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Mayflower, Rotherhithe

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user reviews of the Mayflower, Rotherhithe

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

Must visit pub, for those with an interest in history.

Story well told - from this site the Mayflower set sail for American in 1620. The captain is buried in the churchyard opposite.

The pub is completely old world. Leaded windows, door to the. A bottom bar full of nick nacks and nautical pictures. An upstairs terrace for dining. Low ceiling and lighting make you think you are in any century since the mayflower set sail.

Greene King house. Around four handpulls from independent breweries - Redemption Hopspur in reasonable condition.

Cheese board looked intriguing.
Mappiman - 13 Jan 2020 15:55
This is a fine historic pub. I have found the beer choices good and nearly always in good condition. When not the friendly staff are very willing to change the pint. The food is good though a bit expensive. It does get busy in the early evening with people making a evening out from work.
surretriumphant - 1 Sep 2016 16:08
This is a very historic pub attracts many visitors, especially Americans. As such it can get extremely busy. I would not go on a weekend again because we had to wait some time for a table. Even when you are standing you get jostled around by the staff coming past with plates of roast dinner. That said if you can go when it's quieter, it is beautiful and very evocative of it's 17th century associations. You can stand on the deck where the Mayflower set off to what is now the USA in 1620 with the puritanical religious fanatics aboard. I also recommend going down the steps to the side of the pub and checking out the Thames foreshore if the tide is out but be careful to watch your step as it can be dangerous down there and slippery. The beer and food are very good here and they have done well to serve our American friends a very English selection.
Richard_ReadingFC - 8 Dec 2015 14:17
As others have observed, the low rating for this pub must be a relic of a bygone era as we found a charming interior, better-than-average food and well-kept libations. The price wasn't too bad, either. If you find yourself near Rotherhithe overground station (hey, it could happen) you should drop in and soak up the atmosphere (and some beer, obviously).
beansoup - 4 Dec 2015 23:38
A cosy and of course very popular pub trading on its riverside location and that terrace, similar to those at the Prospect of Whitby or Hammersmith's Dove. Several good ales including one by Dark Star which I had some of. Nice staff and apparently good food too (not tried on this occasion).
rainlight - 28 May 2015 10:21
Several visits here over the past few years. A lovely looking place situated right on the river - the back deck gives great views up and downstream. Good food and a solid pour on all occasions. Pleasant if not terribly outgoing staff. Worth a special visit.
aerodrome - 23 Mar 2015 22:34
Seemed a decent pub with good selection of cask ales available, but the veranda was closed for a wedding on our visit so we carried on elsewhere.
alexw - 27 Apr 2014 18:28
Shockingly low rating for such a lovely old historic pub. Great location, one of the best riverside pubs in London, decent ales and good, friendly service.
Vincenzo74 - 20 Feb 2014 13:27
Food and Beer very good in this atmospheric tourist pub.
4 pints, 2 starters and 2 main meals, Just under £50. Not too bad a price. Service was also good.
rpf1955 - 9 Aug 2013 17:59
What an improvement!! Cozy atmosphere, great service from the Aussie guy behind the bar. Seems to have enticed customers back after the last terrible landlord. Only complaint, still very expensive and dont really like having babies in buggies in pubs.
walkalot - 13 Feb 2013 11:27
Smashing pub and very friendly. I have eaten and drunk here before but recently on a Sunday afternoon, we wanted just a swift half or cup of coffee. The place was heaving but they were undaunted and pointed us to the deck where they would bring our drinks to us. Grab a blanket as you go there was the clincher. Fabulous service with a smile and interesting building
aev - 5 Nov 2012 17:39
A must stop on any visit to east London and yet it doesn't do everything as well as it could do. Ales are exemplary and rotating and the service is friendly but the food is bogger than bog standard and the grimy mitts of Greene King do enact a pernicious effect, albeit a subtler one than at many of their gin palaces. Of London's glorious Thameside boozers, this falls well behind Limehouse's The Grapes but is probably better than most of the others.
BoehmBawerk - 19 Sep 2012 11:14
This was my local pub 10 years ago and I loved it, it was full of laughter and banter and was at the time mainly a pub for drinkers, with the restaurant upstairs catering for diners. The landlord that has been mentioned previously then took over and for years I avoided it, having popped in a couple of times and hated what the place had become, a rip off tourist trap where even the menus were for sale.

I went back more recently and am pleased that the new landlord is getting things back on track. It has become more "foodie" but that's not surprising given the better profit margins on food. When I was in there it was packed and the food looked good and not unreasonably priced, I particularly liked that you could order cheeses as bar food, with different prices for 1,2,3 cheeses etc.

I asked about whether they let dogs in and was told well behaved ones were, so it is at the landlord's discretion basically, which I thought was reasonable. A big coffee machine has been placed on the far end of the bar which is a shame and the music was a bit too loud. Given the number of people in there it was a little lacking in atmosphere too, but perhaps that's unfair of me as in the old days it could be quite raucous and more of a locals pub than it is now.

Overall though I'm really pleased that the new landlord has got the Mayflower back on course. I'd definitely pop in again and it's well worth a visit if you're in the area. The rating of 5.2 is alegacy of the old landlord and I'd say it deserves an 8 now. If they turned the music down a bit and injected a bit more fun into the place (and perhaps I was unlucky the night I went) then it'd be at least a 9!
wobblymoth - 7 Aug 2012 15:51
Friendly, helpful staff and a pleasingly cosy atmosphere but a weird unpleasant aroma which my own experience working in pubs and bars leads me to think that the place could do with deeper, more regular cleaning somewhere. My companion visited the gents and came back wrinkling his nose so I don't think it was just me being fussy.

Apart from that, it's a cosy, friendly place with cheery staff and a buzz of conversation; the only bum note being that there was lousy dance music playing over tinny speakers when the place really would be better with none at all.

