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Angel, Rotherhithe

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user reviews of the Angel, Rotherhithe

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

Nothing on the outside indicating its a Sam Smiths pub. All becomes painfully apparent when you wonder in, see the pumps and the huge sign telling you that mobiles are banned.


Outside and inside, its worth checking out for its tradition and of course, its location. A central bar is surrounded by various rooms partition by wood with a 5ft hole to crouch through.

This does of course mean you can find a place where the staff can't see you on your phone.

How else are you expected to work out how to get Charlton on public transport!
Mappiman - 13 Jan 2020 15:59
I know that this pub may be considered away from the beaten track but it always seems to be starngley empty, which is a good thing for punters but I'm not sure the management would agree. Beer is your usual decent Sam Smiths, plus SS are now doing some good bottled beers, but some are a bit silly priced so check first.

There are some wonderful views out of the river facing seats and there's also a first floor room that has probably the best views of the Thames / Tower Bridge that you'll find in any boozer in this part of town. The interior of the pub is also lovely and cosy on a winters afternoon.

Food is decently priced and bland enough to be inoffensive.
steptoe - 22 Oct 2014 14:02
Friendly staff and nice sitting outside but there were some seriously obnoxious kids who had been filled with sugar and were running around like speed freaks. The parents didn't care and looked like the sort of people that wouldn't have reacted well to a polite request to calm them down or actually realise that their offspring were ruining everyone elses evening.

Otherwise a handsome building and standard Sam Smiths drinks. Excellent pork scratchings!
AlistairVonLion - 15 Aug 2013 14:54

Last year we came here for my sisters birthday.
We booked the room upstairs two weeks in advance.
We are a small group of nice, respectful people and were treated like dirt by the management.

Our friend askd the barman if we could by my sister a bottle of Champaign for her birthday.
He said they didnt sell it but if we bought it at the local offi, the pub would supply the glasses.
This is what we did.
There was no music upstairs and because we were the only people, we put some music on low just from my iphone.

Halfway through the night a man who i presume was the landlord stormed upstairs and without any
warning or grace, aggressively told us "i dont like that" [pointing to the champaign] and
"i dont like that" pointing to the iphone.
We tried to explain that the barman said it was ok and it was for my sister birthday but he continued to aggressively shout at us.

He then said we should of paid £250 to book out the room [which was obviously a lie]
and again didnt listen when we told him that no one told us that when we booked it on the phone.

We must of spent around £2000 in the bar that night.
30 of us all ordering food and drinks all night. and we are polite and friendly to the staff.
And thats how we were treated.
The bad feeling after that, being made to feel very unwelcome, ruined my sisters birthday and i urge you not make the same mistake as we did.
Go somewhere else!

LukeWild - 24 Nov 2012 17:26
Two aspects of my visit dampened the otherwise fine views and old fashioned, quirky atmosphere of this place. The first was 5.50 for a bottle of Sam Smiths Pale Ale and the second was no cask ale (available at the Anchor Tap owned by the same company at 2.90 a pint). I savoured my visit and convinced myself that it was a nice place with a 2 admission charge. Shame it damaged my 30 year belief in Sam Smiths standing for a fair price (wherever you are) for a pint. As all the other customers appeared to be foreign tourists, presumably they know their market, fair enough but I won't be back in a hurry.
cfowler - 18 Aug 2012 12:41
I wish was my local.

Stopped in for a pint or 3. The nice balcony over the river was a good place to spend a summers evening.
au_dave - 1 Jun 2012 09:50
Great location in terms of the river view, typical (and thus good) Samuel Smith style interior and friendly locals, though my visit was ever so slightly let down by a lack of bar staff (the one barmaid was doing a sterling job), lengthy wait for food, and wailing children. Only small criticisms though and will definitely return.
Dartitis - 23 Feb 2011 14:04
It's been my local for a couple of years now and it's simply great. Everything you could want in a local (except for real ale, but you do get Sammy Smith's prices instead).

