I am one of the lucky few in London who gets to avoid the Underground on my daily commute. My route goes right along the Thames, which on most days is a decent route, weather permitting of course. So I have been familiar with The Angel Pub for quite awhile now, and always heard good things.
This is a Samuel Smith Pub, who operate 200 pubs around the country. However, they are definitely not a chain in a true sense, with each pub being very different. As you can see from the picture, it’s got a classic look, with some amazing views. Unfortunately the day I visited it was a bit overcast, so the view wasn’t great.
With the massive outside area, it’s a great place for a pint when the weather is nice. It’s surrounded on three sides by parks, one of which is the foundation of Edward III’s mansion. The other side is the Thames itself, which makes for great views from the upper floor.
As for the interior it has a classic look. They also have these low walls, with small doorways, which I could not find any information on. They separate different sections around the bar, and I’m not sure if they once denoted smoking areas, or where you could drink and not drink. It also boasted a nice fireplace, which was good on a cold and rainy day.
I went for lunch, so pretty much all local, regulars, and just one bartender working. She was very nice, and helped me with my beer selection. A nice experience overall when it came to the pub.
I ended up going with the Old Brewery Bitter, Samuel Smith’s of course, which is a cask ale. This is a cask beer, which means it doesn’t have the carbonation of a typical draught beer. It was a nice color, decent flavor, and had a bit of that sourness (hence why its a bitter), but not overdone.
It was a very smooth, and chilled beer. I’m not going to sit here and act like I am tasting the latest release from someone who made a beer in a lab. For what it was, it was a nice beer.
There was a choice of four pies this time around, which was a pleasant surprise. Only change up was I went with fried instead of mashed potatoes, which I know is so American, but sometimes you want your taters fried. I will say they were done perfectly though, crispy but not charred. I wish the pie was done as well as the fries though.
I went with the Steak & Old Brew Pie, a fairly traditional combo. The pie looked good to start, but when I made my first cut it deflated like a punctured tire. The filling was just steak in the ale gravy, which was pretty good. Maybe some veggies inside would have added to the taste a bit. The crust was fairly standard as well.
This was a middle-of-the-road pie when it comes to crust, filling, and just overall presentation. The only thing that brings this up from a 5 is the sides, and like my friend Jeff Hunt, I enjoy side dishes.
I’m not sure if I can recommend this place for the pies. Maybe one of the other selections would have been better, or their forte is Fish & Chips. I would however, highly recommend this place for drinks, pub crawls, or tourists just looking to get off the beaten path and find a quiet place to take a breather. I will definitely be stopping again when I have the time.