You will no doubt be familiar with the genre of films which pit a mismatched pair of monsters or groups against each other for a big fight often with hilarious and entertaining conusequences; Cowboys vs. Aliens, Godzilla vs. Mothra, Monsters vs. Aliens etc etc. Some of these films are good but most are awful. Upon arriving at this particular pub I could have been forgiven for thinking that the next addition this list was going to be Pirates vs. Morris Dancers as the entire bar was packed with Jack Sparrow lookalikes rubbing elbows with beady chaps adorned with bells. You can imagine my utter horror at this scene. I am however reliably informed that these two bunches of ‘people’ only descend upon the pub once in a while and thankfully are not in residence.
Putting the pirates and the knee knocking ribbon waving folk to one side for now I’d best give you a few factoids about the pub. It’s right next to the Thames as you can guess from the name and it’s difficult to find yourself a seat where you can’t see the water and gaze directly across it towards the ever growing glass jungle that is the City of London. Equally impressively is that Sir Francis Drake’s Golden Hind is moored right outside; a fully rigged galleon is a fine sight to look upon whilst you sip a pint from a not unimpressive selection of options. If the weather whips up into a gale enough to sink an armada you can retreat to the comfortable but very faux interior.
Sadly for a pub which boasts such impressive surroundings it does have a few major downsides. The pirate theme continued at the bar when it came to paying for our drinks which came to an outrageous £4.75 a pint. Also in the downside column is the sad fact that these pints had bits of something floating in them rather which somewhat sticks in the craw when you’ve handed over such a big chunk of cash. The last blow from a full broadside of bad points about The Old Thameside Inn is that it’s location is simply too close to too many tourist hotspots to feel like a real pub anymore and is lurching like a peg legged scallywag towards being something more like a dreaded family theme pub.
If you’re happy to swallow the ludicrous bar prices then a sunny day would make this a great spot to sit on the back terrace adjacent to the river. Otherwise there are just too many things not quite right about the pub to make it worth a stop when there are far better places nearby.