I'm looking forward to going back, despite my criticisms but will be keeping my fingers crossed that the cleaner is no longer a stranger to bleach and a hammer has been put to the stereo.
Caractacus - 4 Jun 2012 12:00
As mentioned in a previous post, the low score for this pub must be based on a previous time / Landlord.

This is a beautiful old styled pub that looks mainly unchanged from hundreds of years ago.

Dogs are only permitted on the jetty out back, but the nice staff kindly bent the rules for us, as it was tipping down and the pub was quite empty at mid afternoon of Easter Monday.

The Scurvy Ale I tried was very tasty and they also sell Aspalls Cider as opposed to the usual Wrongbow.

I will be back in the Summer for sure.
Pat_Bateman - 11 Apr 2012 10:37
This pub was excellent. It is right on the thames, and extremely atmospheric inside. The staff were very hospitable, and the fish and chips I ordered was superb, real batter and proper chips.
There were 4 different beers on, the Greene King Springer I had was very good. One of the perty wasn't keen on his IPA and changed without question. Beer prices towards top end for a pub, but I felt I was getting my money's worth.

leeborders - 21 Feb 2012 10:58
Visited here one evening during a trip to London between Christmas and New Years. A lovely cosy little pub that was very friendly. I was surprised at the relatively low rating for this pub but from the other comments I gather that there has been a recent change of landlord.

We didn't plan to eat here but saw the food that was being served on another table and we decided to go for it. We're glad we did as the food was superb. I had the Lamb burger and my wife had the fish and chips and they were both excellent and good value. I had a few pints of Titanic Iceberg which went down well and while it's not the cheapest place to drink it's a place we'd definitely go back to. I'd imagine due to it's riverside location it could get very busy in the summer.

Lovely pub in a great historic location.

RChappo - 4 Jan 2012 17:01
Just returned from the US what a difference a new Landlord makes!!
It's back to being a great pub.
Yes the locals are going back but a bit pricey to drink there all the time.
With all the pubs closing and The Ship getting a new and totaly useless Landlord this is a great improvement to the area. We will definatley be locals again!
walkalot - 29 Dec 2011 17:56
For a Greene King pub to serve Titanic Iceberg and Nethergate Umbel Ale in good condition is impressive - as was the Laphroaig Quarter Cask at the end of the meal. What price Abbot Reserve?
meurglys_iv - 27 Dec 2011 16:12
What a difference a new landlord and chef makes! The staff are really friendly, the atmosphere has completely changed and im sure the locals will be coming back in their droves, as soon as they find out its under new management.

I visited this pub last Saturday afternoon for a quick drink and a bite to eat. Initially we sat on the jetty with a beautiful view over the Thames, but as it was high-tide, we decided to eat upstairs, as you can get a bit wet with if the boats go past. The food was very good, a friend and I both had the Wagyu beef burger, which id highly recommend. The Chef was lovely and you can tell he’s really passionate about his food, and really wants this place to work. At one point during the course of that very hot afternoon, free little tasters of Lemon Sorbet were given out to try and went down a treat in the blazing sunshine!

I enjoyed drinking here, so much so, I decided to try out the Sunday lunch the following day with some friends, as the barman had said a band were playing there in the evening. Well, we came back, the Sunday lunch was fantastic, with 4 of the cheeses of the cheese menu to follow, a particular favourite was the Berkswell. All the while listening to the band play downstairs, who at one point managed to get a few of the locals to get up and sing. What a great atmosphere and such a welcome return to a pub that always deserved to be as great from the inside as it looked from the front.

Dustyone - 7 Oct 2011 14:31
Where the funk do I start??!! Stumbled upon this little gem by chance last week, and in my years on this amazing planet I have never been given such amazing service. My partner & I were welcomed on entry by a very cheerful chef, who turned out to be from the wonderful world of OZ (But with a very strong London accent quite strange). We ordered a pint of clear, crisp and bloody delicious London Glory, and a large glass of Argentinian chardonnay (not sure of vineyard), a little pricier than expected but after leaving the bar we experienced the amazing decking out back at near high tide and we agreed we would have paid double!!! our quick drink had turned into an evening!.
We sat upstairs in the restaurant when the wind and moon said so (4 rounds later), I ordered a pistachio encrusted salmon fillet with strawberry & orange salad, i cannot express how outstanding this was for a really strange combination of ingredients especially as i ordered my salmon medium/rare!! my partner had seabass with chilli & ginger butter and she is still hounding me to get the recipe, we were served at our table by the jovial chef who informed us exactly where our fish was caught!! We both had been thoroughly fed and watered and decided on a cheese plate to finish us off, when our delights arrived we were informed by our incredibly attentive waitress that the chef was currently writing a cheese menu that would be available very soon!! A cheese menu in a pub?? What an amazing idea!!
I rarely write reviews unless I am being paid to but I felt the need to on this occasion to hopefully introduce others to this cracking little haven on South East London!! will most certainly be back asap!! - 11 Sep 2011 01:22
Just visited and they have one Greene king beer (London glory) and two guest ales - Rooster's Yankee and Tetleys midsummer madness, all on cask. Another big improvement!
peshwengi - 17 Aug 2011 19:16
Hurrah!!! Just like the last post we have avoided The Mayflower due to the miserable and rude landlord but we found out yesterday that it has now changed hands.
We had visitors from the USA and we wanted them to see The Mayflower Ship passenger list, so they could see there ancestors. What a great surprise when we found that things seem to have changed for the better. We had a jug of Pimm's and a couple of pints of Speckled Hen & Guiness on the deck. The place was buzzing and and the staff could speak english!
If we had known we would have eaten there but had already made a resevation at Simplicity, across the road, as we have refused in the past to give The Mayflower our custom. Simplicity as usual was excellent.
We are local and frequented The Mayflower for many years until the last lanlord took over and made a great local pub a chintzy over-priced, unwelcoming establishment. We are looking forward to see how things progress, we have already seen a couple of locals back so we are spreading the good news!!!!!
walkalot - 10 Jul 2011 18:31
This is the closest pub to my house but I have avoided it for years because of the terrible management, poor beer selection and overpriced mediocre food.

