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Anchor and Hope, Waterloo

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user reviews of the Anchor and Hope, Waterloo

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Extraordinarily rude and surly barman even by the standards of London - ludicrously overpriced and very average food.
TS77 - 27 Sep 2015 12:17
A sister pub to the excellent Magdalen Arms in Oxford. A gastropub half of which is dedicated to drinkers although we are nonetheless pressurised into having food. That didn't take much persuasion and the seasonal, British menu that changes daily is of the best quality. That said, £15 for a chicory and parmesan tart borders on the criminal ( a superb cheese plate and divine pear and almond tart were more fairly priced albeit still expensive) and the ale choice is unexceptional.
BoehmBawerk - 4 Apr 2015 10:19
Been here many times, always packed which is the downside but the food is always great. You can tell they put a hell of a lot of effort into it.
MarioLG - 21 Dec 2013 15:13
Food looks good, popped in a few times for a drink. With this sort of gastropub, you're never quite sure how you'll fit in if you're 'just drinking', but they seem to manage it quite well, one room set aside for dining and the other appearing to accomodate drinkers as well. I think they serve alcohol until either Eleven Thirty or Midnight too which is nice. I'm guessing it's pretty busy for a drink at peak dining times.
fluiman - 26 Jun 2013 14:08
Bombardier, Youngs Ordinary and a decent Hydes seasonal Hubble Bubble. Packed on a Tuesday at 7.30pm so difficult to get to the bar. A little bizarre that the barman served me (a short pint) and buggered off to sell champagne. Despite waiting for a couple of minutes he showed no sign of returning so claimed my free staff half. Naughty maybe but without lobbing pound coins at the bar I wasn't sure what to do. Try it when it's quiet.
GuideDogSaint - 26 Oct 2010 19:36
Food was good. Service attentive. Ale well kept. Nuff said.
JimmyNZ - 9 Oct 2010 21:32
Given that I work nearby, its a wonder its taken me so long to visit this place. The Anchor & Hope was one of the original gastropubs, unveiled to much meedja delight in the late 90's. I recall reading an extremely complimentary review in The Times by Giles Coren, a bloke who isn't easily impressed. I'm told you can't reserve a table here - you just turn up, drink and wait until one becomes available, an ingenious wheeze to retain paying punters. It still has its reputation for good (and bloody pricey) food, but me and my mate weren't here for culinary delights. We got stuck into pints of JW Lees Brassed Off, which was pretty tasty at the seemingly Cut-wide tariff of £3.20. There's a small, roped-off area outside with tables, chairs and a couple of benches which is a nice touch but fill up quickly. Inside it is decked out like a tapas bar and is rather small. I reckon if you're a real foodie with a penchant for beer you'd love it, but I'm unsure I'd return.
ChrisP87 - 21 Apr 2010 11:52
I have only been here in the early evening when it is so packed I can't imagine how anybody finds any space to eat (but the chefs working in the ubiquitous open kitchen looked reasonably busy). Dreadful layout of mostly small tables and stools means that it is almost impossible to get to the bar when crowded (and how they don't get customers going up in flames with the annoying tea-lights being in such close proximity to peoples' clothing, I don't know...). Three handpumps, but only two in use when I last visited - Youngs Ordinary and a decent-enough Bombardier at £3.10. Just a quick pint, and I left.
rpadam - 12 Feb 2010 20:09
Can Concur that this is a gastro pub more aimed at foodies than drinkers. Although there is a bar area to the front itís not really set up for a large group on the crawl. However the Windmill Tavern just along the road is much more aligned to this sort if thing so we went along there. No rating left.
Gann - 16 May 2009 12:32
Firstly, a couple of caveats: I went there at lunchtime, specifically to eat. It was well-patronised, but not crowded, so I can't directly contradict some of the other opinions. Having said that, I found the reasonably-priced food spectacular and the ale (Bombardier) well-kept and a pleasure to drink.

