Fullers London Pride, Morland Old Speckled Hen, Wells Bombardier, and Guest Ales,
Possibly London’s most famous pub, the Prospect of Whitby dates from 1543, built as a simple tavern in the expanding docks; by the 17th century it had a reputation as a meeting place for smugglers and villains, and became known as 'Devil's Tavern'. Fire gutted the Devil's Tavern in the eighteenth century; it was rebuilt and renamed the Prospect of Whitby, after a ship that was moored nearby.
The main bar has a flagstone floor, its long bar counter is built on barrels and has a rare pewter top; timber beams and upright pillars appear to be sections of a ship's mast, seasoned timbers were often used for building when ships were scrapped. There's a small balcony where you can sit above the river and listen to the rhythmic lapping of the water. Just inside is a comfortable seating area with open fire; a further bar has a servery and a raised dining area.
Outside is a pleasant terrace with tables. Venture up the creaking stairs and find the restaurant, this is divided into several delightful panelled rooms, again enjoying river views. Another rooftop terrace, with iron garden furniture, overlooks the river too. Old photographs show what the Prospect and its surroundings used to be like, ramshackle and seedy, but crowded with vessels from around the world. Nowadays the occasional cruiser or barge passes by the warehouses, which have been converted into exclusive apartments.
A hangman's noose swings over the river, a reminder of more gruesome times. One notorious customer was Judge Jeffreys, the 'Hanging Judge’, a title enhanced by the execution of the leaders and 200 men of the failed Monmouth Rebellion (1685), an attempt to overthrow Catholic King James II. According to Gilbert Burnet’s ‘History of my Own Times’ Jeffreys was ‘perpetually either drunk or in a rage’. The Glorious Revolution saw James II flee to France, Lord Chief Justice Jeffreys tried to follow, but was found hiding in a coal cellar at the tavern dressed as a coal-heaver. He was taken to the Tower of London where he became ill and died. Presumably hanging was too good for him.
Three of us visited the Prospect of Whitby for lunch. It was my first visit as a local resident of Wapping. Immediately greeted by a friendly barman. Found it difficult to choose our mains-spoilt for choice. Eventually, decided on typical pub grub: fish and chips, Sally's happy free-range sausages and mash and a steak and ale pie (one of four pie choices on the menu). What wasn't typical was the quality of food and service we received- it was superb! It was a lovely lunch in historical pub. Dickens and Pepys would be proud!
The Prospect of WhitbyWappinglocal,
Had a lovely meal in there recently, value for money and pleasant interior, exterior well kept and my only criticism is I wish the staff would interact and smile more.
The Prospect of WhitbyScotney,
We all know British pubs are not renowned for their food, and lets face it, I doubt the "Devil's Tavern" was prided for its customer service; it's all about the grog you sniggerin land lubbers!
The Prospect of Whitbysnowybrit,
I also heard it is under new management as of this year. We went at the end of March and it was lovely. We had good pub food served promptly by friendly staff, there is a good atmosphere in the place, lots of people and great views of the Thames. We enjoyed it and would definitely go again.
The Prospect of Whitbytrose30,
I visited this wonderful Pub at the end of January 2012, and was firstly impressed by its gleaming, historical atmosphere. The Pub had a great atmosphere, great location, the Staff were friendly, helpful, and efficient. The food was good, and appeared quickly. NOW UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT, AND WELL DONE TO THEM !
The Prospect of WhitbyKernow,
Good pub terrible food!
I visited the pub on the 2nd Jan this year. I love the location by the river and the beer is good. Unfortunately I have to agree with some other posts, the food is standard pub fare done incredibly badly.
The Prospect of Whitbysaminlondon,
My meal with my partner yesterday was 2nd rate. The mash was a strange like glue taste. Rubber vegetables, Possibly all re-heated packet food. We enjoy good food and i like home made pub grub. THIS WAS NEITHER. TASTELESS. Not the happy sunday lunch we were looking foreward to. LOCAL FAMILY agree and do not eat here after their 1st try they also will not go back.
The Prospect of Whitbydutch1,
Howdy, how can we book two places in your excellent pub in the new years night....
we are loking forward for an answer from
you to my email address....
klaus-berning @t-online.de.....please contact us. Thank your for your help in beforehand....All the best for your KLAUS from Germany.
The Prospect of WhitbyBerning,
I have not been back since I worked there as a barman when the broadcaster Daniel Farson owned it. Saturday night was heaving and beer was sold by the crate. The atmosphere was wonderful. Sorry but at my age I like nostalgia.