HOWEVER it has been under new management for the last month apparently and while the pub itself looks the same, the service, food and beer selection has improved.

Still a Greene King pub but when I visited they had two seasonal specials on which was refreshing. They have a decent selection of wines including Babich Black Label sauv blanc, although it is pricey at 26.50. A small glass of something Argentine was 5.60. I don't remember the price of the two Greene King "guest" ales they had but they were well kept.

The food menu is much much shorter than it used to be which is usually a good sign. We had Free range Chicken, Garlic, and tarragon pie with mash, and sausage and mash with black pudding. Both were delicious and generous portions.

I can't say how delighted I am that the old regime has gone as the pub feels much friendlier now. I know that a few die-hard regulars won't like it but it's about time that this wonderful pub with so much potential got a chance to be more than just a tourist magnet.
peshwengi - 7 Jul 2011 09:59
This is a gorgeous little pub, with a spectacular deck right on the Thames. It is not the cheapest place around (the food is particularly extortionate), but it has a nice selection of Green King ales. You can also order a pitcher of Pimm's, which is a lovely thing to do on a sunny summer evening, sitting out on the deck.
abhowell - 20 May 2011 09:53
Wonderfully evocative 17th century interior and securely fenced timber jetty outside at the level of high Spring tides; views over to the Prospect of Whitby. The quality of the food matched that of the customers quite well. Both were as sophisticated as they were hot. Beer fine but nothing worth casting a spar to get at.
King_Radders - 23 Apr 2011 15:56
nice 16th century looking pub .Very expensive pint of coke at £3.80p per pint
basil2009 - 5 Mar 2011 07:03
Beautiful looking pub, but thats about it. The drinks are overpriced, dont have the guinness for sure! The bar staff & especially the landlord could certainly do with some customer training, bickering and tension were obvious. The food was very expensive and very disapointing, basically you could get a roast of that quality in a café for 5 quid.
Dustyone - 31 Jan 2011 11:38
I last reviewed this pub 6 years ago and little has changed. Still a wonderful building with a (now larger) jetty over the Thames, with huge potential, but expensive, food is poor and very expensive, landlord miserable. Was closed over Christmas when a few of us did actually try to have a pint.
tonyandrachel - 15 Jan 2011 11:16
This used to be the best place to go for Christmas dinner but as to be expected from the "new" lanlord : no loyalty to his customers..Closed Christmas and New Year!!
walkalot - 30 Dec 2010 18:25
Pub and bar staff are OK, but under no circumstances should you use the upstairs restaurant! Truly the worst service in London. And for the worst service in London, there is a compulsory 10% service charge on everything (including drinks). The owner/manager is the rudest I have ever encountered.
bendybazz - 9 Nov 2010 10:24
Very small bar, The Mayflower. Interior is very claustrophobic… or atmospheric, depending on how you want to look at it. Still has a very nice feel to it, and some of the details of the interior have been very well handled.

The balcony, has unfortunately at some point been attacked with an attempt at historically accuracy . In its width and design, this box-like wooden structure obscures about 60% of the view. And and yes you can get wet at high tide, but thats fun.

They are still charging higher prices for what is good, but not that special food anymore. I guess this is what's most probably a 'good chef' markup. Guess good chefs are harder to find, or easier to lose than I thought. There used to be someone there who was turning out great food. Food seems to be partly catering for the "just give me a burger, but make it BIG'", American tourist.

Staff I've always found to be good ones, nice and smiling helpful souls. You'll get served in about 1/3 of the time it will take you at the Old Salt. Manager … well looks like he's under a lot of pressure ;-)

Marky2 - 17 Aug 2010 14:42
£3.90 for Guinness; £3.70 for Kronenbourg
At high tide you could get wet on the rear deck.

MrBabble - 20 May 2010 10:39
Staff really friendly and prices pretty typical for London. It's handy for Rotherhithe station and the terrace has spectacular river views.
seagullfan - 3 May 2010 19:49
This pub has really lost the plot. The service is rubbish and the price of food is outrageous £19 for fish and chips! I should explain that is £19 for one person.

