We are a seafaring nation, an island shaped by our duck-like affinity to water. So no surprise that eating by the waterside is pretty much a national past time. And never more so than in London, a city defined by its river (are you a ‘North of the river person’ or a sarf Londoner?), and with a multitude of riverside dining options. So here are some of our favourites…
Not only BY the river but literally ON the river, The Yacht London is the first place to head for waterside dining. Moored on Victoria Embankment The Yacht London is a restaurant onboard a real life yacht. Gaze at the Houses of Parliament, Millenium Eye (or whatever it’s now called) and munch away.
Where: The Yacht London, Temple Pier Victoria Embankment, London WC2R 2PN, UK
Nearest station: Temple (0.1 miles)
Located right on the Thames when its still its leafy, pre-industrial, Richmond self, The Bingham is a quintessential country hotel that’s accidentally got lost and found itself in London. The terrace offers postcard-like views of the sleepy river as it winds past the genteel capital outskirt, perfect for drinking a lazy glass of wine, as the world drifts by.
Where: 61-63 Petersham Road, Richmond Upon Thames, Surrey, TW10 6UT, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Richmond (0.6 miles)
Barge On In
There’s more than The Thames in London. Located on Granary Square, The Lighterman (a term for a man who works on barges) is aptly named given it’s right on the Regent’s Canal. Dine on the modern British menu right by the water’s edge and within spitting distance of King’s Cross.
Where: 3 Granary Square, London, N1C 4BH
Nearest station: London St Pancras (0.2 miles)
Feel The Power
The river is dominated by some of the world’s most memorable landmarks, one of the greatest being Battersea Power Station. As this behemoth takes shape, reinvented for the 21st century, the area is being transformed into a hub of cafes and restaurants and none less so than No 29 Power Station West, perfect for a Sunday lunch by the river.
Where: 29 Circus West, Battersea Power Station, Battersea, SW8 4NN
Not Messing Around
In the shadow of the Tower of London and Tower Bridge, Sargeant’s Mess sits in a privileged position. But perhaps not so much as diners sat inside (or outside), who can gorge on classic upmarket pub food while staring at these iconic buildings. The restaurant is the inspiration of chef Mark Sargeant.
Where: Tower of London, The Wharf, St Katharine's & Wapping, London EC3N 4AB
Nearest station: Tower Hill (0.2 miles)
The King Comes To Barnes
If anyone knows seafood it’s the king of Padstow, Rick Stein. The food giant has now hit West London’s Barnes with a brasserie style restaurant that’s already turning heads within months of opening. Expect very big things from this place.
Where: Tideway Yard, 125 Mortlake High St, SW14 8SN
Worth A Pont
Sit by the pont and admire the tour at Le Pont de la Tour. The Tower Bridge restaurant sits by the river with spectacular views and fine dining in a former Victorian warehouse. The French cuisine is classic and clever and will have you staring at your plate as much as the view.
Where: 36d Shad Thames, Butlers Wharf, London, SE1 2YE, United Kingdom
Nearest station: London Bridge (0.5 miles)
Castle On The Hill
Set on a hill right on London’s edge, The Petersham commands a majestic view of the Thames. Enjoy the Victorian grandeur as you settle for an afternoon tea or slap up dinner as the Thames glides endlessly by. Chef Jean-Didier Gouges has recently arrived and has shook up the kitchen, too, meaning the food’s nearly as splendid as the view.
Where: The Petersham Hotel, Nightingale Lane, Richmond, TW10 6UZ
Nearest station: Richmond (0.8 miles)
No Mis-Steaking It
Forget the Falklands, this is the Argentinian invasion we can get behind. Gaucho bring the wonders of Argentinan life to London with a chain of restaurants, but none has a better view than Gaucho Tower Bridge, looking out at both Tower Bridge and the mayor’s office. Ideal for chewing down on an incredible steak.
Where: 2 More London Riverside, SE1 2AP
Cry Me A River Cafe
The River Cafe has managed to remain relevant since 1987, and at least part of this gorgeous restaurant’s secret has to be the eponymous river. The restaurant well deserves all the accolades that have come its way and offers some of the finest dining in West London.
Where: Thames Wharf, Rainville Rd, Hammersmith, W6 9HA