This 250-year-old pub was a sailor's favourite, home to smugglers and site of secret trysts between Lord Nelson and Emma Hamilton. Closed down by fire three years ago, it has been bought and refurbished by Tom and Ed Martin, proprietors of The White Swan in Fetter Lane and The Well in Clerkenwell. For their third venture they've secured the services of Chef Scott Wade, formerly at Mirabelle, Drones and Thyme. The combination of the Martin brothers' hospitable ethos and Wade's culinary flair has created not just a fine local pub, but one of the better eateries in the Docklands. The Gun boasts an outdoor terrace with commanding views over the Thames, an excellent spot for a pre-dinner drink even on a chilly night like the one we chose to visit. Back in the elegant dining room, the beaming faces of other diners suggested we might be in for a treat. Friendly staff fetched us a drink from the bar and we settled in for what proved to be an excellent meal, far above the standards of a run-of-the-mill gastropub and more akin to a good restaurant meal. Potted duck with chutney and brioche made a delightfully indulgent start, and my dining companion's ballottine of chicken with wild mushrooms, capers and tarragon was unusual and very pleasing. The real kickers came in the main courses. Barnsley lamb chop with roasted garlic mash, cepe duxelles and mint jus was a perfect wintry treat and a lasagne of halibut, smoked salmon, leeks and warm aioli sauce showed the chef could work his magic with fish as well. Already completely over-indulged, we made room for a creme brulee and a chocolate pot to round off a sumptuous feast. The Gun is a lovely pub and the food is something special. We strongly recommend a visit.
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1 Waterview Drive, SE10 | 6 minutes from The Gun
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South Quay, E14 | 8 minutes from The Gun
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Unit 4, Wood Wharf, Preston Road, Canary Wharf, Tower Hamlets, London E14 | 5 minutes from The Gun
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