I eat there a few days ago and the food was very average but the prices are not. Pay an inflated price and the waiting staff still will not bring you cutlery or condiments to the table. By comparison the Gordon Ramsey pub just across the river does two course set lunch for £15. The pub has just alienated most of the locals through its rip off prices.
jd99 - 25 Sep 2009 20:33
Shameful. Overpriced beyond belief and a miserable rude landlord. This pub was once a vibrant place to go and anintegral part of this patch of Rotherhithe. It is now a soulless tourist trap, run solely as a business with no concern for repeat customers as so many of the punters visit once as they are on holiday. I really hope one day this pub becomes what it once was, a boisterous, character filled old fashioned boozer which welcomed the tourists and gave them a genuine feel for what a great british pub can be.
wobblymoth - 2 Sep 2009 13:25
We keep trying The Mayflower every now and then to see if has returned to its former glory but no such luck! It seems as if everybody feels the same as in times gone by the place was always packed, if it was a nice day you had to arrive at opening time to get a seat on the deck but it's empty now. No surprise as it's so overpriced, the staff try but dont understand english. When we were there someone ordered half a Stella and half a Guiness, the "barmaid" put them in the same glass!!!!!! I bet even that wouldnt have made the miserable lanlord laugh!
walkalot - 28 Aug 2009 15:29
My family went there the other day and although they said the food was ok the bar prices were a complete rip off. £10 for a vodka and coke and a vodka and orange juice! Definitely a tourist trap and a shame as years ago it used to be a good place to go and enjoy the river.
jaloo - 31 Jul 2009 15:37
We visited this pub on a sunny Sunday afternoon. It is pretty on the outside, and pretty on the inside. Being nice out, we went through to the deck out back. While this pub is right on the Thames, the deck (for want of a better word) has been ingeniously constructed to obscure all views of the river when one is seated. Actually, it looks like a wooden fort, or perhaps a tree-house. Perfect for Wild-West enthusiasts and juveniles.
I don't usually patronise pubs whose bar staff are from far away lands where they know nothing about beer, not because I'm a xenophobe, but because the beer is often rubbish. My wife, however, being an American combines an ignorance of beer with a love of things tenuously linked to her homeland, so I agreed to go in for a pint.
As it turned out, I had a perfectly adequate pint of ale. The very imperfect price was £3.50, which must be the most I've paid for beer in a pub. Being stupid, I then ordered a bowl of Japanese rice cracker snacks (or whatever you call them) at £1.70. They say bowl, I say egg-cup.
This pub was strangely underpopulated, given the day, the weather and its position along the Thames path. The people who were there were mostly tourists, with a peppering of one-time-only blow-ins like us. The atmosphere was largely non-existant. My wife thought it was creepy.
To conclude, this pub appears to be a rip-off tourist-trap with okay beer. To get the most out of this pub, take a look at the inside and outside of the pretty building, and then go somewhere else for your pint.
crossfield - 13 Jul 2009 15:28
Where to start.... Beautiful pub, fantastic location, great atmosphere. The food was good. Pricey but not extreme, and for the size of the portions actually decent value for money. The landlord on the other hand it has to be said is very eccentric. You really do get the feeling he would prefer people to just push money through the letter slot instead of sitting in the pub. Having said that, the quirkiness actually adds to the atmosphere of the place. He did smile and say thankyou as we left though. Brilliant pub that just needs a bit of customer service training or people management skills.
Zaphod - 1 Jul 2009 10:05
Having read some of the other reviews on this site we were a bit apprehensive about visiting the Mayflower but pleased to say it was well worth the trip.

We visited on a sunny Monday lunchtime and ate on the terrace. The views on this part of the river are outstanding and there is a feeling of tranquility in Rotherhithe that you don't experience in many other parts of London. The terrace is actually built over the river and the sound of the water lapping below adds to the atmosphere.

While certainly no gastro pub, the Mayflower serves great traditional pub food in very generous portions. (if you order a sandwich expect the plate to come crammed with fries and salad too). The staff were friendly enough although expect an element of self service if you come here - you'll need to order from the bar and pick up your own knives, forks and condiments on the way back.

While we didn't sit inside the pub, on passing through it looked pretty cosy - there was a log fire burning even on a warm sunny day hence not sure how genuine it was. Otherwise the bar area is divided into separate sections pannelled with dark wood which creates a fairly authentic feel and certainly a great deal better than had been expected from some of the reviews posted here.
nickdarlow - 25 Apr 2009 11:33
Despite being local to the Mayflower and having eaten there previously on several occasions, I really have had enough of the frankly bog standard, over priced food and the surly staff who work in the restaurant,

I ate there recently and had the tuna steak on a nicoise salad. Despite ordering a tuna steak on caesar salad (cos lettuce, caesar dressing etc), I was brought a rubbery tuna steak atop a mountain of cheap chopped veg, including a fair amount of leftover broccoli. When I pointed out to the waitress that I had in fact ordered a caesar salad and not this medley of unappealing chopped veg (which goes by the name of a nicoise salad!), I was told that the chef refused to change my meal and I could basically lump it.

I wouldn't mind if the prices matched the level of poor service in this 'restaurant' but at £13.50 for this meal I was really annoyed that I had to pay for something I couldn't eat. My only course of action was to refuse to pay the service charge which is automatically added to the bill. Our waitress made no secret of the fact that she was not happy about this!

This is not the first time I have left the Mayflower feeling unhappy with either the food or the service. I note from previous comments made that I am not the first to notice the unfriendliness of the staff, especially the older male waiter who takes the food orders in the restaurant.

It's a shame that this pub can't look after its regulars a bit better- I won't be eating or drinking there again.
RotherhitheReview - 2 Feb 2009 11:36
One of my favourites.
very attractive both inside and outside.
Have eaten there with friends several times, and was always extremely pleased.
Sunday roast in particular is extremely generous and will make a dinner superfluous.
Service is not overly friendly, but fine anyway.
Loo is okay.

Take with you something warm in summer too, as the terrace (with beautiful view of the river) can be pretty windy.

Nice place, will eat there again.

ebenezerscrooge - 27 Jan 2009 23:26
I know there is a depression on but I went into this Pub extremely happy saw the owner in action and left depressed. A dump do not use.
Denn - 22 Oct 2008 13:12
After reading the previous comment about this pub and coming to London for a family event I was unsure about it. The location was great for us and having spoken to the Landlord the menu and beers sounded good. So I took a chance and booked a table for a party of eight (3 generations of the family) in the restaurant. Everyone really enjoyed themselves, there was something for everyone on the menu and we all found the quality and quantity of the meals excellent. The staff (including the Landlord) could not have been more friendly and helpful. Prices might be a little high, but the location overlooking the river and the history of the pub made it ideal for us.
gilberta - 1 Oct 2008 17:35
"Shocking" is all I can say about this pub and landlord. I visited with my wife and a small group of friends for a lunchtime drink and a bite one recent Saturday after participating in a charity event. My wife and I used to live locally many years ago and, as we were in the area, thought it may be nice to pop in.

