If you’re wondering what the Thames docks might have felt like before their Disneyfication into Docklands, these narrow, ivy-covered and etched-glass premises aren’t a bad place to start.
The downstairs room of this riverside pub, which dates from 1720, is all wood panels and nautical jetsam (and is mercifully devoid of mobile ringtones and music); a tight stairway leads up to a more plain restaurant room that accommodates the Sunday roast overspill.
The ales (Landlord, Broadside and the like) are good, but a half-dozen wines of each colour (by glass and bottle), plus jugs of kir royale in summer and glasses of port in winter, also please the cheerful clientele of well-heeled locals and grown-up heritage junkies.
Watch out for your shoes if you step out of the main bar room on to the tiny deck at high tide.
In September 2011 the Grapes was bought by actor Sir Ian McKellen (best known to the under-25s as 'Gandalf'), so no doubt it will be Mor-dor to get a pint at the bar now.