If I could award 6* then the Grapes would get them. This is a Pub for all seasons, creeds and styles. It's rare indeed to come to place where you instantly feel at home, this is one of those places, for regulars and drop-ins alike.
The Grapes fits me like a glove (Yes, it's that small!!) and I have had many happy nights here, eating and drinking with family and friends and bantering away with other kindly souls who have chanced by. It is almost as though stepping through the door wipes away any woes you may have had and leaves you chillaxed to the max.
There is nothing they could add here as it is already perfectly balanced with classic interior, cosy bar, great ambiance and a riverside patio at the back. Head up the rickety stairs to a superb restaurant with views across the Thames. Try their Fish & Chips, not even Toffs of Muswell Hill can match them, I kid you not!
Out of all the pubs in this neck of the woods The Grapes is the pick of the bunch for me.
for all you Hobbits out there ....this where Gandalf (Ian McKellen) gets his magic refills so don't be surprised if you should bump into him or Merry, Pippin or Samwise at the bar
My friend Matt is a hard man to please. So when he suggested that we came to The Grapes for a business lunch I knew that I was in for something special. And not even an Ian McKellen in sight.
Truly a traditional London pub, they served a great array of ales and beers as well as a fully stocked array of liquor. However, on this occasion we both went for the delicious Fentiman's Ginger Beer!
All of the staff members here (and the place was very well staffed) were friendly, engaging and efficient in their tasks.
So then, on to the food. Firstly, it was heartwarming to see many people of senior citizen age coming in to eat the special of the day, which on this occasion was a Spaghetti Bolognese for the mere price of £5. It looked great and especially nice to see the chance for most probably lonely older people having the occasion to socialise and get quality food within their pension budget. However, I broke the budget at £8.95 and opted for the fish and chips.
Now then. When friends recommend particular dishes in restaurants to me I have to listen. However, I am a hard man to please when it comes to fish and chips. there are many great fish and chip shops and restaurants across London which I would include The Golden Hind and my personal favourite Nautilus in West Hampstead at the top of the list, but The Grapes most definitely hold its own against the best in town. It was served with decent enough mushy peas are nice old wedge of lemon. However, they did fall down on the quality of the chips that they provided. They were the type that had that fluffy flour mixed centre to them as well as some kind of salted/MSG flavouring to the exterior. When I have quality fish and chips I really do expect sliced potato that has been fried to perfection. This is the only area that they did not deliver on.
So despite Matt's recommendation for me to have the fish and chips, he opted for the beef burger. His meal looked tremendous with a plump, juicy beef patty that positively oozed deliciousness.
I was very impressed with my 1st visit here and will definitely return for more.
A lovely old narrow listed pub serving good real ale and (it was unanimous among those who indulged) delicious fish and chips (which you can get downstairs, or in the restaurant bit on the 1st floor)
The pub dates back to 1720, so more than 250 years older than most of the ugliness nearby! Hard to believe you are a stone's throw from Canary Wharf here, in what was originally a working class kind of place (although Dickens came here...come to think about it his name crops up when mentioning most of the pubs in this part of London! Boozehound)
Also has a prime waterside location that is to be envied in summer, particularly if the no kids rule is strictly enforced!
A wonderful pub, tucked away near Limehouse, it's very cosy, has personality and atmosphere, and is quite what you'd imagine a classic pub to be like. I like the downstairs area, but it's quite small and always crowded, perhaps because it's owned by Gandalf himself (there's a small Gandalf statue in the window. Courtesy of Sir Ian McKellen?)
The upstairs is lovely and cosy as well and you NEED reservations. I went there for lunch and it was a proper English meal, excellently prepared and very good. The atmosphere was also excellent and all in all, we spent a very happy rainy afternoon there. I would definitely recommend and I want to go again!
Charming pub. Get thee to the deck in the back. You will get a lovely view of the Thames, up close and personal. There's no other place like it.
This is a perfect pub. In every way it makes me happy and fills me with the joy that no other country does a drinking establishment quite as well as we do. It has all you could ask for, decent ales, nice wines, a fabulous fish restaurant, a sun deck looking out onto the Thames, a fireplace roaring in winter...
Wow, I like it so much I think I might just move in! One of the oldest pubs in London, it's squeezed in between the canal and the river making it a perfect spot to stop during a cycle ride.
I came on a Sunday afternoon and it was surprisingly unbusy, perfect for grabing a seat on the deck and watching the world go by. It's also good to note that they are dog friendly.
I almost hate to advertise that this pub is the best. It's everything a great pub should be, cozy, authentic, with efficient service. The food is as it should be - perfectly cooked, authentic british pub fare at very reasonable prices. Sunday roast? Amazing!
