Famously, there is nothing, absolutely nothing, half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Especially when we’re using the army term ‘messing’, as in to eat. Yes, we’re all at sea and dining on some of London’s best boat restaurants. After all, ship happens, right?
What could be more romantic than eating your dinner in a floating greenhouse gliding down the Thames? If your answer is ‘nothing at all guv’ then get yourself down to Glass Room. People will pay a fortune to sit at a table overlooking, say, St Paul’s, or Leicester Square. But in this floating restaurant you get a view of literally very major landmark (admittedly not Leicester Square, but there’s nothing to see there anyway, other than tourists and more bloody pigeons). The restaurant serves British dishes including Severn and Wye smoked salmon and cheesecake with Seville oranges (we’re assuming that’s two separate dishes).
Where: Bateaux London, Embankment Pier, Victoria Embankment WC2M 6NU
Nearest station: Embankment (0.1 miles)
Tuck into a splendid meal with an unbeatable view of the brutalist Southbank Centre. Moored on Victoria Embankment, The Yacht London is a restaurant onboard a real life 1920s motor yacht. Take in the the Houses of Parliament and Millenium Eye (or whatever it’s now called) while you enjoy a modern European menu.
Where: The Yacht London, Temple Pier Victoria Embankment, London WC2R 2PN, UK
Nearest station: Temple (0.1 miles)
This one’s got whimsy written all over it… The scenic Regent’s Canal provides the backdrop for your meal aboard London Shell Co. The Prince Regent chugs up and down the waterway serving up some of London’s best seafood as you enjoy a food and wine between Camden and Paddington. The whole thing has a real cosy, dinner party, feel to it, making the experience all the more memorable.
Where: Sheldon Square, Little Venice, W2 6EP
Why go to Amsterdam when you could go to Vauxhall. Okay, maybe the cannabis. But if you’re a barge fan (who isn’t?) then head to Tamesis Dock for a real-life 1930’s Dutch barge, so save on the flight money and put it towards a tipple or two. The converted barge is moored between Lambeth and Vauxhall Bridge and the chips are great and you get loads (top tip for chip fans, there).
Where: Albert Embankment, Vauxhall, SE1 7TP
No junk food here, geddit? Geddit? Okay, never mind. This floating Chinese restaurant’s exterior makes London seem a distant memory and China a reality, with such an alluring look traditional to Chinese culture. Floating on the waters of Regent’s Canal, the restaurant’s attention to detail on the outside is replicated on the in, with a selection of Chinese food and cocktails to be enjoyed amongst the swinging lanterns.
Where: Cumberland Basin, Prince Albert Road, Regents Park, NW1 7SS
Bobbing up and down close to the Nine Elms rubbish dump you’ll find something far more salubrious, the elusive Battersea Barge. The food is great and the view is fun, with live music and a decent bar to boot.
Currently closed due to the Thames Tideway Tunnel project, but coming back in late spring.
Where: Nine Elms Lane, Vauxhall, SW8 5BP
Another canal experience, this time sailing round on the Alfred Le Roy. A sort of party barge-cum-events space, they run various trips, providing sharing platters as they go. Look out for their food pairing events.