Docklands’ historic waterside pub
A NIGHT out in the city has many attractions including a stroll along the River Thames. So what could be better than a meal and a few drinks beforehand at a historic waterside pub.
The Gun in London’s Docklands is just a short walk from Canary Wharf. Steeped in history it is said Lord Horatio Nelson bought a property up the road from The Gun and would frequent it often. It was also used by smugglers in the 18th century, distributing contraband through hidden tunnels.
Now owned by Fuller’s Kitchen it is renowned as one of London’s finest gastropubs offering the best of British food from gourmet snacks in the bar to creative modern cuisine in the restaurant. It also boasts a pop-up gin garden!
We visited the gun one chilly Friday night. Dating back to the early 18th-century and named after the cannon which was fired to celebrate the opening of the West India Import Docks in 1802, from the outside it still retains plenty of historic charm. Inside too there are plenty of endearing sights – walls adorned with antique guns, a feature fireplace with crackling open fire and cosy bar areas.
We enjoyed signature Cosmopolitan cocktails at the bar before my partner Lynsey and I were directed to our table out on the Terrace for dinner. Winter may be here but outdoor heaters ensured we kept warm!
This was the perfect start to our evening, a romantic dinner for two with the most serene riverside view overlooking the O2 arena which was beautifully illuminated at night.
The Gun’s menu is a feast of tempting dishes – every one prepared using fresh, seasonal local produce.
For starter Lynsey chose the roast onion and thyme soup with cheddar garlic croute. The croute was a welcome addition as opposed to the usual bread roll.
I opted for something I had never tried before… pan fried cod cheek, with roast bacon lardons, apple pomegranate dressing and lemon crisps. These little meaty chunks of fish slightly crispy on the outside and beautifully tender in the middle accompanied by the bacon lardons were truly one of the tastiest starters I have ever had the pleasure of eating! The lemon crisps were a nice fruity little extra (lemony and crispy), and definitely brought something to the dish.
For Mains we decided to share the Chateaubriand (for two) 600g (£58).
I think the picture speaks volumes but for a real steak lover like myself who has eaten in most, if not all, of the great steak restaurants in London, this was without doubt the best Chateaubriand I have ever had. Not only was the quality of the meat second-to-none but it was cooked to absolute perfection. The crispy hand cut chips were also as fluffy as clouds in the middle – delicious! However, for me it was all about the meat and I was in steak heaven!
Despite a feeling of being rather ‘steaked out’ we both couldn’t resist trying one of the tempting desserts. The peanut butter parfait with chocolate caramel and blackcurrant jelly was truly indulgent, while Lynsey chose a more traditional spiced apple pie and custard.
Two Irish coffees were the last order of what had been a first rate meal and an experience anyone visiting Docklands needs to repeat in a shot!
27 Coldharbour, Docklands, London E14 9NS
www.thegundocklands.com • 020 7515 5222
Review by Alex Heaton