Great in the summer for an outdoor beer or two.
race_faster - 25 May 2010 13:25
Nipped in yesterday on a walk for a swifty and was very impressed with what Sam Smiths have done to the place - having not been in for a while. The brewery's own Weiss Beer was excellent, but I was drinking this due to SS's usual lack of cask ale. My colleague was more than happy with his keg Old Brewery Bitter but it's just not to my taste.....please, please, please could we have the cask version more widely available in London ! Overall though certainly worth a visit if only for the excellent pricing policy - where else in central London can you get two pints for a fiver......
chippysupper - 12 May 2010 15:31
Sorry it may seem i'm biased towards Sams pubs (which i'm not) but they do seem to have some of the most scenic and beautiful pubs within London. This is no exception being slap bang on the river (also on the opposite bank another Sams pub, the Captain Kidd) and is well enough away from the tourist hoardes for this not to be over busy. The new manager of the pub is friendly and the beers are well kept too. Watch out for those dividing doors in the front bar but the most scenic views are reserved for the back of the pub anyway.
Oakman100 - 25 Nov 2009 17:21
I agree with Zaphod on this one. This pub retains a lot of its original character, which is entirely consistent with how Sam Smith's looks after its estate. It has a superb location overhanging the river - in fact it's so close to the river that when there is a high tide, as there was this afternoon, the sun deck at the back gets very wet. If only they did a decent real ale it would be a superb pub. Even the handpump version of Old Brewery Bitter would be a quantum leap forward.
RexRattus - 21 Sep 2009 19:01
closed at 6pm on a saturday. What gives?
cmofish - 17 Aug 2009 13:31
The tall shaven headed barman is clearly in the running for Least Helpful Publican of the Year. I hope he wins. He deserves it. I've heard the Mayflower, down the road, is friendly...
By the way, if you want to drink outside and enjoy the lovely river views on a warm evening. you'd better hope they've bothered to get in some plastic glasses. Otherwise the sign on the door says you have to stay inside and sweat.
janedent - 1 Aug 2009 08:35
Call me old fashioned but I love pubs that are divided into small rooms. There is just something about them that makes a place more like a public house, and less like a communal boozer. The silly duck under doors just add to the fun. They are a good sobriety test.

Good pub, decent service and beer in good shape. Its Sam Smiths which is the Marmite of brewers (love em or hate em) so the selection as mentioned is limited. Beautiful river views for the tourists. My only complaint was we had intended on having a meal. Sandwich board out front was advertising food, the menus were out, the condiment station was stocked. When we went to order, "no food today".
Zaphod - 1 Jul 2009 10:12
Generally, well updated Sam Smiths pub I visited today, excellent views over the river upstream and down (including over to the other visible Sam Smiths, the Captain Kidd, on the opposite bank). Although a stranger I think I preferred the atmosphere of the Angel to the ambience of the Captain Kidd, had the impression the Angel was identifiably local custom so more of a regular meeting place whereas the Captain Kidd seemed to be a mix of some locals, passing trade, tourists, early finishing City/Canary Wharf workers and a bit transitory.
Beer well kept/served, only minor niggle - I find the odd sized stable (half)doors dividing up the sections of the downstairs a bit twee, had seen the similar in the Earl of Lonsdale (also SS) in W11 and thought them equally odd there.
_grobag_ - 23 Mar 2009 21:12
I rather like the refurbishment with the way the pub is divided into separate sections, and the river view is splendid. However, the side is rather let down by the absence of any real ale - my tactic was to go for the Taddy Porter, but that's over 3 a bottle.
pubcollector - 22 Feb 2009 18:55
Visited 25.10.08. Nice pub, friendly locals and staff, but, oh, the food! It's obviously all "cardboard" ready-meals and I can honestly say that my friends and I all agreed it was the worse food we had every had anywhere - certainly not up to even basic pub food standard. So, go have a nice drink there, but don't eat there.
Sooze - 27 Oct 2008 16:04
Has been nicely and tastefully referbed and boast some nice small rooms around the main bar. The outside terrace is superb.
Still quite a locals pub given its slight fame, although that makes it more atmospheric in my opinion. (And I was in on meat raffle night, which is always a good barometer of a pubs character.)
Sam Smiths beer, which is great if you like it.

mrse1 - 1 Jul 2008 14:37
I really like this pub, its a nice place for an enjoyable pint and its always very friendly, the upstairs room which overlooks the Thames is particularly homely. I go over for a lot of the west ham games and then meet up with my brother and sister who live close by and we all go down to The Angel. The home brew is apparently 4%,although i beg to differ, it feels a lot stronger. Beware!
jasondunlop - 5 Apr 2008 13:45
Famous riverside pub, re-opened several years ago by Sam Smiths after a period of closure.

