A surprisingly enjoyable pub with good food in the heart of the Docklands.
The Isle of Dogs has long been thought of as a bit of a black hole – with nothing much to do it’s not somewhere you’d actively seek to go for a night out. However, recent rejuvenation in the area has brought in lots of new-build homes and working facilities, and with that, some very nice drinking establishments. One of these is Pepper Saint Ontiod. Situated in the middle of a housing estate and a few shops, the pub looks more like a small office block. It’s got a great location on the corner of Millwall Dock, with some tempting tables and chairs overlooking the water. It’s a lovely spot on a summer’s day, and not half as busy as some of the more central bars – you might even get a seat. Once inside, you’re greeted with a quirky layout that’s quite different from the outside. The pub has two floors; upstairs is a function room that’s available to hire for private parties. Downstairs you’ll find retro furnishings, shabby chic tables and a plethora of comfortable chairs to lounge in.
Even though it’s just a hair’s breadth from Canary Wharf, this pub feels totally different. You can hardly hear a sound apart from the hubbub of chatter from the pub’s patrons, and there’s no elbowing people out the way to get to the bar. Pepper Saint Ontiod, while popular, is ever-so-slightly out of reach from the City slickers, making it a great spot for lunch or after work drinking for the sake of an extra 15 minutes’ walk. There’s definitely a certain smugness felt by the pub’s customers; you can almost see the smile on their face knowing that they have found this diamond in the rough.
Pepper Saint Ontiod offers a satisfying selection of meals for customers, sticking to the traditional pub grub menu of lighter sandwich options available for lunchtimes or larger meals aimed at after work diners. The prices are certainly lower than those of its Canary Wharf neighbours, but the portions are just as substantial. Main meals include Cumberland sausage and mash served with red onion gravy (£7.50) and pan fried duck breast served with olive oil mash, baby carrots and blueberry sauce (£9.50). There’s also a good selection of desserts available should you still be hungry. The apple and rhubarb crumble comes with homemade custard and costs just £3.
Pepper Saint Ontiod now operates under the Antic London pub grounp – a firm that owns many other popular pubs and bars in London. Ales on tap include Adnams Explorer and Broadside, a pint of which will set you back around £3.60. Lagers on offer include Grolsch and Blue Moon and are slightly more expensive at around £3.80. There’s also a wine list available, with selections such as the Spanish Albius Tintus – a tasty red that costs £3.90 for a small glass and £14 for a bottle. Again, very reasonable prices for central London.
The Last Word
Just 15 minutes from Canary Wharf but with a much more relaxed vibe, Pepper Saint Ontiod is well worth a visit.