The Old Thameside Inn
The Old Thameside is the pub you pass whenever you walk along the river from Waterloo to Tower Bridge (and I've done this walk many a time). Sitting next to Francis Drake's Golden Hinde, it's a haven for tourists and is normally crammed during summer. We took advantage of the late afternoon sun and sat outside on the river with glasses of Pimm's (I just can't help myself). Despite its history (it used to be an old spice warehouse and sits on infamous Clink Street), it's a little soulless - most likely as it's part of a pub chain. A bit of a boozer, it's popular with tourists but I'd love to see it in independent hands and really embracing its charm.
The Cat and Mutton
The Cat and Mutton is one of my locals, sitting pretty at the top of infamous Broadway Market. It's a much-loved venue with big windows on two sides, exposed brickwork on the others, an impossibly high bar, mismatched tables and chairs, a spiral staircase and an open kitchen. In the summer/at weekends/most days, The Cat heaves with drinkers spilling onto the pavement outside or into the Fields. Food looked tempting but I was only here for a drink - or four - choosing the French Merlot (Pavillon Trois Arches, apparently) and polishing off three large glasses. At £7, it's a little pricey but worth it. The staff put on a mix of motown and Frank Ocean (what a dream) and were dancing around, we stayed till after 11 and the fact it's on our doorstep means that it's definitely a pub to venture to.
Oh yes, a place worth visiting twice in one week. This time we stayed longer, sampling four of the cocktails on the menu and then five different beers (ouch). The barmen (as before) were upbeat and helpful, willing to tweak cocktails to taste (although they didn't need to, as they were great). People came and went around us, the restaurant area was busy and bustling and a group with the cutest pug puppy sat next to us (always going to be a winner in my eyes). We didn't eat but I still can't stop thinking about that mackerel, fennel, lime and mint dish - next time, I'm indulging.