St Katherine’s Docks is the perfect mix of new and old London, and home to some of the most picturesque views in The City; with Oliver Twist style cobbled streets and beautiful alley ways that lead to crooked high beam houses, all circulating around the well kept docks that home boats of all sizes. The area is over-looked by Tower Bridge and The Shard, but on a beautiful summer’s evening you could mistake it for a continental holiday spot.
Right in the middle of the docks, taking centre stage is The Dickens Inn, a re-styled and reconstructed 18th century pub and restaurant which is covered from ground to roof with gorgeous blooming flowers, and stands three stories high (if you haven't seen the exteriors on Instagram before, you're sure to spot them now). With the traditional tavern bar on the ground floor, a pizzeria on the first and a grill on the top floor, it is popular with locals and tourists alike, and not just due to location alone.
The Food and Drink
The Dickens Inn has an abundance of balcony dining spots as well as a beer garden, all of which prove very popular on summer evenings, but in typical British tradition our visit saw the heavens open and instead we enjoyed our supper in the shelter of the restaurant. The Grill, where we dined, is found on the top floor, with gloriously high timbered ceilings, wooden panelling and a few subtle nautical relics that pay homage to the docks. The menu champions steaks and other grilled meats, alongside a selection of burgers and a few salads for the herbivores.
To start we shared a baked camembert (£12.50) which arrived oozing from the centre and came with slices of crisp baguette and a sweet chutney. On the side of that, we enjoyed the soft and succulent teriyaki chicken skewers (£5.99) which happened to lend themselves nicely to a generous cheese dunking.
My carnivorous man-pal opted for the rump steak (£18.99) which was accompanied by thick cut chips, beer battered onion rings, flat mushroom and tomato and a punchy pot of peppercorn sauce. The steak was tender and juicy in its medium-rare state and the onion rings crispy and thick. Meanwhile I was tempted by the colourful bowl of Honey & Soy Glazed Salmon fillet (£17.50) served with wilted pak choi, edamame beans, tenderstem broccoli, vegetable ribbons, chilli, lime and toasted sesame seeds. It was a celebration of vegetables and south-east Asian flavours, with a lot of sweetness from the soy and honey glaze, as well as the ribbons of carrot and parsnip, while the salmon was delicate and fell apart effortlessly. I washed this down with a chilled glass of the Pinot Grigio which was light and dry to balance the flavours.
For pudding we shared the Baked New York Cheesecake (£5.50) which was joined by a few generous squirts of cream and some ripe strawberries. It was creamy and smooth, with a thin buttery base which was indulgent without being sickly.
Not even the rain can detract from what a beautiful place The Dickens Inn is to enjoy food and drinks. It provides the perfect environment for both a quiet dinner for two, or a special celebration for up to 150 who want to enjoy hearty British cuisine in a unique and iconic London restaurant. With so much history behind it, enjoy a slice of true London in the most wonderful setting