Friday, 29 January 2016

The Grapes, Limehouse, established 1583

The Grapes, Limehouse, established 1583

The GrapesWhere Dickens, Pepys and Gandalf come together.
Only one thing in this pub alludes to its celebrity owner ­-- a "Lord of the Rings" Gandalf statue in the corner.
This looks remarkably out of place next to the Dickens volumes, busts and Singer sewing machine tables. But it references the pub’s newest landlord, Sir Ian McKellen, who bought it in 2011.
McKellen isn't the only A-lister to tread its boards. Charles Dickens (he got around), explorer Sir Walter Raleigh and Samuel Pepys all came here.
Mostly though, this was a sketchy boozer for laborers from the nearby Limehouse Basin. Not a place you wanted to be walking home from -- horror stories include watermen murdering drunks from this pub by drowning them in the Thames.
Beside the legends, the antique detailing, dainty frosted windows, historic portraits and rustic dark wood paneling are worth the visit.


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(The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

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