The bar staff were pleasant enough, though English was obviously not their first, of even fourth or fifth language, but the beer was palatable, though nothing outstanding. And so we took our drinks and ventured out onto the jetty to enjoy the Thames view. On returning inside once the rain started we were met with the site of a grizzled-faced man standing at the end of the bar, clutching a small white dog and staring at us with what I can only describe as utter contempt. What brought this reaction on from this man, who it soon became apparent was the landlord, was, and remains beyond both my wife and I, and our friends understanding. However, not content with glaring at us with a face that could flatten even the liveliest of lagers, he proceeded to beckon to a very large, Neanderthal-type fellow who, after 'Old Grizzly' had muttered a few words into employee's cauliflowered ears, proceeded to stand, arms folded by the door and join his boss is staring menacingly at us from across the pub.

My wife and I remember this pub when it was a friendly local pub, attracting an eclectic mix of local residents and workers, and very much in the spirit of this historic and traditional corner of London. However, The Mayflower of today resembles more an overpriced and unattractive pastiche of its former self, with the old beer signs and tankards having been replaced with hideous cut glass and porcelain statues of dolls, children on swings, teddy bears and swans, (of the kind that your mad great aunt collects from the back of Sunday magazines and arranges on the mantlepiece of her bungalow next to a plate picturing Princess Di).

The food in The Mayflower is ridiculously overpriced and, though we were intending to eat, were put off from doing so not just by the landlord from hell and his apparent wish to start a fight of some kind, but by the rather wanton and unhappy faces of the dinners as they pushed their rather miserable-looking portions of food around their plate's while muttering disappointedly to one another in their native tongues (the dinners all being tourists).

It would seem that what was once such a gem of a local pub has been replaced by pale a imitation of what a traditional London pub should be. The character has been replaced with kitsch, and the friendly atmosphere with a rather malevolent one. Perhaps if we are lucky this rather unpleasant and perhaps unbalanced individual will also be replaced and the pub can once again be enjoyed without the fear of confrontation or cut glass.

RicoSoave - 2 Aug 2008 18:19
Being a publican myself I always enjoy visiting the Mayflower for a very well prepared meal. The food is pricey but then again one pays for excellent presentation of the meal. I love the atmosphere and although I have never caught a glimpse of the present owners, the barstaff are quite friendly. Great pub for a lunch!
aardvark00 - 24 Jul 2008 18:17
Was expecting a far more corporate air and was pleasantly surprised by its lack thereof.
There still seems a good amount of character to the place and the river views are good, but not the best you can find.
Reasonable beer, but nothing special. Would have eaten but put off by the incredibly high prices.
Not worth making a special trip for in my opinion.

mrse1 - 1 Jul 2008 14:32
Characterful and well-known traditional riverside pub, very popular with tourists. Doesn't have any music, fruit machines etc, which seems to keep most of the riff-raff away.

Its a Greene King pub, so the beer aficianados will be disappointed, but my pint of IPA was pleasant enough.

There's a verandah at the back for outside drinking overlooking the Thames on those rare sunny days that we occasionally get
JohnBonser - 12 Mar 2008 13:29
Can't understand why anyone would not like this pub. Overpriced food might be fair comment although in fairness I've been tempted a few times as the food always looks amazing. But I have to say that for service this place is great. We go here infrequently but we're always met with a smile from our very first time right up until last week.
The pub itself is small and quirky (which personally I like). There is an open fire at the back and a beer garden outside. It's close to the temporarily closed Rotherhithe station and is either the starting point or final call on the Rotherhithe Rd pub crawl which we participate in whenever out-of-town friends visit for some drinks. Overall this is a nice quiet place for a few drinks which has plenty of character.
Waller - 15 Feb 2008 15:48
Publicans may come and go (but the Mayflower rules forever!)
It's undeniably true that the current landlords can't be compared with local treasure Phil(though I swear that we locals have already had a humanising effect on them). But that doesn't alter the fact that this is a lovely old pub, in a wonderful riverside location, with well-kept Greene King (inc. Abbot) & Speckled Hen. And it does still attract a fair cross-section of people who live and work in the area. Give it a try, and judge for yourself!
CatsGrandma - 13 Feb 2008 14:21
Thought we would give The Mayflower another chance. What a mistake. The barmaid could not understand us and had to get help (all I asked for was a pint of IPA and a Bud!!) It was Saturday afternoon and just a few tourists about, probably the only people to go as when you've visited once and experienced the overpriced food and drink and miserable lanlord you dont go again.
walkalot - 12 Feb 2008 18:36
lovely pub - as lovely as it was four decades ago. Clientele different, of course, but beer and food are excellent. The staff here endeavour to serve their customers. Will accept advice if unsure about a drink: e.g. my regular black and tan order. Does crowd out in the evening with the dinkies.
tuanfrank - 9 Feb 2008 16:25
anonymous - 31 Dec 2007 13:15
If you like snotty service and overpriced food, then this is the place for you. Otherwise, save your money and go somewhere else. There are so many other great pubs to frequent in London, I cannot think of any good reason why you would want to give your money to these people.
cit - 2 Dec 2007 00:55
Rude, staff donot understand you, dirty, Landlord reminds needs apersonality transplant, bouncer threatning, keep away spend your money else where.
anonymous - 2 Nov 2007 20:30
This was in the summer of 2006. Absolutley no atmosphere for a pub. Extremely small Pub but have a bouncer standing by the door who watches everyone all the time, makes you feel uneasy. When I was there a drinker who I estimate was roughly 40+ and very middle class was with his partner who was laughing loudly. The landlord asked them to leave as she was making too much noise. They started to protest and was asked to leave by the bouncer. The local Priest said quite loudly that this was the worse landlord since he came to the area. I gather he has since passed away and was also asked to leave. The Curtains are very dirty and you can visibly see dust on the rope and small speakers in the pub. I tried the Pub again on 02/11/07 and nothing has changed. It still has no atmosphere for a pub and I left after one drink. On the positive side the food looks good although very expensive for a pub in a not very savoury area. The spirits were not in optics and reminded me of a Restaurant. My view is that this is a Restaurant with a Bar not a Pub with a restaurant. If I was rating it as a Restaurant it would be very good if they did away with the booncer. Anyone contemplating visiting would do better visiting the Town of Ramsgate in Wapping or the Pubs in the Borough which all have atmosphere in abundence if they wanted a real Pub.
anonymous - 2 Nov 2007 20:20
Badly managed, over priced and although aesthetically pleasing, about as far removed from a "local" as it's possible to get.

