First piece of pre-tour advice is to keep your breakfast as light as possible ahead of a midday start time. Furthermore, don’t worry about dinner as you will endure five increasingly intense courses across five Pubs in just four hours and be full on grub ‘n’ gas!
Indeed, London Old Docks – Historic Pubs, Food & Beer Tour takes you through the most storied Pubs in the East End, namely within Wapping and Rotherhithe.
The tour leader Leigh resides in Wapping and has a background in Pubs so you can be sure that you are not only receiving insightful facts but also stories of legend with a touch of humour.
By way of example, one of the first questions he asked the group is if they know the difference between beer and lager, and surprisingly (or not) nobody knew the answer.
Leigh’s use of illustrations throughout the tour led to a greater appreciation of the gentrification these neck of the woods has undergone.
Furthermore, it’s brutal past is depicted by the remaining presence of noose’s on the riverfront used to execute Pirates in centuries gone by.
The first stop at the Mayflower Pub in Rotherhithe already feels very British in theme and charm, with lovely wooden fireplaces, compact seating and a sumptuous pork gravy starter with black pudding. Some tour members were curious to know what the latter is made from but they remained in suspense until they had tried a bite!
Thereafter a short train journey to Wapping is where you start to feel an increasing connection with East End history, from the haunted looking warehouses to long serving corner shops.
The next stop is home to two of British Pub’s mainstays, Darts and Pool. Here a piping hot steak pie awaits – the ideal remedy on a chilly afternoon.
Throughout the tour the views along the River Thames range from Bond style jet cruises to the backdrop of Tower Bridge and The Shard. In essence you will feel the urge to head straight for the Beer Garden at every Pub to capture these panoramic settings.
The final stop, The Dickens Inn is very hard to spot so be sure that you are not too tipsy from your beer bonanza up to this point! Here, you will have the opportunity to test your cheese fetish as a monstrous platter accompanied by crackers and fruit awaits!
In summary, the tour is a great big ‘wapping’ feast of food, history and beer with Shakespearian literacy prevalent on Pub walls.
The East End escapade can be experienced in its entirety by booking onto the London Old Docks – Historic Pubs, Food & Beer Tour