Another of London’s old school riverside pubs The Grapes has a history going back over 500 years and was frequented by Charles Dickens who even mentioned it in his novel ‘Our Mutual Friend’.
It’s current claim to fame in the 21st century is the leaseholder who is Sir Ian Mckellen who is know to appear when not busy and if you visit you will see Gandalf’s staff from the Lord Of The Rings trilogy displayed behind the bar.
The Grapes is not a large pub and can get quite busy but is a lovely old building with lots of character and a small wooden balcony at the back that would seat about 20 people at a guess and is literally situated over the river. High tides can see water splashing up from below but there are heaters for when it’s chilly.
The bar area and entrance is very narrow, appropriate for a pub situated on Narrow Street and on busy days you can almost hear Gandalf announcing ‘You shall not pass’ as you attempt to get in and find a space.
Upstairs is a candle lit dining room with views over the Thames to Canary Wharf on one side and the City on the other.
Westferry DLR is the nearest rail link, very close, but if you’re coming from further afield the walk down Narrow Street from Limehouse or Wapping is a very pleasant one, the road is quiet and lined by old warehouse buildings on both sides.
The Grapes is well worth a visit on a summer afternoon if you fancy chilling with a drink in charming old surroundings and if you can bag a seat over the river on a sunny day it’s a delight.