Anchor & Hope

Bronze Award

SquareMeal Review of Anchor & Hope

Bronze Award

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).

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
Fun, Lively
Alfresco And Views
Outside seating
Special Features
Dog friendly
Food Hygiene Rating

Anchor & Hope is featured in


36 The Cut, Southwark, London, SE1 8LP

020 7928 9898 020 7928 9898


Opening Times

Tues-Sun 12N-2.30pm (Sun -5pm) Mon-Sat 6-10.30pm


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29 Reviews 

Faisal H

17 February 2020  
Food & Drink 5
Service 4
Atmosphere 2.5
Value 3.5
I'm astounded at these reviews

When I moved to London 6 years ago (snobby from a while in New York), I was loudly complaining to my sister on the tube about how bad the food in this city is. In the first and last time over my 6 year stint here that someone would ever speak to me spontaneously on the tube, the gent next to me got offended at my comment and rattled off a list of restaurants. On its head (and I still have the note on my phone) was the Anchor and Hope. In those 6 years, it has probably been the restaurant I have visited the most in this city; it's where I take a date I want to impress or a visitor from out of town, or, if I'm in the mood, where I stroll over to for a lovely quiet lunch if it's sunny.

The downsides; for the uninitiated, getting a table is a bit tricky, especially when it's busy, and this is not a staff that will kiss your butt. 

It is also, on a whole, way too loud for me. 

However, I have never left a meal unsatisfied.


I will list some of the dishes that jump in my memory.

The slow-cooked shoulder of lamb for 3 with gratin and all the trimmings.

The pigeon pie.

The rabbit leg with a mustard sauce.

The skate, in all its permutations.

The cassoulet.

The pig cheeks in broth, with chips and aioli.

The whole roast rabbit.

The snail and bacon salad.

The red mullet.

and oh, that spectacular cheesecake, dusted with poppy seeds and a lovely raspberry reduction on the side.


add to this a truly thought through wine menu that is competitively priced for London standards, and you have, as the stranger on the tube insisted, a very excellent restaurant! Modern European cuisine with a British twist and great ingredients. What more could you want out of a pub.

Sarah L

28 September 2019  
Food & Drink 2
Service 2
Atmosphere 3
Value 2

after ready rave reviews I was keen to try out the Anchor and Hope, however I was hugely disappointed. Ordering the Dover sole, it arrived simple fish which was under seasoned. It came

with just two new potatoes - which were so dry and over cooked they were a inedible. It come with nothing else... no veg or sides. For £16 it was a complete rip off and worse than average. Based on my experience I won’t be visiting again. Thoroughly disappointed 


26 July 2019  
Expensive for what it is and service was very rude. Food came out cold and the waiter told me it should be served this way.

Connie B

26 July 2019  
Interesting menu and great service.

Connie B

31 July 2018  
Amazing roasts!

Andy H

09 May 2017  
Possibly the best Gastropub, bar none.

Francesca V

23 November 2013  
Food & Drink 0.5
Service 1
Atmosphere 1
Value 0.5
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!!!

Bev T

20 May 2013  
Food & Drink 1.5
Service 3
Atmosphere 2.5
Value 1
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.

Lyn W

05 May 2012  
Food & Drink 1.5
Service 2
Atmosphere 2
Value 1
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.

Jordan L

31 March 2012  
Food & Drink 0.5
Service 0.5
Atmosphere 1
Value 0.5
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!
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