There is such an incredible amount of history and character crammed into London, it is sometimes difficult for a visitor (or a local) to know where to start. Well, I know a place… a place called Bermondsey.
Bermondsey is a true gem in an international city already bursting with (crown) jewels. Situated only walking distance from the heart of the capital, the district enjoys a rich and diverse history encompassing crime, pop culture and royalty. You could probably unearth a story featuring all of these elements at once. Morrissey exploited the darkened underpasses of the suburb in his Last of the Famous International Playboys music video. Tragic reality TV celebrity Jade Goody hailed from Bermondsey and upon her death, the market square was inundated with floral tributes. Musical icon Tommy Steele lived here, as did disgraced ex-gay comedian Michael Barrymore.
Have I convinced you to visit Bermondsey yet? How about if I tell you there is a traditional pub on the river that serves vegan cider and has one of the best river views in London?
The Angel is a stunning pub with a killer view and an even more remarkable history. The venue is often talked of as a preparation point for Cook prior to his departure for Australia and the ensuing invasion. Other historians would have us believe the captain of the Mayflower, Christoper Jones, hired men here to be his crew. One thing is certain… The Angel has seen its fair share of smugglers, criminals and undesirables as the area was for a long time one of the worst slums the city ever saw.
The pub sits along a stretch of Bermondsey Wall that has undergone significant regeneration recently. Opposite The Angel are the remains of a manor house belonging to King Edward III. That’s correct history buffs, Edward III with a reigning period of 50 years between 1327 and 1377. You have to walk past the manor wall remains to get to the pub.
The views from the pub’s lower balcony are unmatched in my opinion. Climb the stairs to the second level and be confronted by a stunning space filled with sofas and armchairs. Huge windows afford spectacular river views that stretch to Tower Bridge and the City skyline. As it is a Samuel Smith pub, you can drink vegan fruit beer, cider and lager until you can’t stand to look at the view any longer.
The Angel, 101 Bermondsey Wall, SE16 4NB
Nearest Tube station: Bermondsey (Jubilee Line)