Jan 20 16

Anchor Tap, Horselydown Lane, Tower Bridge

Jack Cutforth

Visited: Friday 8 January by JB


Pub number two on the Boozehound/Datenight extravaganza, and it was a Samuel Smiths, which can mean only one thing – a slight respite for Boozehound’s wallet.

Samuel Smiths are something of a treat in London. They only serve their own drinks, which are all significantly cheaper than anything else in London. We’re talking Wetherspoons prices, but there are fewer alcoholics in a Sam Smiths (when Boozehound isn’t there) so you’ll feel a bit classier.

Now, we can’t lie to you – when it comes to the quality of the beer, you really do get what you pay for. The Alpine lager is so weak it will actually sober you up because it hydrates you more than it inebriates you. The Taddy Lager is strong enough to consider buying, but be warned: hell hath no fury like a taddy hangover. Double Four is a safer bet, along with the Organic Wheat Beer if that’s your thing.

Still, when you’re in the middle of bar hopping around Tower Bridge then £6.30 for a pint and a large glass of wine is a godsend.

As with most Sam Smiths, this feels like an old-school boozer. That’s not to say every Sam Smiths is identical, just that they all share a certain vibe. And it’s a vibe that can be quite a pleasant change from other pubs in London.

Be warned: there is a very low beam between the rooms, causing Boozehound to hit his head several times and curse the limited height of our ancestors, who selfishly constructed their buildings without considering their much taller, healthier and more attractive descendants. I must have hit my head pretty hard but thankfully there was a delayed reaction – I only got a splitting headache the next morning. It also gave me a spot of amnesia, nausea and regret. Weird.

If you want to look at a pool table but don’t want to actually play pool, then this is the pub for you, featuring as it does the world’s smallest pool table, complete with no chalk and one cue. The Crucible it ain’t. There is also an inconveniently placed piano and darts board.

The food looks pretty decent, and the menu is fairly standard pub grub.

Boozehound has spent many an evening in a Samuel Smiths pub, and if we’re honest we would usually recommend just having a couple of very well priced lagers in a chilled out atmosphere before branching out to other drinkeries. However, if you are going to spend all night in a Sam Smiths, The Anchor Tap is a good one to do so in. It’s quite unique and very friendly. We imagine it’s particularly nice in the Summer, when there’s a large overspill area outside with a lovely view of the beautifully old building itself, and which we imagine is filled with drinkers on a warm evening.

But do mind your head.

Beer: 2
Price: 5
Service: 3
Atmosphere: 4

Do they do food? Yes, standard pub food by the looks/smells of things.
Are they in the 21st Century? Yes, no minimum spend.
Are there dogs? I was surprised there wasn’t a “bar dog”. Definitely dog friendly.
I’m hungover, do they do a Bloody Mary? If you ask nicely.
I want to smoke: Small outdoor seating area but plenty of space to sit/stand outside in the summer.