It's a former Courage pub - first visited by me in the early 70's when it appeared in the Evening Standard Guide to London Pubs. Then I got propositioned in here by a "working girl" - but that's not for posting on this site

Nowadays it's a fairly typical Sam's pub - including those partitions that they like with doors suitable for dwarves ( sorry the "vertically challenged")

There's a more comfortable upstairs room with comfy chairs etc and good river views.
JohnBonser - 12 Mar 2008 13:43
Went there a while back and was introduced to the "Holy Grail" of cask ale- Sam Smith Olde Brewery Bitter. Great prices here. Fantastic view of the Thames River and best of all, even though it's a local pub, no one bothers you. Good waitstaff and very reasonable prices!
mrdruse - 2 Mar 2008 21:09
Great views across the water, though the bar set up is kind of odd. Nothing really of great note. The Sam Smiths that PadtheSaint talks about are find but don't make a trip especially for them.
Teskea - 30 Jan 2008 21:30
I really don't think the landlord here is "surly"; he's always been perfectly pleasant to me. The food's not something I'd make a long trip for (not tried the Sunday roasts yet, though), but it's not awful either. I agree that it doesn't generally seem to be "heaving", but I don't actually _like_ overcrowded pubs, so that's a good thing.
Kake - 30 Mar 2007 22:06
This place should be heaving on a Sunday lunchtime given the historic nature of the pub and the views across the river but mediocre food and a surly landlord didn't help. Would not go again.
anonymous - 27 Mar 2007 08:33
In yesterday for the first time since the refurbishment. Great views, friendly bar staff (licensees I believe) but no real ale which is a very big minus as far as I am concerned. Probably won't go again unless they get some real ale in.
RexRattus - 22 Feb 2007 13:27
Unparallelled views -- but uninspiring pub, especially since character-free faux-old makeover. And no draught ales.
CatsGrandma - 3 Oct 2006 18:31
Had Sunday lunch there today. Usual roasts, plus veggie sausage, were available, and served promptly with fresh veg. We ate upstairs partly to avoid ciggie smoke (although it was fine in the downstairs bar) and also to catch the fantastic view upriver. It was lovely to watch tall sailboats, old steam tugs, and tourist boats going by (even if bateaux mouches look daft on the Thames they give the place a Continental feel). Avoided the beer pumps as I have a love/hate relationship with Sam Smiths going back to my youth in Teesside, and drank the bottled Taddy Porter & Oatmeal stout, both of which were fine. Pricey at over 3 a bottle but half what you would pay at a restaurant quarter of a mile upriver. Friendly service, pub was quiet, no kids allowed except in dining area. Relaxed clientele makes for a very pleasant atmosphere.
padthesaint - 17 Sep 2006 20:08
Came here on the weekend. To be honest, I liked the place more when it was dilapidated, and looked like one sudden movement might cause the back end to plunge into The Thames. The new refurb feels false (old style, but not original characteristics). Can understand why others like it though - the dividers add some uniqueness and privacy to the place.

