Monday, September 12, 2022

'The Blacksmiths Arms'

London The Unfinished City
The Blacksmiths Arms, Rotherhithe.

Saturday September 10, 2022.

Wandering, as I do, around the streets of London I invariably stumble across a fair few pubs. Many of these I pass by, unless something about it catches my eye. This is what happened when I was walking through Rotherhithe and came across The Blacksmiths Arms.

Beautifully decked out with colourful hanging baskets and potted flowers, I decided to venture inside. Besides, I was thirsty.

And what a wonderful pub it is. Walking inside is like stepping back in time as it still maintains some original fittings and looks every bit the 200+ year old pub.

With its horseshoe bar, dining room at the back, comfortable armchairs and sofas and bar stools, it is a really relaxing place to take a break. There are, also, tables and chairs out front, where you can sit in the fresh air.

There is also a function room that can be hired out for private events.

London The Unfinished City
Isle of Thanet plaque.

The walls are full of photographs, paintings and various pieces of history, concerning the pub and the surrounding area, so there is a lot to peruse as you wait for a meal or sip your drink.

One photo showed Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, sipping a drink at the bar, so I had to do the same.

London The Unfinished City
Me standing where Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother once stood.

The staff were friendly and there were a great selection of ales, lagers and spirits that would appeal to everyone.

This is definitely a place that I would revisit, should I find myself walking through Rotherhithe, again.

Brief History

Originally the pub, first recorded in 1793, was simply called 'The Smiths' until around 1825, when it took the name 'The Blacksmiths Arms'.
It is said that Lady Hamilton, the girlfriend of Horatio Nelson, lived next door and that Nelson would often pop in for a drink.

In 1988 the Queen Mother, during her first visit to Rotherhithe since the Blitz of World War II, passed by the pub and decided that she would like to pop in for a drink and chat with the locals. Her security entered the premises, spoke with the landlord and in she went.

She spoke with the landlord and patrons for a while, had a drink, quite possibly a gin and tonic, and even pulled a pint of ale. A photograph of the Queen Mother, standing at the bar, is still mounted on the wall to the right of the bar.

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