Type: Pub, Pub Crawl
The Grapes may only be a short distance from the financial towers of Canary Wharf, but it feels a world away. This historic pub, with its draped ivy and etched glass exteriors, has been here for... Read More
The Grapes may only be a short distance from the financial towers of Canary Wharf, but it feels a world away. This historic pub, with its draped ivy and etched glass exteriors, has been here for nearly 500 years. It was even frequented by Charles Dickens; there's a complete set of his works in the back parlour if you want to look up the reference to the pub in Our Mutual Friend. This was the working class tavern for the dockers, surviving the bombing of the Limehouse Basin, and to this day still caters to the largely well-heeled local crowd. Shakespearean actor Sir Ian McKellen and his friend and collaborator, director Sean Mathias, bought it up in 2011, and have kept its cheerful, old world feel, with wood paneling, burgundy walls and many oil paintings, though they've cleaned it up in the corners. Cosy up in the Dickens Snug (he was reputed to have danced on the tables here), and admire the sweeping view of the Thames, or head to the upstairs dining room for a roast dinner.
- East London's Best Historic Pubs: "Thanks to its theatrical connections, you may well spot the likes of Rupert Everett, Patrick Stewart, Sting or landlord Sir Ian McKellen himself having a pint here."
- Best for East London's Best Historic Pubs Because: One of the oldest pubs in London, Charles Dickens was a regular, even referencing it in his novel, 'Our Mutual Friend.'