They're not trying to be anything they're not - unpretentious, great service. We just can't get enough of this local establishment.
I love this Pub. It's tiny but it's traditional, you feel like you've been taken back in time. Inside its all original old wood paneling, which is a refreshing change from the nearby glass and steel of canary wharf.
They do a great Sunday roast, but I have never eaten upstairs in the restaurant which specialises in fresh fish. I hear that its very good though.
I was brought here by a friend on my birthday when I was feeling rather morose and not in the mood for dedicated company. It was really lovely. His selling point (albeit not a hard sell) was that this pub was one of Dickens' favourites, and, indeed, the walls of this narrow pub - somewhat ironic, considering it is in a rather wide stretch of Narrow Street - are adorned with more than a couple of references to this heritage. I learned in reading in a book (the London Gazetteer, if I recall correctly) that Dickens was forced by his mother to sing on the tables as a child. With this in mind it's remarkable that he ever wanted to return...
Dickens aside, it can rest easily on its own merits. It is simply a delightful historic pub, servicing both Limehouse (comfortable with a seedy history) and Canary Wharf (corporate with a tragic history) without pretension or kitsch value.
That said it is often quite busy, especially 'after work', Sunday's being an odd - and welcome - exception, when locals sit at tables together playing Scrabble and doing crosswords.
Expect dogs on the floor, locals at the bar, dates and mates at tables.
And oddly, from what I can tell, the bar staff speaks almost exclusively with American accents. Surely Dickens would have been amused.
I was fortunate enough to live in Narrow Street for 1 whole year until my rent budget sadly decreased and so I was forced to leave the gorgeousness of this E14 post code. I know I sound like a snob (I'm really not) but this an amazing part of London that not many are aware of.
The Grapes is a beautiful little pub on Narrow Street that is tiny but cosy and comfortable. It is the sort of pub that you could come in on your own and not feel like a loser. The staff are incredibly friendly and tend to know everyone and you can get some amazing food here - there is a restaurant upstairs which specialises in fish and has won many awards. If you can get a table which overlooks the river you will definitely fall in love with the place but you must book ahead as the pub is extremely popular.
There is a timeless charm about The Grapes which almost makes you feel like you have gone back in time. Oh and Sir Ian McKellen (who I still only refer to as Gandalf) often drinks in here. Not many people can say that they have had a pint with Gandalf!
We'd been walking for hours and just when our energy levels began to plummet, this gem of a pub appeared to us and we eagerly went inside to refuel with a pint of ale!
The beauty of this pub - in my opinion - is twofold: one, the amazing views over the river Thames as well as the narrow wooden interior, make you actually think that you're inside a pirate ship. Two, the patrons of this pub were a good mix of locals - who hung out at the bar and chit-chatted with the bar staff - and people like us - who seemed to have discovered this place by accident and enjoyed its cozy and low-key atmosphere.
I also had a peek upstairs, where they feature a very nice restaurant, with stunning views of the boats roaming by at a dangerously close distance. Judging by the stickers outside the pub, the restaurant seems to be well-know and I made a quick mental bookmark to return for a classic Sunday roast one day...
What a fantastic pub situated on the river! I fancied a beverage on a Friday evening and walked over from Canary Wharf to start the night off in proper fashion. This narrow institution is located on Narrow St. tucked away in a nondescript area. What a fine place to enjoy beverages and good company with the locals! The bartender was efficient and helpful, and while I didn't sample the menu, it looked good enough for a pub only 12 feet wide. I met a couple of dames, ( they were instructors from the local art college), who were a hoot and a pleasure to chat with.
All in all, this is a place that you go to for good beverages and excellent company and I will visit again when I'm back in London.
I'm hugely fond of 'the local pub'. I've heard great things about this place from friends in the area, and they're not wrong. This is a blindin' pub.
What do I like? The selection of ale, the rickity tables, the friendly staff (who are lovely even when they shout at you for taking your drinks outside), the food is FANTASTIC. The sign in the ladies loos (see pics attached)... everything. This is an awesome little local pub and you could happily live here.
It's not even very expensive - Landlord l is on at £3.10. I want to come back here and try the whole menu, drink all the beer, give myself happy Grapey hangovers. I here there's even a little terrace out back. I imagine if I ever get a seat out there, I'll never ever leave.
Just because something small, there's no reason why it can't be lovely. The Grapes may not be as large or brash as other pubs but it's a distinctly cozy and tight affair (fittingly it resides on Narrow Street) that creates an atmosphere where leaving is a wrench.