A great restaurant with locally sourced fresh food at unbelievably good value prices can be found 2 minutes walk away in Tunnel Road where you will be welcomed as opposed to treated with at best tolerance and at worst hostility in the Mayflower. And no, I don't own the restaurant, I've sampled both and there's really no comparison.
anonymous - 5 Oct 2007 17:06
Visited here in the summer as part of a Wapping/Rotherhithe pub crawl my friend had devised.I can't comment on the food but we had a pleasant pint on the deck overlooking the river,and it's very close to the Brunel museum,if that intrigues you
virginiaplain - 1 Oct 2007 15:37
The pub itself is in a lovely location overlooking the Thames and the menu looks fantastic. Most of the food looked good but I had a jug of prawms ('baby crevettes') which were distinctly OFF. Even the wedge of lemon looked rank.
I was so glad that I hadn't ordered the seafood platter.
The service wasn't brilliant either and I got the feeling that the staff didn't enjoy working there.
Definitely a no-no if you like good fresh seafood...this has put me off prawns for life.

anonymous - 17 Sep 2007 10:07
Bit of a tourist trap - punters who should know better. Ho-hum service, not very focussed on customer satisfaction. Never felt inclined to eat here - never really wanted to stay. Functional, but disappointing pub.
Wharflad - 4 Sep 2007 14:15
Did not see the landlord or have a non-English speaking server, so I found the service very good and the outdoor deck a pleasant place to sit. Ale was in decent shape. Maybe the key to enjoyment (and to control costs) is to show up just for the drinks.
Mr.Matt - 29 Jul 2007 03:25
A rude and arrogant landlord who has obviously made his money and lost interest in what could be a great place was my first encounter of the Mayflower. I should have walked out there and then.

The service was poor with the staff unable to understand English and the food was worse being poorly cooked although very expensive.

Stay away
RogerV - 15 Jul 2007 21:06
It looks all right and the position cannot be questioned but the prices can. If Execution Dock was still in operation the person running this pub would be strung up for piracy. Tourists only I think because you would only want to be robbed once.
jackthelad - 11 Jun 2007 19:10
Tried the Mayflower’s restaurant out last night (a Friday). Rang to book. Needn’t have bothered – turned out they could only find three tables’ worth of people stupid enough to eat there.
Sweet but hopeless Eastern European staff managed by the fifty-something licensee, who took our order. My girlfriend asked how they served the tuna steak and was told ‘Pink, very pink.’ He seemed to have great confidence in his fish, so I chose halibut. The starter, deep-fried Camembert to share. One bottle of £15 white.
Starter came – two small deep-frozen, deep-fried medallions of Camembert in breadcrumbs with an enormous, admittedly fresh, salad of iceberg leaves. Disappointing.
Mains arrived. Dreadful. Tough grey tuna and dry, flavourless halibut served on a plate that was frying-pan hot. I kept quiet about how bad my halibut was thinking my girlfriend was enjoying her tuna. She gave up halfway through. Inedible.
I wanted to complain; she ‘didn’t want to cause a fuss’. Asked for the bill. Waitress immediately said ‘£53’. Quite a shock. Asked to see the bill. Waitress went to counter and came back with a scrap of paper on which was written: ‘£53’. Nothing else. Asked to see a breakdown of the bill. She came back with the pages from the licensee’s pad on which the order had been taken. I then said I wasn’t happy with the food. She grinned helplessly. Asked to see the manager. My girlfriend, not the complaining type, was embarrassed and went downstairs.
Landlord turned up and immediately went on the offensive, saying I knew nothing about food and I must have liked it, as I hadn’t complained when it arrived. Shocked at his attitude but did my best to stay calm as he became more and more abusive and accused me of trying to con a free meal. Culminated in his shouting that I should leave and I was ‘banned for life’. I threw a twenty on the table, he stormed off and I went downstairs.
By the time I got downstairs the landlord was outside smoking a cigarette and telling anyone who would listen that I was low-life scum who was out to scam a free meal (my girlfriend was listening to all this as she waited for me). As I left he relaunched his attack, standing inches from me with his face twisted with rage. He became physically threatening and I had to remind him that I was on crutches (broken foot) and in no position to defend myself.
For the record, I work in food-and-travel publishing and my girlfriend is a doctor. We are not in the habit of scamming pubs for free food.

