London – Hammersmith and Fulham (Borough of) – The Dove

I walked to this riverside pub as it’s listed in the Good Beer Guide, a short walk from the centre of Hammersmith. There’s no shortage of history to this pub either, which was first opened in 1740 as Doves Coffee House. It became a pub in 1796 and it has been visited by Dylan Thomas, Graham Greene, Ernest Hemingway and Alec Guinness.

There is mention on-line, and indeed by the pub, that King Charles II and Nell Gwyn visited here, although I’m struggling to see how since they lived 100 years before the building was constructed. That link is just a bit too tenuous… There’s also a suggestion that James Thompson wrote the lyrics for ‘Rule Britannia’ when living here, although there’s not much evidence for that either. But it’s a nice thought.

I was seated in the small bar which is said to be the smallest public bar in London, with five tables in it. There’s a larger dining area down some steps at the rear of this photo, but this remains a relatively small pub. I try to avoid taking photos with people in them, but I couldn’t avoid it with this one, hence the professional editing out.

The bar was all nice and cosy, with half a pint of ESB, which is the best drink I can find in most Fuller’s pubs, and another pack of crisps. Main meals are served as well, although the prices are towards the higher end of the scale, £15 for mains and £8 for desserts, but the reviews of them are positive. The service I had was fast, efficient and polite, with the pub being clean and organised. I suspect it’s normally hard to get a table here given the decent reputation and it was full on Saturday afternoon, with some diners being fortunate enough to get a river view.

Anyway, an interesting pub to visit…