The Cutty Sark Tavern
4-7 Ballast Quay, SE10 9PD
I was hoping the Cutty Sark Tavern would be the 'green shoots' of my pub review feature, because having been somewhat scathing over the last couple of weeks I felt in need of a positive review to show the publicans and patrons of Greenwich that I've not become irrevocably mean. Well, thank goodness the Cutty Sark Tavern is a great pub, then.
The Cutty Sark Tavern dates from the 18th century and is a commanding, if slightly wonky, building on a lovely cobbled Georgian street in East Greenwich, with an awesome view of Canary Wharf and the river. Tucked away on the riverbank, the Cutty Sark Tavern is well off the tourist track so is a firm favourite with local professionals and I can see why.
The interior is a little Disney Moby Dick, but then the clue's in the name I suppose and though the nautical theme isn't exactly groundbreaking, the ships' wheels on the walls and customised barrels to sit on work well here. The low ceilings make it feel cosy but there's plenty of space and an imposing winding staircase taking you to the upstairs bar, where you can find some normal chairs if you want to eat. On a Wednesday evening The Cutty Sark Tavern wasn't packed, but I can imagine that it gets busy on warm days as the patio is on right the river, with a wall perfect for perching your pint on and watching the Thames Clippers go by.
The drinks selection is ale-focused and they have cloudy cider on tap, as well as a few football lagers. They're not exactly punching above their weight with the menu but it's fairly reasonably priced and they've given some consideration to the vegetarians, which always warrants a plus in my book. Best of all, the staff are great: a very friendly set of young gentlemen who know their drinks and I had a good bit of banter with our server over a game of dominos he'd set up at the bar. A bit random but entertaining nonetheless.
All in all I'd say this is a tavern well worth a visit and next time the sun is out of an evening I'll definitely be heading there again. Happy Rosie is back - anchors away!