The Prospect of Whitbyblueflenn,
Staff in this pub are rude and ignorant - we left after 10 minutes wItting to be served on a quiet Friday with only 3 other customers at the bar and a virtually empty pub - I wonder why.......... Nearly as awful as the staff in the Narrow who are the most self-important set of bar monkeys ever
The Prospect of WhitbyEmstitch,
Having seen the very bad reviews here I was a bit nervous about what to expect but a friend had arranged for this to be the first stop in an historic East End pub crawl. I couldn't have been more pleasantly surprised. Service was friendly and efficient and the food was lovely. Perhaps previous patrons experienced them going through a bad patch? If so, it seems to me it's now over. I would happily eat there again and the atmosphere and views over the river are second to none.
The Prospect of WhitbySharonMcG1971,
Went to this pub on a Friday afternoon for a celebration. OK we were a little loud, but one of the locals started racially abusing us. The staff asked us to leave and basically supported the local, they said as much. I will never visit this pub again. I will never recommend it.
The Prospect of Whitbygraham.colin,
Tried the Prospect for lunch this Saturday (21/08/10) - don't come this way often and my first happy thought was "Can't wait to make this a regular visit". That will NOT be happening. Even though the pub was largely empty, our food (a jacket potato, fish and chips twice) took nearly an hour to arrive. It was OK (garden peas were dry and lukewarm), but there are many places to get 'OK', and a fair few along the same stretch of river bank; next time I'll be trying one of them instead. (Other diners waited the same length of time and were similarly unhappy).
The Prospect of WhitbyLizzyinthemiddle,
Really rubbish food and service this weekend and looks like it's staying that way.
Here's the list:
- No straws for drinks in the pub
- Did not know how to make a Bloody Mary and put cucumber in it
- Took ages to get served
- Beer was off
- Ran out of Lamb at 2 on a Sunday afternoon
- Forgot our food order.
- Food took over an hour to come
- Duty manager didn't look like he gave a s**t
- When asked to check on whether food was coming they didn't come back
- Glass collector took one of our drinks
- Mashed potato was powdered mash
- One tiny out of the box Yorkshire pudding
- Roast potatoes looked dehydrated and some were black
- Beef was really bad quality
- No one asked if our food was okay
- The table next to us left and got their money back as they were waiting longer than us.
We were going to stay for desert but didn't bother as it was a horrible experience. I won't be going back. Shame really as it is easy for me to get to on the new East London Line.
The Prospect of Whitbybrumpton,
Once a good pub but expensive now and appalling service. Some new staff who served short pints and argued when I asked them to top it up a little. It took around fifteen minutes to get served at the bar and whilst waiting all I heard were other people complaining about slow service, dirty tables and awful food. This place is really surviving on the tour buses that pitch up there regularly no doubt having received a bung to do so. If you have a choice avoid this place. The staff also need to understand that once the temperature gets into the mid twenties the word they need to remember is DEODORANT !
The Prospect of Whitbyskylarkpilot,
As well as being a great pub, it's wonderful in the summer to sit outside by the Thames.
And you're in and surrounded by some amazing history of Wapping
The Prospect of WhitbyWhatsinWapping,
Where to start! The service was terrible. The duty manager was very very unfriendly [Sunday 23 March 2010]. If that's the face of the staff you have no hope. I ordered nuts... didn't receive those. There was no opportunity to ask the duty manger because he disappeared into the kitchen. Also, I wasn't able to check if I paid for this because we received no receipt (a common complaint listening to the table next door). The food was terrible. The meat inedible. We ordered the Sunday roast, lamb and beef. There was more sinew on the plate than edible meat (I have pictured if you need those), and the veggies were overcooked. 45min later (everyone else received and tried to eat their food by this point) the veggie tagine "was still in the process of being made", so one patron without food. No ETA given. We received a very insincere apology after complaining for the second time and a refund on request. Then I spotted the duty manager putting the top back on a bottle of cider and sticking it back in the fridge? There is no excuse as the location is excellent and the history and charm can't be bought. This pub will never see us again.
The Prospect of Whitbylvanrhyn,
visited the 'prospect' on monday 11th may 2010. last time i visited was over twenty years ago and i loved the place.i enjoyed great food great service and was realy looking forward to visiting again after all those years. how things have changed! the place still oozed character but oh my! the food and service this time round was APPALLING.we ordered from the
'reat pub food' menu .really simple stuff, two burgers, one sausage and mash and a fish pie. the first two burgers arrived one HOUR after ordering and after two enquiries. the sausages and mash arrived about fifteen minutes later. not good. and the food........powdered potato mix?!! powdered gravy mix! overcooked chips. dry burger, and the blandest fish pie (no'powdered' potato piped on top or any sign of gratination just smeared over the fish and served.......with a side of dry overcooked veg. something is terribly rong here. sad!
The Prospect of Whitby,
I moved to Shadwell Basin in November and this place has a better feel, decor, food, drink and more importantly service than any of the other pubs in Wapping. I am so glad this is my local and all my mates are jealous.
The Prospect of Whitbyshkott,
One of, if not the best pub I have been to, Excellent service, superb food and intimate heated garden with views of river.
Traditional feel and a must visit.