Saturday 1 September 2007

The Ship and Whale, Gulliver Street, Rotherhithe, London

An handsome and intact Victorian pub unsullied by fruit machines, televisions or other forms of modernity. Deep purple patterned wallpaper, wood panelling, framed black and white prints and ornate chandeliers - the decor is soaked in tradition and nostalgia. Near the bar, old British coins, such as the shilling, the sixpence and the crown, are mounted in frames. Outside, in the beer garden the emphasis is on comfort - good quality iron-cast furniture is shaded on sunny days by a marquee. But the best reason to come here is the excellent and generous food. When the barbecue is up and running, you can gorge on a rich, succulent beef burger in a tasty bap, accompanied by a lavish potato salad and a flavoursome tomato salad, for just £8.50. Alternatively, you can opt for one of the expertly-cooked beef or tuna steaks again accompanied by a top-notch salad. Service is laid-back, but friendly. A fine gastropub. 8/10