The Prospect of Whitby E1W 3SH (Tube: Wapping)

Nicholas Lyndhurst starred alongside David Jason in the much loved British sitcom ‘Only Fools and Horses’.  Who can fail to forget the japes that transpired in the classic episode ‘He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Uncle’ which originally aired on the 27th January 1991 where Uncle Arthur goes missing and the boys go searching for him, oh how we laughed. There is one pivotal moment in this episode when Nicholas playing the hapless Rodney lurches out of a pub and this pub is The Prospect of Whitby.

As far as points for warm welcomes are concerned a Gestapo themed entry into the Eurovision song contest is likely to score higher with a cover of ‘All the Single Ladies’. My initial arrival at the pub was thwarted after a friend with a small (and lethargic to the point of being semi comatose) dog was told we’d have to sit in the court yard and would not be permitted in the bar. Given that the weather on the day was ‘shit’ we opted to go elsewhere (see The Captain Kidd) and I returned later, alone.

When finally permitted to enter the pub it became apparent that the staff were clearly concerned that the dog would either cause irreparable damage to the stone floor which has survived for over 400 years or potentially soil the carpet they possibly salvaged from a bingo hall closure in the late 90s. It’s a place that is lurking somewhere in the no mans land of trying to be a traditional pub at the same time as trying to offer food on the scale of a Yates or Brewers Fayre and is suffering from not making its mind up.

The place is drenched in history but makes hopelessly little of it. It’s been around for hundreds of years, has hosted many famous and notorious London names for a beer and ought to be up there with the glorious drinking holes of the city but it feels sadly lacking. On the topic of beer there is a decent amount on offer, I was able to choose from 5, some of which are admirably sourced from local breweries.

As well as the beer selection the other thumbs up this place gets is that it’s on the Thames Path which links a decent number of pubs along the waterfront all the way to the other side of the docklands area. If you’re on the walk it does provide a handy stop off and does have a beer garden if you’re doing it on a good day. Otherwise there are ample other options in the area with far more to offer.


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