anonymous - 12 May 2007 22:26
I have been going to the Mayflower pub for a few years. I think it is a fantastic pub even without the obvious historical connections. The food is plenty and the beer excellent. There have been some comments from people saying that the licensee is not the life and soul of the party , that may well be the case but he runs an excellent boozer. In the past prior to current management some of the "locals" appeared to run the pub and it became quite run down and uncomfortable to visit. Yes the current landlord is a bit bolshy but that is good because he doesnt take any crap from any chav that wants to put his stamp on the place. Keep up the good work.
p.s. Bring on the 1st of July because it does get smoky in there sometimes
anonymous - 25 Mar 2007 19:19
Just perfect. A Thames-side location (with a terrace literally hanging over the river), a lovely old - very historical - timbered building, and an amazing food menu (including a Kobe beef burger for a very reasonable £13 and an antelope burger; live lobsters and crabs also cooked on-site). Can't remember the range of drinks, though.
Greshon - 9 Feb 2007 15:38
Not a local, but have been here 3 or 4 times this year. Never been very busy - but visits all at lowish peak times. Found bar staff friendly enough, but no idea what a Pimms was notwithstanding that it was on special promotion at the time (July). After asking for a Pimms the barmaid asked "do you want anything with it?" I knew that there might be a problem. At that moment he Manager emerged and took control of the situation and produced what my wife said was the best Pimms she had had in a pub (and reasonable at £12 a jug). So, something good to say about the landlord - whatever anyone else says about him, his Pimms is brilliant. I liked the whole feeling of the pub - but there again I probably have missed is best years.
RexRattus - 11 Dec 2006 12:32
Highly priced historical local 'reformed' to cater for their 'new' punters who'll plot up and pay forty rubs for a meal and a score for wine. That said excellent draft ales and cosy little layout. Only pub in Britain with licence to sell American postage stamps. Fact! View better at 'Angel' but beer and atmosphere unrivalled at Mayflower.
FrankWhisky - 30 Sep 2006 04:05
Could be a grat pub ( in fact it used to be.) Drinks very expensive food also overpriced, even though you do get large portions. The main problem is the lanlord, miserable, rude and shouldnt be in the pub game. When I was there last every person qustioned the price of drinks with very rude responses from the lanlord!! Dont give him your business, go elsewhere. Jump on a tube to Wapping try the Town of Ramsgate.
walkalot - 4 Aug 2006 17:42
Great food served in the cosy restaurant upstairs. I've eaten here twice and its always been top notch with friendly & efficient service.
Always busy in the bar downstairs and my only negative comment would be about how smokey it can get.
Esty - 2 May 2006 09:52
Three afternoon visits have confirmed excellent seafood, well kept Abbott Ale, great atmosphere, and friendly service from the bar staff. Only blemish is the cheerless, impatient manager (although he may be the reason for the quality). 9/10.
Real_Al - 17 Apr 2006 21:31
As one of the most historic and famous pubs in London, any serious pub fanatic should include a visit here at some time. Reputedly the site where the Mayflower set sail for America in 1620, the pub has changed both names and appearances several times over the years, most recently in the 50’s when it was substantially rebuilt after the Luftwaffe had a hand in making some rearrangements the previous decade. Situated right on the banks of the river in a quiet back street opposite the Brunel Engine Museum, the hanging baskets and warm glow from the windows are very enticing. The inside is quite small with the usual array of panelling, beams and a brick fireplace that you would expect of an old pub. Every available space is used as best as possible but table sharing is a probability when busy and with some tables squeezed into impossible angles it’s a good way to get talking to people. There is quite an extensive if somewhat upmarket menu (see the boards dotted around the pub on the walls) but as I have not eaten here, I cannot comment on whether the prices are justified, however the pub web site claims that seafood and particularly shellfish is a speciality so the previous comments about Fish & Chips being a rip off at £15.80 does not necessarily present the full picture. The food certainly smelt delicious as we walked in. There were a couple of beers on hand pump among the usual selection of lagers, ciders and bottles. The staff were helpful enough (we quizzed them on an unrecognised beer visible in the fridge). The small pier at the back offers some good views of the river and is ideal to idle time watching the boats go by. There appeared to be a good mix of people when we were there. Didn’t see any TV or games machines so the emphasis is on conversation. All in all, one of my favourite London pubs. Don't be put off by other comments and ratings. Go and see for yourself!
RogerB - 13 Oct 2005 11:31
Prices seemed high for area as they are high for area. Mayflower now aimed squarely at tourists and riverside apartment dwellers, locals not being deemed fit to share (admittedly brilliant) riverside views. Much better atmosphere (conversation, friendly guvner etc) in the Ship or the Blacksmiths.
pablos13 - 24 Sep 2005 08:44
Historic little pub right on the river. Good (not great) beer, standard Greene King. Did not try the food, price seemed very high for the area. Loved the back of the pub. Nice to sit or stand on the jetty and watch the river roll by.
beerbum63 - 24 Sep 2005 01:54
I've eaten here twice and while the food is a bit expensive for a pub, it is definitely a notch up from usual pub grub. Unlike the nearby Angel, the beers are drinkable here. I've not been in summer, so I've yet to see how popular the terrace is, although it doesn't seem as inviting as the outside spaces wasted on Sam Smiths pubs like The Angel and the Captain Kidd. The front room can get extremely smoky on quiz nights, although this was in winter. Maybe they open the windows when it gets warmer.
DaveTheDog - 19 Jul 2005 17:43
Obviously Foreverred (29.03.05) must be living in a completely Rotherhithe Village from the one I've been living over the last 8 years. He/she clearly had never been to what was once a thriving pub with a great mix of local folk and city types like myself. He/she, should get the facts right, as an ex-daily regular there, I've never felt threatened my anyone. And that was the beauty of the place, the variety of characters. Sadly, not any more! Alex Dias
anonymous - 26 Jun 2005 19:13
I am unable to comment on this pub as, turning up on a nice sunny spring afternoon at 3.15 pm on a Friday, the pub was closing for the afternoon. Admittedly the barman was apologetic, but this was despite there being a notice saying "open all day". I'm staggered - one of the most famous riverside pubs in London closing during the afternoon on a Friday ! Words fail me
JohnBonser - 4 May 2005 12:25
What some users dont seem to understand is that the Landlord has done very well to make this a non locals pub. As 99% of the locals are chav. The restuarant is actually very good with a nice ambience. Beer prices are high, but if you want a cheaper pint and the feeling that any moment you are going to get your throat cut then the Ship is just around the corner.
Foreverred - 29 Mar 2005 14:01
This used to be a truely great pub, then in late 2003 it got a change of landlord. Now utter rubbish, terrible beer at astronomic prices. Didn't try the food, was too disheartened after one pint I left. A crying shame.
edz314 - 28 Feb 2005 13:11
Unfortunately I have to agree with many of the comments here. This should be one of London's best pubs; I used to visit when I lived miles away and it's one of the reasons I came to know Rotherhithe and now live here. It is steeped in history, has a prized interior, and has a jetty out over the River Thames.

