The Gun. Image by Robert Postings.
Eating & drinkingLocalOut & About

The Gun: traditional British food in an excellent environment at this riverside pub

Historic riverside gastropub The Gun offers traditional British food and an unbeatable riverside location.

Sitting down at a table on the riverside terrace, listening to the Thames lapping against the wall beside you, and feeling the warm winter sun seeping through the window onto your back, The Gun makes it easy to remember all the things great about Britain. 

Scanning through the menu, you will likely notice the intricate G for The Gun printed on the front. This little detail exemplifies this traditional British gastropub. 

Walking past a large well-stocked bar, you weave your way through rooms packed with seats and tables. The first with countless antique firearms on the wall, the second pictures, paintings, and even a boar’s head. Both have crackling fires. 

Finally, you come out seemingly on top of the Thames at the pub’s riverside terrace. During winter it is an enclosed room with floor-to-ceiling windows kept warm with heaters. However, in summer the roof retracts and windows slide allowing an open-air dining experience.

All the tables are well-kept with white tablecloths, cloth napkins, and two sets of knives and forks per place. 

Even the pub sign, next to a fluttering Union Jack, is punctured with a torn hole as if shot by the pub’s cannon namesake. 

The pub sign for The Gun.
The Gun’s pub sign. Image by Robert Postings.

These details, however, don’t come free. The above-average prices at the pub reflect the cost of them.

Despite the steaks’ promised quality, I opted for a traditional fish and chips. Not disappointed by the size, I was presented with a large battered haddock, perfectly crispy chips, and all the sauces I could need. The crispy golden batter encased the flaky boneless fish, while the chunky chips had a satisfying crunch with every bite. I even finished my mushy peas, which for anyone who knows me is quite a rare occasion. 

A British classic done very well.

Fish and Chips served at The Gun.
Fish and Chips at The Gun. Image by Robert Postings.

Continuing with the route of traditional food, I followed the fish and chips with an apple and blackberry crumble. Perhaps it was the difficulty of following such a great main course, but it came up a little short. Probably because of my sweet tooth the fruit in the crumble was a little sour for my taste. Despite this, the topping was gold and crumbly and it paired well with the cream.

Overall, it more than met expectations for top gastropub fair

Apple and blackberry crumble at The Gun. Image by Robert Postings.

Along with the great food, The Gun comes with all the history you’d expect from a pub in the East End. Over 200 years old, it went through a few names before settling on The Gun after the cannon fire that opened the West India Docks in 1802.

Perhaps its most unique historical fact is Lord Nelson supposedly using an upstairs room at the pub to regularly meet his not-so-secret mistress Lady Emma Hamilton. Despite both of them already having spouses. 

If the pub was as good then as it is now, I can see why Lord Nelson chose it. Between its food and environment it’s a lovely place to enjoy a meal. The above-average price means it might not be on your list of restaurants to grab lunch at, but if you’re looking for a nice family meal out or trying to pick a spot for a date, you won’t be disappointed.

London Pride. Image by Robert Postings.
O2 arena and Uber Boat on the Thames seen from The Gun's riverside terrace.
The view from The Gun’s riverside terrace. Image by Robert Postings.

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