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!