The history may be confusing, but the location can’t be beat. A Georgian freehouse since either 1695 or 1795, depending on whether you believe the sign outside or the writing in the coloured glazed panes in the front door, this hostelry was converted to its present state in the early 19th century.
At that time, the waterfront was a busy and thirsty place; this landmark remains, beside an eyesore power station but with perfect views encompassing the Dome, Docklands and beyond.
Some of the tables are set by river-view windows; in summer, ten Thameside terrace tables come into their own. Within the pub, beer-barrel seats, maritime knick-knacks, low ceilings and creaking floorboards make it feel like a smugglers’ haunt; you half expect a bag of shiny doubloons to be plonked down at the bar while you order.
Gales’ Seafarers Ale is among the draught options, along with other Fuller’s-related beers.
There’s a spacious first-floor area, but the best seats are in the Smoke Room, an intimate corner of comfortable leather chairs tucked away by the front door.