Anchor & Hope 1

36 The Cut , London, SE1 8LP

  • Anchor   Hope London pub Southwark
  • Anchor   Hope London pub Southwark

SquareMeal Review of Anchor & Hope

The ‘no reservations’ policy, dishevelled interiors and jam-packed tables aren’t enough to deter south London’s dining cognoscenti from patronising its best-known gastropub – although recent reports suggest the Anchor & Hope is getting ‘tired’ and ‘trading on its longevity’. Once you’ve negotiated the scrum at the bar and secured a coveted spot in t he no-frills dining room, you’ll be rewarded with a short (and rapidly depleted) blackboard menu of unreformed grub with a trencherman British accent – perhaps a ‘flavoursome’ warm salad of snails and bacon, Middle White pork faggot and mash, grilled lemon sole with samphire, or fried ox cheek. The enticing wine list has plenty below the £25 mark, although not everyone is happy drinking out of cheap tumblers. You can book for Sunday lunch, with a single sitting at 2pm sharp (very civilised).

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4.0

Food & Drink: 4.5

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 3.7

Food & Drink: 0.0

Service: 1.0

Atmosphere: 1.0

Value: 0.0

Francesca V. 23 November 2013

I had dinner with 2 friends at the Anchor and Hope this week and I don't think I have been treated more rudely in a restaurant before. We arrived at 6.30pm at the pub and asked if we could have a table for 3 people at the restaurant explaining that one of us was on her way. We were told that we couldn't have the table unless all 3 diners were present. We reassured that our friend was in her way and got the table. My friend got stuck in the tube and arrived 30 minutes late. In the meantime we ordered our dinner, started to eat and were pestered by the waitress every 10minutes asking where our friend was and whether we wanted to order dinner for her. We were put under an enormous pressure while we were eating even if there were other free tables around us which the restaurant could use for newcomers. When my friend arrived and sat at the table an extremely rude waitress told her that she could only order one course as we had occupied the table for far too long (30min in total!!!). My friend was put under pressure to eat her meal as quickly as possible and we had to find a different place to have our desert and coffe as we had to free the table. Food was not impressive: badly copied Italian recepies with loads of mayonnaise which Italians would never use as dressing. I Will NEVER GO BACK TO THE ANCHOR AND HOPE AND I ADVISE YOU NOT TO GO THERE. SHAME ON YOU ANCHOR AND HOPE!!!

Food & Drink: 1.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 1.0

Bev T. 20 May 2013

I went here with a girlfriend for Sunday lunch, which I was really looking forward to as I have heard good things about this place in the past (although admittedly, more recent reviews are much less complimentary). I booked us a table and was told it was a set menu, served at 2pm and was £32 per head. Pretty expensive I thought but hopefully worth it. When we arrived the staff were lovely, really friendly. A good start. Then they started serving lunch. So starters were a mixture of things. Octopus on Kos lettuce was dry, rubbery and just tasted of pickling vinegar; the roasted tomatoes were bland and I couldn't have the asparagus with ricotta as I don't eat ricotta. I asked them if they could do me some asparagus without the ricotta and got a swift “no”. My friend and are were still famished after the starters so were really looking forward to the main course – roast kid with wild garlic and fennel. The waiter then arrives with a cereal bowl of meat and puts it between us. No vegetables, no potatoes, nothing. Just a cereal bowl of meat for us to share. We divvied it up and it just looked pathetic on our huge plates, just a couple of pieces of meat and some chickpeas. It tasted OK, but nothing amazing. Dessert was cheesecake, which I couldn't eat, so they rather begrudgingly gave me a piece of cheese and some oatcakes. We were both still really hungry afterwards. We had two glasses of wine each (for some reason served in tiny water tumblers) and the bill was £80, without service. I have to say this is the most disappointing meal that i have ever had and felt outraged at having to pay so much for so little. No joke, the ingredients must have cost no more than a few quid per head and we were paying £40 each. We just wanted a nice Sunday lunch with the all the trimmings. Avoid this place at all costs if you want a traditional roast. They are so trading on their old reputation that they think they can serve you rubbish like this and charge the earth for it.

Food & Drink: 1.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 1.0

Lyn W. 05 May 2012

Went to the Anchor and Hope with a group of friends on Friday night. Very disappointed with this tired gastropub, which is surely now trading on its longevity and the reputation it once had. The service was sporadic until they wanted us to pay the bill and go, at which point it became very brisk. The food was terrible. The famed leg of lamb was slow cooked to tastelessness. The vegetarian lentils with spinach and goats cheese a disgrace – £1 of ingredients cooked to sub-suburban Indian restaurant standards and turned out for £14.40. Just about ok for a drink on a busy night before getting the train. But avoid the food, particularly at the prices.

