The Blue Anchor, Hammersmith
The Blue Anchor is a whitewashed riverside pub on Lower Mall, decked out with nautical and rowing memorabilia and graced by a pewter-topped bar. The establishment was granted its first licence (as the Blew Anchor) in 1722, though it may have already been in existence for some time before that date. A sheep was roasted whole on the ice opposite the Blue Anchor when the Thames froze over in 1789.
It’s claimed that Gustav Holst, who taught music in nearby Brook Green, wrote his Hammersmith Suite at the pub, but there’s no particular evidence for this – especially as there’s no such composition.
More verifiably, George Cole and Dennis Waterman – playing Arthur Daley and Terry McCann – sat outside the Blue Anchor in the end credits of Minder. And in the 1998 parallel lives rom-com Sliding Doors blonde Gwyneth Paltrow enjoyed a drink here with John Hannah while her brunette alter ego passed by.
Despite the antiquity of its name, the pub has been rebuilt too radically to justify designation as a listed building – or even as a ‘building of merit’ – unlike most of its neighbours. The owners of “one of the oldest pubs in London” could knock it down tomorrow and Hammersmith & Fulham council wouldn’t bat an eyelid.