Southwark (Borough of)

London – Southwark (Borough of) – The Old Salt Quay

This visit to the Old Salt Quay (or just Salt Quay, I’m not quite sure what name they prefer) pre-dates 2020 and the current restrictions, and the photos were also taken on my older phone, so the quality isn’t great. Anyway, this is a Greene King pub located in a former warehouse by the River Thames.

I liked the interior, it was spacious, interesting and clean, so all perfectly welcoming. There’s also further seating on the first floor, although that was closed off when I visited.

I confess that this is Greene King IPA and I remember it tasted exactly as Greene King IPA is designed to taste, so I can’t really blame the pub for that.

The chicken burger, all nicely presented, hot, perfectly reasonable quality.

The reviews are mixed, although I noted this one:

“My friends and I went to have a drink and something to eat . We go id’d on the door the man on the door knows us as we are regulars at this pub.”

Which got the beautiful response from the pub of:

“Unfortunately, the “man on the door” is not proof of ID.”

Or the customer who posted:

“Called into Salt Quay 12:30 on Thursday with my family and asked for a Cappuccino. The barman tutted, rolled his eyes and shook his head.”

I accept that’s not great customer service, but I’m secretly a little impressed. But I shouldn’t be. In response to another customer, the pub noted:

“We do have some staffing challenges at the moment, but we are trying to sort these out at haste!”

That’s honest from the pub, I like that as well. This comment from a customer shouldn’t have also amused me, but it did, solely because I’ve built up a picture in my mind about this. I have a vivid imagination I think.

“It was also freezing with the security guards opening and closing the doors every 5 minutes because they had absolutely nothing better to do.”

But, this is my most favourite response of all from the pub to a customer:

“I must disagree with your review for the simple fact that your narration does NOT correspond to the truth.

Allow me to use this space primarily to apologize once again with all the guests present in the Pub during your presence.

You phoned the pub check availability for 25 people within half an hour of arrival, the person speaking on the phone was told that unfortunately the pub was fully booking.

This is the case on Sunday’s at this time of year. Almost after about 15 minutes from your phone call, you entered the pub without even responding to our welcome greeting of a member of your group, after ignoring the blackboard at the entrance that stated “before going to the first floor wait to speak with a staff member because the room is reserved “.

We had drawn your attention and I had personally reaffirmed the state of affairs of our availability. I suggested you wait and occupy the tables that would be liberated in time. So you did, except then began to approach the tables already occupied by guests who were dining and drinking and you invited MY guests to leave the table for you, this for me is unacceptable. I pointed out that it was not an acceptable method and that for any request you should have referred to myself or another member of staff, instead you ignored my request and you had resulted to your personal “hunting” for a table.

At that point, perhaps, I may have become a bit rude, but I can not allow my guests to be harassed during a moment of pleasure and relaxation. I would have done the same thing if anyone else had the same attitude towards you.

Thank you for your time and God bless you.”

That ‘God bless you’ at the end is rather beautiful, and this sounds a most exciting afternoon for the staff.

I’m not sure that I’d say this is a pub worth travelling far to get it, as Greene King’s turnkey operation means their pubs are often all a bit too samey and bland. But, the staff were friendly, it felt a safe environment and it’s a perfectly good option for anyone in the area. It’s an interesting building though, with decent views over the Thames and apparently (CAMRA say this, I trust them) the carveries on Sunday are first class.