The staff could not have been friendlier or more helpful. Perhaps it's not the same in the evenings, but I'd suggest that this is perhaps a pub to eat in, rather than drink in.
stevew1 - 15 May 2009 20:46
this is one of those pubs that makes you want to register to let others know about it, so that they too do not have to encounter awful bar service and the total plebs eating food at the bar. MORONS

beer selection was alright
rcartman - 19 Apr 2009 09:17
Popped in for a quick half pint of "Jeckel & Hyde"; nice drink, pleasant bar man. However still don't get this place. Dark, crowded table layout, both empty and full. Not a pleasant place to aim for of a night. Best head onto the Windmill.
anonymous - 31 Jan 2009 12:12
The SMDC visited the Anchor and Hope on Wednesday 7th January 2009. It's a busy pub, but lacks any style and personality. Previous reviews criticise it for its poor table layout, and difficulty getting served at the bar - this was true for us, and makes the Anchor and Hope experience a rather poor one.

The Bar itself was stuffed full of people, so once you managed to reach it, ordering a drink was a new challenge. Some people eating meals at the bar - not what one expects from a "Gastro" pub.

While some of the beer may be reasonably priced (Bombardier @ £3/pint), a pint of soda water for one of the non-drinkers was an eye-watering £2 - this just isn't acceptable in this day and age, and ensures my non-return.

The Anchor and Hope may be one of the "original gastropubs", but by today's standards, it seems to pull this off spectacularly badly. Plenty of other establishments will offer a better experience and friendlier atmosphere. We didn't bother to have food, the pub was too cluttered and the prices too expensive to contemplate for such average surroundings.

I personally don't envisage a need to return, and would avoid this pub if I were in the area again.
SMDC - 14 Jan 2009 11:50
Primarily a Gastropub but unlike some, it still reserves about half the pub for the drinkers. The interior is rather dull and bleak with minimal lighting, bare floors and simple furnishings and comes over as an almost continental style bar with its floor to ceiling windows that fully open to the street. The dining area to the left of the bar is hidden behind a wall and curtain but peeking through it seemed as dingy as the drinking side. The small tables make it more suited for small parties and couples rather than large groups. 3 Ales available - Summer Lightning, Bombardier and Youngs with prices around the £3 a pint mark, about average for a pub around these parts. Despite being obviously popular (it was packed on my visit) it doesnít really possess any general appeal and is certainly more aimed at the restaurant crowds. For a drinkers only aspect, it is perhapos worth a quick pint out of curiosity than somewhere to while away an evening.
RogerB - 31 Oct 2008 15:48
The epitomy of Gastropub. Go here for really high quality food (with an English/local/seasonal slant) in a pub-ish atmosphere. Surprised at criticism of the beer - although it's not why you'd choose here over another pub it's decent (Youngs and Adnams on my last visit) and in good condition.

The waiters are a bit secretive (no booking allowed and its a mystery as to how and when they let you sit down) and aloof, but very professional.
Teddy_Boy - 19 Aug 2008 14:53
I had a marvellous time, me and all the boys when down and got stuck right in. Excellent toilet facilities, many a happy night have a spent there since my first outting to the Rainbow hope. If you are liberally minded and don't mind friendly gentlemen pushing your stool in for you, I cannot think of a beeter venue
Candianrainbow - 11 Mar 2008 14:03
Barely a pub, really a restaurant/bar. But a good restaurant/bar. Particularly if you want to watch a young, attractive crowd.
Mr.Matt - 19 Nov 2007 02:49
Poor lager selection.
JohnnyNZ - 19 Sep 2007 13:07


Agree that it is more gastro than pub.

This is strangely reflected in service, with superb restaurant staff and completely off-hand bar staff.

