Anchor & Hope
© Tricia de Courcy Ling
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Posted: Tue Oct 16 2012
Once there was just St John, then former St John chefs started to create their own restaurants using the same template – head-to-tail ingredients in simple but artful combinations, served up in a relaxed setting. The Anchor & Hope, which opened more than a decade ago, is still showing how it’s done. Handy for both the Young and Old Vics, it consists of a straightforward pub divided by a heavy central curtain from a dining room. Bookings aren’t taken, so most evenings you join the waiting list for a table (45 minutes midweek is typical) and hover at the crammed bar enjoying a glass of wine or a pint (a couple from Wells plus a guest on handpump). Unlike some gussied-up gastros, the dining area retains the atmosphere of a pub, in a low-lit, art-festooned room, and the food is terrific: beautifully textured venison kofte were served on perkily dressed little gem lettuce; cleaver-hacked rabbit came savagely red, with salty jus, fat chips and a big pot of béarnaise; and earthy beetroot and goat’s curd salad was lightened by a gentle touch of mint. Puddings tend towards the classic: bakewell tart with heavy-duty clotted cream, say.
Anchor & Hope 36 The Cut
- Venue phone:
020 7928 9898
- Opening hours:
Open 5-11pm Mon; 11am-11pm Tue-Sat; 12.30-5pm Sun. Lunch served noon-2.30pm Tue-Sat; 2pm sitting Sun. Dinner served 6-10.30pm Mon-Sat
Tube: Southwark tube or Waterloo tube/rail
Main courses (Mon-Sat) £12-£20. Set lunch (Sun) £30-£35 min 3 courses
Anchor & Hope
- 36 The Cut
- 020 7928 9898
- 36 The Cut
- Anchor & Hope
Average User Rating
3 / 5
- 5 star:8
- 4 star:5
- 3 star:1
- 2 star:2
- 1 star:9
Went last Sunday for lunch and they only do a single 2pm seating with a fixed menu. Read the mixed reviews below so was unsure what to expect. The service staff were friendly and polite, and every time I requested for tap water, it arrived on my table quite quickly. Food was really delicious. The beetroot/blood orange with goats cheese salad sounded weird but the different tastes and textures blended really well and this refreshing starter greatly opened up our appetite. The main course- slow baked lamb was so tender, the meat just fell of the skin with the touch of a fork. The side cabbages and potatoes were simple but so yummy that I could not stop snacking on them while sipping on my wine even though I was done with my lamb and tummy was so bloated by then. The pistachio meringue was a good end to a very satisfying meal! Definitely will go back again!
Food was amazing, such a cute pub, service couldn't be faulted. The ink squid risotto- omg. And I'm from Sydney, so I have high standards! A cut above the rest.
The food was good, if a bit overpriced... But the standout experience of this place is the horrendous service! I'm kinda relieved to read fellow bad experiencees as I thought it might've been even a race thing! Why did my waitresses hate me sooo much? I'm not sure I can even guess. Was TOLD I couldn't move from a busy communal table (with a roaming dog underneath it) to a table for two and every interaction with the staff was laced with antipathy. Not for me guys!
I think the bad reviews here are ridiculous.... how can you fault the food, it is second to none, I think I could have eaten anything off the menu. AND the service I received last night was perfectly polite and understated. The atmosphere is great, I wish more places in london did such good food in an unpretentious atmosphere.
I had dinner with 2 friends at the Anchor and Hope this week and I don't think I have been treated more rudely in a restaurant before. We arrived at 6.30pm at the pub and asked if we could have a table for 3 people at the restaurant explaining that one of us was on his way. We were told that we couldn't have the table unless all 3 diners were present. We reassured that our friend was in his way and got the table. My friend got stuck in the tube and arrived 30 minutes late. In the meantime we ordered our dinner, started to eat and were pestered by the waitress every 10minutes asking where our friend was and whether we wanted to order dinner for her. We were put under an enormous pressure while we were eating even if there were other free tables around us which the restaurant could use for newcomers. When my friend arrived and sat at the table an extremely rude waitress told her that she could only order one course as we had occupied the table for far too long (30min in total!!!!!). My friend was put under pressure to eat his meal as quickly as possible and we had to find a different place to have our desert and coffe as we had to free the table. Food was not impressive: badly copied Italian recepies with loads of mayonnaise which Italians would never use as dressing. I Will NEVER GO BACK TO THE ANCHOR AND HOPE AND I ADVISE YOU NOT TO GO THERE. SHAME ON YOU ANCHOR AND HOPE!!!!
Tried this place last week after reading the reviews here and I must say I was impressed. The food is first-class and cheaper than a restaurant would be for comparable quality. I'd take friends and family here without hesitation.
