Blue Anchor

Nuggets – bite size chunks of London

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.
Blue Anchor exterior

Hidden London once observed this graffito above the urinal at The Dove on Upper Mall: “Godot – I’m in the Blue Anchor”