Food & Drink: 0.0

Service: 0.0

Atmosphere: 1.0

Value: 0.0

Jordan L. 31 March 2012

Had an absolutely shocking and disgusting evening at the Anchor and Hope. Having drank on a number of occasions at the bar with colleagues after work, I decided to go for food with my girlfriend and a couple of friends on Friday night as the food always looked tempting. Firstly I knew that there were no table reservations so we got there early, and got our name on the wait list. We were told 20 minutes and got some drinks at the bar. We ordered 2 beers, and 2 glasses of white wine. The wine was served in little tumble glasses that were filled to the brim. When we politely asked the barman if we could transfer them into a wine glass, we got a very abrupt and extremely rude NO! I pointed out that the there were others at the bar who had wine glasses, and yet the response was still “NO” as apparently it was the bars policy to only serve wine bought by the bottle in wine glasses! The fact that we would be buying a few bottles at the dinner table once seated didn't count for anything, so the partners had to carefully manoeuvre a ridiculous glass to their mouths taking a sip being careful not to spill it all down their dresses!! 20 minutes was in fact 45 minutes to be seated, and at the time, my friend had slipped out for a cigarette. Instead of a normal “welcome to the restaurant can I take your coats” we got “Where is the 4th person?!!!” from a waitress. That was followed by a “We cannot hold the table if he does not return in the next few minutes!” ironically the restaurant had several available tables. My friend came in from the outside, and we were given the menus. After the waiter had given us the menus and swiftly crossed off the venison, there were 2 main courses left available on the menu, one of which was the vegetarian option!! That was the final nail in the coffin! We looked at each other, got up, and left. My experience of the Anchor and Hope was by far the worst restaurant encounter I have ever had. Go here if you like waiting, want to drink wine from small tumblers (because some idiot behind the bar must think that it is “trendy”), and want to be made to feel about as welcome as a fart in a spacesuit! Never going to go back here again…not even for drinks after work!

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 3.0

John H. 22 February 2012

At a recent lunch with two colleagues we were served decently cooked food but service was offhand. A warm salad of snail and bacon was flavoursome as were potted shrimps. Mains of lemon sole, fried ox cheek and veal Milanese were reasonably well executed. The ox cheek was served with chips which prompted our colleague with the veal to ask if he could have a portion too, to be met with a comment from the waitress that they didn't serve chips! She explained that the restaurant 'doesn't want to be known as the sort of place that serves chips'. It appears that it doesn't want to be known as a restaurant that goes out of its way to please customers either. There is a reasonable choice of inexpensive and expensive wine but who on earth would want to drink an expensive wine from the supplied tumblers. Even a glass of fino was served in a small ‘toothmug’ rather than the usual copula. Decor is intended to be ‘shabby sheek’ but merely suceeds in being shabby.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

Peter W. 30 November 2011

Food interesting and comforting! Service very good given the packed space. Prices reflect popularity rather than value.

Food & Drink: 0.0

Service: 0.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 0.0

Alfonso P. 10 November 2011

I hate despise complaining. Having said that, I feel I should account for the meal and serivce I just had at the Anchor and Hope. The story goes as follows: Orered rabbit, two pieces came on the dish, one piece was deilicious, the other one was off (taseted as if brewed in unspeakable condiments)…I politely asked the waitress to inform the chef he should try to verify, she returned it and said ‘its the way it was cooked, its fine’. In no time did I recieve any sort of consideration as to the quality or satisfaction I was feeling after having made a claim.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 1.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

Robert C. 06 May 2011

It defies logic how they get away with treating their customers like benign cattle. Stacked in holding patterns, left at the whim of the “table allocator” (woe ye if you try and make a point about the appalling treatment you are suffering – you will get punished with many more waiting minutes). It took 70 minutes last night (06-May 2011) after being promised “something within the hour” (45 minutes expectation). Good food alone (which they have in bucket loads) at reasonable prices isn't good enough in my book. I am not going to repeat the experience as they completely and utterly fail to grasp that dinner is an experience that involves being treated well, served well, eating and drinking well. They fail utterly on the treatment and service side. Not good enough and not worthy of Giles' and the many other critics’ hype, who clearly got fast tracked through the appalling cattle herding experience. Oh, and if you are veggie, forget it. They won’t bend the menu any which way. They wouldn’t even serve a bowl of chips, even though they were featured elsewhere. Come on! Shame on you H&A.,

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 4.0

Beki H. 27 January 2011

My boyfriend and I have been here several times and it's still our all time favourite place to eat in London! The food is always amazing and the service friendly and genuine. It's pretty difficult to get a table on a Friday or Saturday night without waiting for an hour or so, but I think this is part of it's charm. I love sitting at the bar sharing a bottle of wine in such a buzzing bar with a great atmosphere. I will carry on recommending to all my friends.

Food & Drink: 1.0

Service: 0.0

Atmosphere: 1.0

Value: 1.0

Lyndon W. 26 January 2011

I live about half a mile from the Anchor and Hope and have been previously with a friend and although the food was not bad, the booking experience was ridiculous, we waited an hour and a half for a table and then had a mediocre experience, I decided to give it another try as the reviews were promising. I called up the week before and explained I was bringing two clients and could not stand at the bar for an hour and wait for a table, so I was told to arrive at 12.30 and would definitely get a table, so I arrived at 12.30 and sat down at a tble and all was great, my guests arrive at 12.45, at 13.00 our orders were taken, by 13.45 we still had not received any food, waiters were madly rushing around and it was very difficult to get anyones attention, we finally managed to get a waiters eye and received our food 5 mins later, when the food arrived the teal and john dory were very disapointing for the price of £14.00 and £16.00 each, the mutton was tasty, but again very expensive for the price. We finished our meals and waited for a menu for desserts, we ordered these and for a £7.00 cheese plate with four oatcakes and three small pieces of cheese, once again the price did not reflect the offering, the other two desserts were nothing to right home about, by the time we finished our meal it was 2.50pm and took way longer than we wanted to spend for a business lunch. When I got back to the office I had to change my clothes as the extraction was not working in the restaurant and I stank of frying, I smelt like I had been in a greasy spoon. Not a very good reflection for my clients. If you want a reasonably priced meal, good service and want to come away smelling decent, choose elsewhere.

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