Imaginative food well cooked. Did my usual "What's your favourite thing on the menu" tactic and the front of house staff talked knowledgeably, and had clearly tasted the dishes. Halibut carpaccio was well balanced and a hell of a lot of fish for a starter. Duck two ways was perfectly cooked (both roast and confit), reasonably priced for two to share and the chef made polenta taste good, which is a miracle. Massive hit and slight miss on deserts. Reasonable lunch bill given the quality of the food.
Met my 4 mates in the bar, had a couple of beers to chat and catch up whilst waiting for a table, before being seated. The food here was absolutely superb. 7 hour shoulder of lamb and rabbit with bearnaise sauce, followed by some outstanding puds - I had the Queen of Lemon Puddings. A great venue, always busy, in a good way and a good buzz. Highly recommended.
the pi*s pore service from the bar staff was sh*t,it was over populated with sh*t house children after half 10! i was not happy at all! will not be coming back! Fu*k**g Sh*t! bunch of ar*e pirates soft southen co*k junkies. will not come back agen with them bum boy prices
It's reputation precedes it. And more than a decade on since its blazed the trail for the gastraopub craze, it's a pity that it's gone to its head and its waiting staff believe they can live on reputation alone. If waiting staff are right, an establishment can get a way with a lot. I would forgive a restaurant for multiple mistakes and mishaps if it's served with a smile and a genuine apology. Unfortunately, at the A&H, the waiting staff seem to have the attitude that we should be honoured to have a seat at their table. This detracts from the obviously tenderly cooked food (i'm told the meat is fantastic), the few vegetable dishes are delicious enough, but like the rest of london, an after-thought. Unfortunately the waiting staff in front let down the skills of those that are handling the food behind. ANd this has now been the experience in the restaurant on multiple occasions. The kitchen runs out of dishes frequently, presumably to keep stocks low and food fresh - no problem with that at all .But a t a recent visit, we were only told of that they'd run out once the rest of the group had been brought their food. So one of the party re-ordered, while we sat there with our dishes....ten minutes later, we'r e told they've run out of that dish too. The guest was offered an alternative that wasn't on the menu, and she accepted that. Another ten minutes , and someone returned to say it was going to take a while longer to cook. A medium-rare steak. 30 minutes later, our dishes were wiped clean and removed and hers still hadn't arrived. Aparently it tasted good when it did arrive, but we were all a little sour about it. Not an apology or a smile in sight. None of us were going for pudding but we were offered a dessert 'on the house' to compensate for the wait (still with a very sour-faced waitress). We appreciated that, and quickly gobbled down the shot-glass of chocolate pudding between us. And then came the bill - we sent back immediately assuming they'd just made a mistake. We'd not only been charged for the main dish, that was not only the guest's third choice, but arrived after everyone else's plates had been cleared, but the replacement dish happened to be £7 more expensive than the dish originally ordered, more expensive than any of the dishes on the menu, and she had not even been told it's price when she was 'offered' it. No they could not remove the dish from the bill, nor would they reduce the price down to her original choice - company policy and the duty manager said the same, so we were told. They offered us (a previously unwanted) dessert as compensation. No smile, no apology. By that point, our only way of protest was not to pay the service charge/tip. So sadly, experiencing the relaxed setting, the decent food, pales into insignificance due to appallingly rude staff. That was the worst of three unfavourable experiences. One doesn't need to be made to feel like a third class citizen while out dining. A bit of decent staff training might rectify the snooty, unpleasant staff and make the A&H somewhere one wants to visit again.
Up and down this road so many times and yet I was only introduced to this place by a friend just last week.... shame on me! All very good. I chose the calf's heart, bearnaise sauce, chups (my sic) and some curly kale on the side, followed by 1 scoop of Seville orange icecream and a shot of espresso. All in all, a jolly good feed before heading off to see 'Kiss me Kate'. My only negative would be the nasty waft escaping from the lavvies..... perhaps it depends on which way the wind is blowing, or the tide, but it is nothing an industrial strength extractor fan wouldn't fix. Still, I will definitely be heading back.
Walked into the pub after the theatre for a glass of wine at 10.45. Told that the bar was shut. Shame. It seems that it has the same problem as the eagle, great food, great wine, rude management. Pity.
This is one of the Restaurant that epitomizes London. Honest, well-prepared, seasonal food. No pretense, honest floor staff. Excellent Bar tenders. Ate here recently and picked through the awesome menu. Wine is served in tumblers and they have an excellent choice by the glass. No reservations policy, so arrive early or just wait in the bart with drinks. Worth the wait. To be honest, Im quite surprised they have some negative comments, maybe some people don't get the concept. Long Live The Anchor & Hope, one of my Favourites!
I can only echo the negative comments below and be somewhat suspicious of the very few scripted positives. This establishment has ideas above its station, which is a shame, as the food isn't bad, just overpriced and let down by rude, snooty serving staff.
