We approached The Gun from Blackwall DLR station. It isn’t the most picturesque walk and to make things worse it was raining hard. The Gun is on the river directly opposite the 02. Inside was warm and welcoming. There was a log fire in the back bar. There has been a pub on this site since 1720. It is believed that Lord Nelson was a regular at The Gun and that he often entertained Lady Emma Hamilton here. To celebrate this liaison the toilets are marked Emma and Horatio. There are also links to smugglers and pirates who would off load their contraband here before entering London. The historic atmosphere of the place has been preserved and there are some fine paintings. Masters of the Sea 1815 by William Wylie which reinforces the maritime feel. There is a traditional bar and a formal dining area.
We had booked for Saturday lunch. The menu is seasonal and celebrates local British cuisine. For starters I had salt baked beets, whipped goats cheese apple and walnut salad. It was flavoursome and well balanced. Three of my companions were far more adventurous and opted for the pig’s head terrine, wild mushrooms, apple chutney which came with toasted sourdough bread. It was hearty and apparently very tasty. The starters were £8-£8.50. We opted for the pub’s own Indian Pale Ale, Jugged Hare which was good.
I was seduced by the 12 hour slow cooked middle white pork belly which was accompanied by crisp skate knobs. The waiter advised that it was best to have a side dish as well so I opted for the Dauphanoise potato which was slightly undercooked. The pork was delicious but I don’t think the skate knobs contributed that much to the overall dish. My other companions opted for pan fired golden bream and Suffolk baby chicken. Mains ranged from £18.50-£21.00.
We finished with the Elstar apple tarte tatin which tasted as good as it looked.The Valhrona chocolate torte was rich and resplendent but proved too much and defeated my companion. This is a gastropub where you can get some good British grub but it doesn’t come cheaply.