The Handbook
The Handbook

We are a seafaring nation, an island shaped by our apparent duck-like affinity to water. So no surprise that eating by the waterside is pretty much a national past time.

Add to that the fact that outdoor dining allows for both social distancing and views of the Tamesis, Tamyse or, as we know her, just little old Thames. So here are some of the multitude of riverside dining options available…

The Petersham

Gazing majestically down from on high, like a castle on a hill, The Petersham commands one of the best river views in London.

If you can call this London, because despite being technically in the capital, and enjoying speedy links into central town, this view remains unchanged since the days when Turner painted it.

Enjoy afternoon tea or one of Chef Jean-Didier Gouges’ dinners and feast on the endlessly gliding river.

Where: The Petersham Hotel, Nightingale Lane, Richmond, TW10 6UZ

Rick Stein, Barnes

Rick Stein might be the king of Cornwall, but wherever there’s water there’s Rick (also see Sandbanks). So of course the Thames would be too big a temptation to overlook.

Stein’s brasserie-style restaurant continues Stein’s fishy theme, particularly celebrating Cornish seafood. Try the Dover Sole!

Where: Tideway Yard, 125 Mortlake High Street, Barnes, SW14 8SN

Sea Containers

Sea Containers famously sits beside the river, a hotel packed with design classics and a world-famous bar.

The eponymous restaurant, resplendent with its yellow submarine, also now has an outdoor terrace, overlooking the river.

The views of St Pauls are second only to the food, which is predictably brilliant!

Where: 20 Upper Ground, South Bank, SE1 9PD

The Bingham Hotel

Bing-bada-Bingham! Perched  right on the Thames, upstream where it’s 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 gently by.

Where: 61-63 Petersham Road, Richmond Upon Thames, Surrey, TW10 6UT

Le Pont de la Tour

This place is always worth a pont! Le Pont de la Tour sits by its namesake bridge and is notable for its terrace, which is the perfect place to look at the river, the Pont and the Tour.

The Tower Bridge augments its spectacular views with spectacular fine dining in a former Victorian warehouse. The French cuisine is classic and clever and clearly this .

Where: 36d Shad Thames, Butlers Wharf, Borough, SE1 2YE

Gaucho Tower Bridge

Forget the Falklands, this is the Argentinian invasion we really can get behind.

Gaucho bring the wonders of Argentine 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 with a glass of red wine.

Where: 2 More London Riverside, SE1 2AP


From the people who brought you Coppa Club comes the riverside Italian we’ve all been waiting for.

Tavolino offers great views of Tower Bridge and the Mayor’s iconic office, but also a spectacular array of authentic Italian dishes that are perfect for enjoying al fresco in true Italian style.

You’re just one Vespa away from shouting ‘ciao’ at passersby.

Where: 2 More London Riverside, SE1 2AP

No 29 Power Station West

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

The Yacht

All aboard! 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, WC2R 2PN

Coppa Club

Coppa Club is pretty much synonymous with igloos (step aside North Pole). The winter phenomenon has become an all-year-round affair, with igloos bookable throughout the summer too.

Views of Tower Bridge feature, but mainly you’ll be enjoying the European cuisine.

And luckily, given their popularity, not every seat’s igloo-based, so you’re fine with just a seat on the terrace (and an even better river view!)

Where: 3 Three Quays Walk, Lower Thames Street, EC3R 6AH

River Cafe

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 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

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