I like a laid back vibe and yet amongst it, here at the Anchor & Hope, were signs of absolute focus and real passion. The service was informal yet flawless and the food delivered in nine out of ten dishes. I didn't mind waiting for a table (around 40 minutes enjoying two great pints of Youngs), it was worth it. And I don't often say that. If you don't want to wait, book a different restaurant. Simples.
The food here is just delicious, and sometimes quite unusual. Lunchtime razor clams with soda bread to soak up the juice is the best, followed closely by black ink squid risotto.
I'm honestly stunned by some of the poor reviews on here, and feel sorry for those who have had sub-standard service or food, something I haven't experienced in three years' of almost weekly lunchtime (and occasional evening) visits. The food is invariably excellent, the service prompt and friendly, and the setting, although sometimes a little rowdy, is comfortable and buzzing. Must have been over 100 times, and in that time had only one meal where, although still good, the food wasn't up to expectations. Reliably excellent, in my experience.
Echoing Lyn W below - "The Anchor and Hope is surely trading on longevity and a memory of past glories". Prices gone up, food quality down, the food takes FOREVER (over 30mins) to arrive, very slow service, surly waiters, downright rude and arrogant waiters. No table reservations possible, and even in an EMPTY pub not possible to choose your own table. AVOID this place if you are on a lunch break Mon-Fri. INSTEAD GO ACROSS the road, directly opposite, to the Tas Restaurant, excellent Turkish food, high quality, great taste, low low prices, and very friendly service staff, and extraordinarily fast service.
I went to the Anchor and Hope on a friend's recommendation that it was one of the best gastropubs in London. After a brief moment of tension over whether we could have asparagus instead of potato with the starter course, all was well. Very well, actually. I thought the ingredients were all very fresh, the dishes themselves were well-prepared and very tasty. I think we had the waitress who has been described here as being rude, etc, and I have to say that she was extremely nice and helpful throughout the meal...perhaps she had an off day before as we all do sometimes. I would definitley recommend it and will be going again.
The Anchor and Hope is surely trading on longevity and a memory of past glories. On a Friday night, the service was patchy and the food was terrible. The famed leg of lamb looked great, but had been slow cooked into a tasteless mush of indistinguishable garnish / stew. The vegetarian lentils with spinach and goats curd were truly shocking - luke warm in termperature, bland in seasoning, lacking in bulk - and £14.40! The Anchor and Hope is an ok pub near the theatre and Waterloo, but it pretends to be a good food place. It isn't; and the prices are a disgrace.
Really great food at the anchor and hope. Are reasonably priced. However like all restaurants, it isn't just about the food and the price. Service was shoddy. Two waitresses were intent on enjoying their chat at the rear if the restaurant for extended periods leaving my table and others that I noticed wondering when we might be able to get some of their valuable time. The senior waiter was possibly an eastern European gentleman who was clearly not in a good mood either and his approach was basil fawltyesque. Shame as the food was so good to be let down by a very capable kitchen. Get the service sorted by chatting less amongst yoursrlves and cheering up a lot. It really was like they didn't want to be there and that was how I felt towards the end of my lunch
Nice pub with great-sounding menu but very poor restaurant service. Waited ages for a table (fair enough it was busy) but then no apologies when we were finally seated. Asked for bread, but didn't get any side dishes (hope the tables were clean!). They wouldn't serve chips as a side order with a particular dish even though they served chips as a side order with another dish. Also they refused to cook beef medium or well done giving an excuse that the cut of beef could only be cooked rare. Absolute twoddle. Won't be bothering to go back.
I've been here twice over the last few years. Both times pretty disappointing. My meal yesterday evening was really quite awful. The main, for £17, was the most scrawny, poorly butchered veal chop, with rubbery, unrendered connective tissue around the outside. For these prices, there is so much better cooking in London.
This is one of my favorite places to eat in London. If you are looking for super-posh dining, this isn't it. Anchor & Hope does what it does best -- loud and rowdy with lots of people noshing on great food -- and you should know that going in the door. I'm an early eater, so I arrive around 5:30 to get my name on the list for seating at six and enjoy a cocktail. I recommend the Moscow Mule. For my birthday, a friend and I shared the rib of beef and chips with bernaise sauce (for two) and a salad. We could have fed three on the amount of food that arrived. The beef was perfectly medium rare, and I dream about their bernaise. And don't forget dessert! The range is great, so if you aren't a chocoholic, you can find something light, like their little lemon pot with cassis. You can't go wrong with booze on dessert.
Worst pub that i have ever visited. The way the beer was served, the way they handled my complaint was disgraceful. I will never ever visit this place again.
Had a great meal, fantastic eatery. Even though non meat eaters they provided more than enough choice. Recommend lentils and homemade butterscotch ice cream! All veg very fresh cooked to perfection. Friendly, helpful staff... will defiantly visit again and again