This is the first Sam Smith's refurb I've seen where I can tell the difference though. The Duke of Argyll and The Chandos (thankfully) look the same as before their alleged refurbishments. Perhaps this one was done out of structural necessity?
topdog_andy - 16 Jun 2006 13:35
This place must have the best views of the Thames in London. Excellent refurb job and great to have a non smoking bar upstairs.
Esty - 2 May 2006 09:25
Stunning. Absolutely stunning.
we_hate_baconscollege_ - 30 Dec 2005 21:59
What a gem! Not many people seem to know that it has opened up again but it's great for its stunning views of Tower Bridge and welcoming staff and you can always get a seat even on a Fri or Sat night!
anonymous - 28 Nov 2005 21:49
Really nice pub in the winter with a great view of the City, but with a small bar it must really start to heave in the summer. Upstairs lounge is non-smoking - really nice to have that option.
anonymous - 26 Nov 2005 17:28
A great restoration has been done on this place. The no smoking bar upstairs has a wonderful view of the river. Food is good and there is a lot of it. Have had a couple of good sessions there.
jackthelad - 20 Nov 2005 17:54
As good a pint of Sam Smiths as you can get 'Down T'South". Extensive refurb recently. Downstairs bar lovingly restored (see the beautifull terrazzo floor!). Upstairs breathtaking views of the river. Can't vouch for the grub as I haven't eaten here.
almost_an_old_git - 16 Nov 2005 12:53
The first thing to note is that this is a Sam Smiths pub. To some this means heaven (good beer at knockdown prices), to others it means hell (crap beer as knockdown prices)...and don't even mention the Sam Smiths Cola! Personally I have no problem with Sam Smiths beers, the Cider Reserve is excellent and I even like the infamous wheaty tasting Man In A Box Ayingerbrau lager. So its a good start for the Angel apart from the fact that there are no beers on hand-pump. Having recently reopened after a lengthy refurbishment, everything is gleaming and spotless with several nautical themed pictures adorning the walls. From the central bar 2 or 3 Victorian style screens radiate, separating the pub into several smaller drinking areas. There are a few snugs for those who wish to get intimate over their pint. Upstairs is a quieter non smoking room and it is from here that the pub's greatest asset becomes obvious. The panoramic windows offer the legendary picture postcard views of Tower Bridge spectacularly illuminated at night-time. The Angel will probably appeal immensely to tourists but for now it seems that just a privileged few are aware that it is once again up and running well worth going out of the way for and idling some time watchin g the boats go byif you can stomach the Sam Smiths!
RogerB - 13 Oct 2005 10:27
Breathtaking views from the upper floor - Tower Bridge, the City, Telecom Tower in the distance, boats on the Thames. What a shame it's Sam Smiths. With the exception of their bottled organic lager, everything they serve is practically undrinkable.
DaveTheDog - 18 Jul 2005 16:22
Great pub to have as a 'local' so you could go there when there aren't too many tourists or drunk patrons who have had too much sun+booze. Service is a bit slow and the governor, lazy, but the place is great.
mikem - 16 Jul 2005 09:34
The pub has now reopened since its extensive refurbishment!

The first bar you walk into is the public bar, and it feels a normal Bermondsey pub, busy this week despite being the very first few days of business for over a year. Walk to the rear of the pub though for more seclusion, and the view which makes this place very special. For seats on the terrace over the Thames go through the door on the left as you walk towards the back part of the pub.

Upstairs is a posher room with softer furnishings and, again, that view, but from a storey up. Definitely a place to sup on the walk between Rotherhithe and Tower Bridge, and worth the effort coming to visit- ideally at sunset for full effect, just don't all come at once and take my seat!

Still Sam Smiths brewery, so unfortunately no real ale, but Old Brewery Bitter is only 1.70 a pint, so I shouldn't complain!

Didn't see any evidence of food during the evening, cannot vouch for lunch or the weekends (sorry, didn't ask).
tonyandrachel - 5 Jul 2005 22:29
Walked past the other day, looks lovely. I reckon it'll be open again soon.
VickieB - 30 Jun 2005 16:06
When it was open, absolutely fantastic view; I think sitting in there over a pint while you watch the sun set over Tower Bridge is just magic. Slight shame that the council estate next door might put off some visitors but it is a great stopoff if you're walking along the Thames Path.

It has closed for major refurb; shut in the Spring and currently (30/11/04) still looks a long way from completion. But they've had the roof off and the entire interior stripped, so they're doing a solid job on it, not just a bit of paint and rustic knick-knacks. They've also rebuilt the wooden balcony over the river which was shut as it was getting too rusty. So don't delete it yet!
tonyandrachel - 30 Nov 2004 21:13
This pub is now closed. Not sure if it will ever operate as a pub again or is being converted to flats.

Do anyone know who owns it
christine sanders - 18 Oct 2004 13:40
This pub is full of history. If you look on the walls you will see black and white pictures of the Barge Builders who used to drink in the very same pub. If your looking for a trendy wine bar The Angel certainly isnt for you but it does means an awful lot to me.
lulu - 30 Oct 2003 23:35
It's now a sam smiths pub, so cheap (if a little dubious) beer. The upstairs bar has one of the loveliest river views in London!
dan - 15 Aug 2003 17:53
not the nicest pub in the world (serves suspicious-looking brands of soft drinks that none of us had ever heard of before), but it is, nonetheless, the pub where my wife-to-be and I went for our first drink; nice romantic view across the Thames!
Dan - 15 Jul 2003 09:41
Not exactly famous, but a nice place for a pint by the river.
Norman - 9 Jul 2003 13:07

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