Well worth eating there.,though...


harbourdrinker - 7 Aug 2007 13:51
know of this pub by reputation so dropped in to have a nose. Food looks enticing. Strangely the real ale choice lacks inspiriation - even stranger no wine list on display ??? Bar staff were not unpleasant just "mute" over all a little disappointing
moclips2002 - 29 Apr 2007 10:56
Typical looking gastro-pub, nicely done. Not really any "beer" to speak of to be honest and the food while good was a little pretentious and over the top, although I still enjoyed it. I would not recommend this to any with an unadventurous palette.

If a gastro-pub is a cross between restaurant and pub, in my experience most are more pub than restaurant - where I found this gastro to be more restaurant than pub... personally I prefer it the other way around. You wont find any gourmet bangers and mash here...
Scaryant - 25 Apr 2007 20:38
Yes, the food is very good (it should be, as it's not cheap), but this is a pub guide, and the beer on tap here is nothing to write home about. The wine is not great if you get it at the affordable end of the price-range, either. Because if its reputation it's usually uncomfortably crowded and difficult to get a table, but if you don't mind noise, smoke, and high prices in exchange for being somewhere fashionable, this could be the place for you! (Just to show I'm not someone with a personal vendetta, I'll add that I've had some of the friendliest service here in the restaurant bit -- but not in teh bar)
JdeP - 15 Apr 2007 18:40
tough to get a table it was supposed to say!
anonymous - 2 Apr 2007 16:45
This place is a little Gem, quirky menu and great attitude to food, well worth all of the accolade, the only pitty with it's charming smallness is that it's really tough! Anyhow last time I went there and couldn't get a table we landed at the Fire Station, another cracking fresh food offer that's quirky and has a great attitude to food! it seems Waterloo is rich for them!!
anonymous - 2 Apr 2007 16:45
A favourite of mine for years, but I rarely get the chance to pop in (due to my wallet). Harry the chef wishes the place was a freehouse, as he's a bit of a beer fan (was impressed by the Thornbridge Hall 'St Petersburg Imperial Russian Stout' that I brought him last time) and seems interested in the idea of matching food and beer (which every chef should be interested in, rather than just wine wine wine).
The food there is amazing. Usually I don't bother with desserts at restaurants, but always do at the Anchor & Hope. Quince with caramel icecream was to die for, as was the hot peach with custard. The mains aren't too shabby either - possibly the best roast pork I've had, shin of beef between 14 was incredible. And the best steak I've ever had - soft as butter, blackened on the very outside, but bloody right the way through, served with grated beetroot with capers - incredible. Stop reading this review and GO THERE! Somewhere where I'd definitely take a girl on a date if I wanted to impress her with the places I go and the food I like (except you can't reserve tables which is a little annoying I suppose).
The_Man_in_the_Jar - 28 Mar 2007 19:41
Really good. Only go to there eat but definitely go. All good.
theStickler - 15 Feb 2007 01:57
We love you! Fantastic seasonal food, great staff, lovely atmosphere, great wine (daft glasses), and my dog is welcome. Perfect. Long live Sunday lunches.
grumpster - 9 Aug 2006 14:12
I agree totally with the below. I only go there for the food and have for the last 3 times ordered said rib of beef. Comes with a massive plate of twice cooked chips and a half pint glass of bearnase. As it shoud be!

The food is fantastic and I could waffle on about the potato soup with foie gras I had there once followed by a whole roasted trout with trimmings!

No glasses of wine though it comes in half bottle caraffes (which I dont mind as you tend to lose track of how much you have drunk)!

Would not really go there for a beer though.
Tomi - 20 Jun 2006 22:52
A gastro pub next door to the Young Vic - you expect gastro prices - £2.90 a pint of Bombadiere, although wine is more reasonable at £10 a bottle. Food is served on the other side of the main door, seperated by a curtain in usual gastro surroundings - basic. The food is good though and worth the visit, despite the prices (and everything is salted to help the drinks sales), especially the rib of beef for 2 (£40) which is served rarish.
lout_from_the_lane - 26 Apr 2006 17:32

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