The Grapes, Limehouse
Unfortunately the decor and apparent ambience is not matched by the service from the bar staff under the management of the redoubtable landlady Barbara. I was told that the arrangement of newspapers, flyers, glass collection area and drip trays was in a fixed arrangement causing only 10% of the entire bar area to be available for putting down your pint and/or handbag without either getting them soaked in previously poured drink or moved by the bar staff so as to not cause the tourist paraphenalia to have to be moved out of place.
After making a complaint to the bar man about the shoddy service, surly attitude, lack of drinking space and the prolonged absence of the landlady in person to disuss problems ("Don't bother phoning next week, she won't be in fr a while"), I left my unfinished, warm and slightly off pint of Guinness on the bar to follow my friend who had left half of her white wine spritzer (thats with Soda Mr Barman by the way) on the bar after being told to move her handbag off the bar and onto the wet drip tray to the bar up the road. When we got there we were told that a lot of people come into that bar with complaints about the Grapes attitude to paying customers. For me the pub barely gets a mark out of ten at all.
The first time I went, I actually arrived early, as I wanted to arrive in good time for a days drinking with dear friends. My friends were tarrying further west, so I knocked on the door at 11.15am, and they were not due to open until 12.00pm, but they let me in anyway!! A great start!
Inside, it is as unspoilt a pub as you will find, with true character, and you immediately have a joyous surge in your heart, if you are that way inclined. There are numerous oddities and pictures dotted about the place, including a smattering of lovely colour drawings depicting some of Dicken's characters.
Dicken's is believed to have frequented here as a boy, and the pub certainly still has a Dickensian feel about the place.
If you can get onto the decking at the back of the pub, which overlooks the Thames, with the soft crashing of the waves under your feet, then you are in for a relaxed afternoon. The docks have changed much over the years (The lightermen have long since gone) but it is still a lovely spot.
There are decent Ales on tap, whilst we also sampled some rather strong bottled cider which I had never encountered before, but which does account for my state futher into the evening's proceedings.
76 Narrow Street, Limehouse, London, E14 8BP
Monday - Wednesday
12pm to 3pm & 5:30pm to 11:00pm
Thursday - Saturday
12pm to 11pm
12:00pm to 22:30pm
Please check opening times with the pub before making a special journey.
From Limehouse DLR station walk straight towards the river and turn left. From Westferry station go right up Narrow Street. The pub is about halfway along Narrow Street on the riverside.
Whether you’re after a quick lunch, a romantic dinner by the river or just a friendly greeting in your local pub, we’d love to welcome you to The Grapes in Limehouse.
Overlooking the Thames, in a peaceful neighbourhood not that far from the bustle of Canary Wharf, The Grapes is one of the oldest pubs in London. Charles Dickens was a patron, and even made reference to the pub in his novel 'Our Mutual Friend'.
Whilst our history goes back over 500 years, our menus are a little more up-to-date! If you're looking for something quick and tasty like a pie and a pint, you’ll find tempting pub grub downstairs in the bar. Upstairs in our intimate dining room you'll discover sumptuous white-linen service for both lunch and dinner. And if you're looking for a venue for your Christmas lunch, we have a feast Dickens himself would have been proud of.