The main bar is small and wooden, and there's a small area overlooking the river, plus a restaurant up some narrow, rickety stairs. It's the kind of pub your dad might declare "They don't make 'em like this any more."
There's an excellent selection of real ales while the fish and chips we had at lunchtime was delicious. Unlike many pub fish and chips, this was lightly battered so as not to overwhelm the freshness of the fish. The chips were nice and chunky and the tartare sauce was delicious.
A cracking little out-of-the-way treat that may well be worth five stars, but I'd need to pay a few more visits to definitely be sure. It won't be a hardship finding out.
The Grapes is a pub and restaurant specialising in fish, but it serves a killer roast at Sunday lunchtime. The cosy, historic building has a charming character and was once a favourite of Charles Dickens.
Food-wise, the portions are generous, tasty and fresh. Fish with a light butter sauce sounds basic but the chefs know how to bring out its sublime flavour. Expect to pay £30+ a head on weekday evenings and the roast is £8.95, as mentioned by another reviewer.
Weekend service has always been an absolute pleasure with friendly, knowledgeable young staff. However, last week (on a weekday evening) I was greeted by an imposing woman who literally uttered the words Christ, another service as my girlfriend and I walked in. She was flustered and annoyingly self-important, and I overheard her criticising another diner for a choice of scallops without the normal bacon accompaniment.
What a pity that such a great restaurant is failed by this miserable woman.
Adorable little pub. It's very small but cosy and has a nice fireplace in the back. Good service, nice selection of drinks and in a very good location. I didn't get to see Ian McKellen but maybe next time!
Dropped by after a morning walk along the regents canal. I heard from the grapevine that this pub offers a whole lot more than just another pub in London. Therefore I convinced my other half to give it a go. Whoah! Lovely English vibe you will find inside: mis matched vintage furniture, narrow and tiny space that nicely position clients to eventually interact with each other and last but most importantly its balcony facing the river thames. Definitely enjoyable during the warm summer days or nights. It is also noteworthy to mention the historical importance of this pub which suppose to have been frequented by Dickens. Cool! Now I can say I had something in common with the great writer...hihihi. Foodwise, the grapes offer typical pub food which in my opinion tasted better than other pubs i have been before. Bottomline is that i will be coming back here for more.
Great traditional pub and even dog friendly. Bartender was cool and she guided me through the different ales letting me sample a bunch before letting me commit to something random. Good view right on the water but also had cozy inside decor. Best thing is it's a short walk from my flat. Def going to be a regular here and bring friends here when they come visit.
Everything you want in a pub, including dogs that hang out there. Go out back to the small patio and take in the river at night. So good.
I cannot fault the Roast Lamb I had here last Sunday, it was cooked to perfection and a decent portion too, though not quite sure the veg were fancy enough to qualify the £8.95 tag. I didn't like much else about the place though; when I'm hungover I expect to be treated with compassion/revulsion in equal measure by the bar staff, but not patronised. It's a small, narrow pub and does have the advantage of being close to the riverside. Just didn't like the atmosphere there the day I visited. But like I said; stonking hangover.
Why has it taken so long for me to visit this place? It is a gem. From the outside it looks unassuming and when you go inside, it still is. But oh how the small darkened interior invites one. It teeters over the Thames and gives you the feeling that you are in a truly historic house, more so than the nearby Prospect of Whitby. We had the classic Fish and Chips and they were simply the best I have ever had in any sort of restaurant/pub/bar/diner anywhere. We had to wait a while for them because they were being freshly done from scratch. The staff could not have been nicer and more politely apologetic. But was it worth the wait? You bet! The ales are first class, the lagers less so. But on this occasion I will simply say that you can ignore this minor quibble and urge you to check out this inviting, historic, cosy and atmospheric Thames-side pub.
Classic Pub... I only stopped by for drinks, but felt right at home.
Pretty good value for money but have been here times when the food has been grate and other times when i have sent back service usually friendly but don't argue with Big Bill haha
Unfortunately this seems to be a pub staffed by people who believe the hype. I visited the night after I moved into a flat 20m away and was massively disappointed. An incredibly rude barmaid spoke to me and friends as if we were idiots, responding to simple questions about where the toilets were, or if there was seating upstairs with the sort of attitude that wouldn't be accepted elsewhere. Add to that a member of staff (off duty) who gave a 30 minute lecture on the famous people who are 'protected' when they visit the pub, and I realised this is not a pub for normal people who like nice beer in normal surroundings. Quite frankly I don't care who owns a pub - I simply want a nice atmosphere, nice staff, good service, and a good product. I believe that if there was a competitor pub nearby, or less high profile patrons/owners, then this pub would suffer.
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