But rarely do we go to the Mayflower, as the prices are sky-high, the ales are very poorly kept, and the food is not real pub food.

Please, change the management, serve a decent pint, serve pub food (not overpriced restauranty-food), and bring the prices down. I know that on the face of it that will reduce income but the pub has potential to pull in a much bigger crowd if only the pub offered people what they want, so I don't think it would actually harm profitability at all.
tonyandrachel - 16 Jan 2005 17:39
Dreadful pub. Owned by a miserable landlord who is an example of a growing breed of people who own pubs for nothing other than money. I'm confident that the other comments on this site are accurate, as I can imagine it was once a pub full of characters, laughter and community. Now there is no character. Money has sold out this soul.
TomAngel - 9 Dec 2004 11:00
My brother and I popped into this pub 5 years ago when we were looking to buy a flat and had some time spare before viewing one about 100 yards away. Let's just say we decided to put an offer in there and then.

After weekly if not daily visits for 3 and a half years, there was a change of management in late Spring 2003.

You only have to read the comments below to see the result. I can't imagine a less appropriate profession for this landlord than running a pub. It's a shame he didn't decide on an Angus Steakhouse in the West End or somewhere equally characterless.

The day it has new management will be a joyous one for its ex-locals indeed. We live in hope.
Alice - 29 Sep 2004 17:27
The pub has gone downhill since the the new landlord has taken over, a man in urgent need of smile and a personality transplant. A sad decline of great local now without locals.
rh - 28 Aug 2004 20:45
I used to travel across London to this pub on a regular basis as it was one of the true "village" style pubs in the city. It had a genuinely welcoming feel with a crowd of jovial regulars at the bar. These days it feels like a rather cold tourist trap. Disney's vision of a British pub. Avoid.
Chris - 14 Jun 2004 15:42
This 'quaint' London pub was probably the jewel in Rotherhithe's crown some time ago, but I suspect corporate greed has somewhat tarnished its charm. In an area not known for its huge tourist attractions I was upset that the floor mats indicated I was in 'Rotherhithe, London, England'. Now, I'm not a big fan of tourists, but I'm guessing they could work that out for themselves. The barstaff had all the charm of a lone faecal crumb; the beer massively overpriced and the food looked uninspired, yet expensive. It is the trend of the 21st century to put a pound sign next anything remotely cultural/historical and it seems The Mayflower's owners have cottoned on to this. A great shame really.
Wayne Jordan - 8 Jun 2004 09:57
ps I forgot to mention, on my visit I had the pleasure of paying £17 for a main course!! Though gargantuan it just wasn't that special -much better to pay less and have better food at one of the gastropubs in Camden....
LFS - 26 May 2004 17:30
I am an avid pub quizzer and with a large group of friends regularly used to come to this pub on a Tuesday night to take part in John's quizzes and sup a nice few pints of bitter. It had a wonderful, busy and relaxed atmosphere and I have many fond memories of nights out and even new year's eves spent within. Until a few weeks back I'd not set foot in the pub for over a year... what did I find? A lovely building that is now more of a restaurant aimed at tourists than a thriving drinking house. I'm truly saddened and have defected to the Wibbley Wobbley on Greenland Dock.
LFS - 26 May 2004 17:10
I love this pub! The bar staff are friendly and efficient. It has a good mix of locals and tourists and everyone is made to feel very welcome. The food at first glance seems expensive, but is excellent and served in huge portions. Try the restaurant upstairs on a Sunday lunchtime - a real treat and a proper sunday roast! Every Tuesday they host a lighthearted quiz which everyone can join in with - although if you want a seat you'll need to get there before 8pm!
Brian Hunt - 31 Mar 2004 14:38
As a local, I have to agree with Tom. With it's decoration based around the famous Mayflower ship and history, combined with photos from the area and folk, it will appeal to not only the traditionalist but also to everyone in general. In a very succinct way, Sally Zane (29/01/04) was 100% with her description. I'm not sure how far Peter (30/12/03)walked down Rotherhithe St, but I would strongly recommend "The Blacksmith Arms" next time he's down in Rotherhithe.
Alex Dias - 6 Feb 2004 15:44
Pub is pretty ancient but not hugely welcoming.
Sally Zane - 29 Jan 2004 18:37
Can't really comment on what Tom has said, but I personally find the pub to be a decent place to go for a drink and possibly a meal. Its not as old as you would think either having been rebuilt in the 1950s after it was bombed in WW2. Of all of the pubs that I have ventured into on the Rotherhithe peninsular it is by far the nicest.
Peter - 30 Dec 2003 16:25
I have lived in the Rotherhithe area for years now, and am sad to say the Mayflower pub is a shadow of its former self. The pub itself is a lovely riverside establshment, however the prevailing atmosphere is staid and one that implies the owners would rather there were no customers in there at all.They appear to have embraced the transcient punter as opposed to continuing the pub as the centre of the local community life as it once was; a shame.
Tom - - 19 Sep 2003 09:42
The best pub on the South East River stretch. Old, original with great staff and some local crowd. Good beer and great atmosphere. Well worth a visit!
Anja - 19 Aug 2003 17:29

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