed rooms. They named one of the rooms after Samuel Johnson, the writer and lexicographer, who regularly frequented the pub. Also Samuel Pepys watched some of the destruction of the Great Fire of London in 1666 from this pub.

The pub is near Shakespeare’s Globe. When Sam Wanamaker, an American actor, director, and producer, first came to London he was shocked that there wasn’t a trace of the original Globe Theater. He decided something should be done about that and started to raise money to reconstruct the Globe. And The Anchor pub is nearby. Wanamaker would take potential investors to the pub to discuss the project. I know I spend more than I intend to when I have a beer or two.

Once again, I spent more time outside of this pub sipping a cider they had on tap. The weather was just too glorious to stay indoors.

On the rest of the tour, Isobel introduced several more pubs and we wandered through the Borough Market area. When we stopped at the last pub on the tour, it was around nine and this place was packed. We opted to find a different one that wasn’t so crowded so we could sit and enjoy a drink before heading home. That review will be out soon. Trust me, the pub is fantastic! 

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American living in England. When she isn’t writing, she’s traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs, or reading. Not necessarily in that order.
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43 Responses to A Pub Tour

  1. Sounds like a lot of fun! What I want to know is could you still walk a straight line by the time you were done or did the Better Half have to carry you home LOL :).

    • TBM says:

      I stuck with half pints. And I didn’t have a headache the following morning.

    • Oh, you just reminded me of the time we were on a ride that malfunctioned, and they couldn’t get it to turn off. It was one that swung back and forth and then swung right over, and the operators were throwing themselves against the cars trying to get them to stop. After that much nonstop swinging back and forth, both Bryan and I were feeling soooo sick! It was nasty. I think he puked right on the grass near the ride LOL!

      • TBM says:

        Oh that sounds horrible. I would have been puking while on the ride and not making any friends.

      • Bahaha!! Because the ride is circular, you are actually facing other people, and I always wondered what would happen if someone tossed their cookies. Hopefully the rotation would cause it to be flung away from the people opposite. LOL!!

      • TBM says:

        Not sure and I don’t want to find out firsthand. You love research. I dare you

  2. Vishy says:

    Nice pub reviews and beautiful pictures, TBM! I learnt a new phrase today – ‘waggle dance’ 🙂 Looking forward to reading part 2!

    • TBM says:

      I want to go back to that one pub and get more photos. Since it was the last stop of the night and I was enjoying good company I didn’t take many shots. Good thing I have other pub reviews waiting to be written 🙂

  3. poppytump says:

    Nice one TBM . Yes I too have enjoyed a beverage in the Anchor some years ago 😉

  4. acvhub says:

    Made me fancy a pint now 🙂 good job its friday.

  5. Beth Ann says:

    Oh wow—I love those reviews and pictures!! You definitely did the pub tour right!!! Looks like great times!!! Will love to read part 2!

  6. restlessjo says:

    I do like a gentle pub crawl with a little history thrown in. I’m always astounded at how many walking tours are available in London. 🙂

  7. frizztext says:

    “Founders Arms” gives a great panorama view, right?

  8. niasunset says:

    I wantttttt toooo beee there now 🙂 Today is my birthday, why no one take me to my beautiful England! Thank you dear TBM, but you have did this with these photographs. I missed UK. Have a nice weekend, love, nia

  9. nrlymrtl says:

    I read a fair number of historical fictions a year and some of those are set in England. And I want to say that I read something within the past 2 years that featured The Anchor – perhaps Tracy Chevalier. Still, it is very cool to see these pictures and have this context for the next time I bump into a pub in a book.

    • TBM says:

      That’s funny. Now when I wander through London I recognize street and neighborhood names mentioned in all of the Dickens novels I read last year. I should pay closer attention to pub names in my readings.

  10. Ooh I enjoyed that as we often stop in these two when Big Man and I walk from Waterloo to Tower Bridge 🙂

  11. Frank says:

    What a fun evening involving beer, learning, and more beer.

  12. My husband would have loved to sample those beers. The Husband visited London when he was 22 with his little brother and they of course loved the pubs and beer. He still loves stout and porters. How special to have Isobel as a guide. Such a nice collage of pictures! Beautiful interesting buildings TBM. I once puked on the Tilt-a Whirl while with my father. It wasn’t pretty.

    • TBM says:

      When I was a kid I could go on rides, but now I even get sick on kiddie rides. I think my roller coaster days are over. Isobel is a wonderful guide–she knows so much!

  13. T.F.Walsh says:

    Wow…what a very cool place. I want to visit too:)

  14. Novroz says:

    Have you ever seen Shaun of The Dead? I would live to review of the pub in Shaun of the Dead 😉

  15. Wow, what views! I love all the history over there.

  16. That deck at the Founders Arms looks terrific. I can imagine having a nice pint and watching the river traffic from that deck. My kind of place!

  17. Fergiemoto says:

    Wow, a pub tour!! What an awesome adventure.
    During my first trip to Portland Oregon, I went on a micro brew tour with a group. I wasn’t a beer drinker then, and didn’t think much of it. Now, though, I would enjoy it more, but I still can’t do the bitter beers like my hubby enjoys.

    • TBM says:

      I really didn’t like wine or beer until I started doing tours at breweries or wineries. Now I appreciate all the work and the flavors. A micro brew tour in Portland sounds enticing. Maybe I should plan a trip 😉

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