Glad it’s summertime? Of course you are. But summer brings its own problems. Since we’re not exactly blessed with endless sunshine, when the sun finally does come out you want to enjoy it. A good riverside venue, then, is something to savour – gorgeous views of the sunlit Thames, a nice breeze off the water and a bit of food and drink to while away the hours. Who said summertime was all about the park? Here are our top riverside venues:
Luxurious hotel with gobsmacking views of the Thames
Just outside of Richmond, you’ll find the Petersham Hotel. Grab a table in the restaurant, kick back with a glass of wine, and get a load of those views. Sitting just beyond a bend in the river, you can gaze for hours at the meandering Thames. Enjoy a spot of afternoon tea, a cooling sip of Prosecco or a hearty Sunday lunch. Either way, the stunning views add something to the flavour.
Where: The Petersham Hotel, Nightingale Lane, Richmond, TW10 6UZ
Nearest station: Richmond (0.8 miles)
Summer pop-up bar on a canal
Okay, okay, I know we said ‘riverside’, but trust us, this canalside bar is so idyllic you won’t notice the difference. With Champagne house Perrier-Jouët providing the drinks, the Waterside bar – on an astroturfed waterside lawn complete with deck chairs – is the perfect getaway from the bustle of nearby King’s Cross. And they serve something called the the ‘Perrier-Jouët Champagne Negroni’, which is an ideal companion in the sun. With canals like this, who needs the Thames?
Beautiful antique gastropub
If you’re a bit of a foodie, this is the riverside spot for you. A gastropub dating from 1786, The Ship has a wood-fired oven and an outdoor barbecue kitchen – ideal for those long summer evenings. Simply jump off the train at Wandsworth Common, stroll towards the river and pull up a pew at one of the sprawling riverside picnic benches. With a top range of cask ales and craft beers, there’s plenty to enjoy.
Stylish bar and restaurant
The heart of the city can feel a bit demanding, especially in the heat of the summer. Cool off at Northbank. A contemporary, sleek restaurant and bar with a chic minimalist feel, there’s a seriously strong menu of classic European fare punctuated by clever twists. Head outside to enjoy views across the Millenium Bridge to the Tate Modern, and feel the rush of the city melt away.
Where: Millennium Bridge, One Paul's Walk, London, EC4V 3QH, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Mansion House (0.3 miles)
Quayside action doesn’t get better than this. Formerly a warehouse, the industrial setting has been transformed into a lush waterside venue beneath a huge tarpaulin illuminated by fairy lights. Making the most of their sprawling location, Number 90 host live music, DJs, pop-up restaurants and much more besides. And even if not, watching the canalboats float gently past over a drink and some nibbles is more than worth the journey.
Let’s face it, if you’re heading to a riverside venue you’re going to want plenty of outdoor space. The Gun, a pub-ish bar and restaurant in Canary Wharf, has more than enough of the great outdoors for you to frolic in. With a wine list (starting at £20) is just as sprawling, and plenty of moreish bar snacks and big plates to keep you happy, The Gun is sure to make your riverside afternoon one to remember.
Superb steak restaurant with authentic Latin American vibes
Steak restaurants can be stuffy, but no-one told CAU: astroturf and stainless steel evoke the vastness of the Argentinian Pampas, where the flavours are from. Go down to their St. Katherine’s branch on a warm summer’s evening, and enjoy your succulent steak a few feet from the water. They tend to open up an entire side of the restaurant when it’s warm enough, too.
The ultimate riverside pub
If you’re a big fan of all the best aspects of gastropubs – inventive food, authentic ales, spot-on-service – you’re unlikely to find a better riverside version than the Crabtree in Fulham. As a venue it’s a knockout, with vaulted ceilings, a restaurant snug and, best of all, a lush beer garden. Grab a drink and make your way down to the seats right by the riverside, where a weeping Willow completes the picture-postcard beauty.