6 of the best spots for waterfront eating and drinking
Riverside restaurants, canal-side cafés, lattes on the, er, lake – London's full of weird and wonderful waterside spots, and these places make the most of them
Humidity is rising... and according to all sources the street's the place to go. 'Cause tonight, for the first time. Just about half-past, er, six. For the first time (in what feels like) history, you're going to be able to truly enjoy the British summertime.
If you thought that was going somewhere else, sorry to disappoint. Unfortunately, it's not raining men. It's not even raining, for once. Instead, it's boiling hot, the sun is shining and oh my god, is that what our sweat patches look like. Yikes.
We better find a cool patch of shade, preferably down by the water. We're not fussy what kind of water either – canal, river, pond, anything will do. Anyone care to join? We've got some ideas about where to head – and yes, they all involve a cold one, something yum and maybe a duck or two.
No promises on that last one, though. What we can promise is that these funky waterfront joints are the perfect spots to kickback, relax and chill out at.
Now what are you waiting for? Time to get scrolling, these nighttime / lunchtime / all-day waterside hangouts are just dripping with potential...
Darcie & May Green
Sheldon Square, W2 6DS
With its Aussie brunch offering and Pinterest-worthy decor (designed by none other than pop art legend Sir Peter Blake), this converted canal boat by the Daisy Green Collective takes waterside dining up a notch. You can find the oh-so-trendy Darcie & May moored in the Grand Union Canal outside Paddington Station. Nip in for breakfast or draw up a chair for some late-night drinks. And don't forget to take those obligatory Insta snaps so all your followers know just how hip, artsy and well fed you are.
42 De Beauvoir Crescent, N1 5SB
With rickety green benches and a blooming marvellous collection of floral crockery, Towpath Café is impossibly cute (and impossibly beautiful in the London sun). But don't let its good looks fool you into thinking that this is any old waterfront joint: flavour expert and best-selling cookery book writer Olia Hercules was spotted tucking into Laura Jackson's sensational seasonal cooking not all that long ago – and if her seal of approval doesn't tell you why you need to pay this spot a visit, we don't know what does
Pear Tree Café
Battersea Park, SW11 4NJ
You wouldn't expect a boating-pond café in the middle of a suburban park to serves the likes of harissa-spiced beef flatbreads and jackfruit burgers, let alone be run by ex-Petersham Nurseries chefs – and yet, here we are. Annabel Partridge and Will Burrett met at the iconic Richmond restaurant and set up Pear Tree Cafe in 2016. Stop in for a coffee or a bite to eat in between dog walking and duck feeding to experience all this breezy little spot has to offer.
Tideway Yard, SW14 8SN
Verdant Barnes is a lovely place to hang out, and its culinary credentials are on the rise thanks to Rick Stein's London outpost. Grab a table in the leafy conservatory and take in the Thames as you tuck into fish and chips, London-cured smoked salmon or piping-hot buttered mussels as only Rick can do them. What's more, cocktail alchemist Mr Lyan has brought an exclusive cocktail menu to the riverside restaurant featuring the likes of salted maple nitro espresso martinis and chipotle-laced minty mezcal mixes.
2-10 Hertford Road, N1 5ET
A classic canalside destination, Proud East couldn't be more East London if it tried. It's a cultural hub, packed with pretty floral blooms, games and seasonal, locally procured grub, right on Regents Canal at the Haggerston-end of Kingsland Road. Pop in for a kombucha and a tempura fish burger, then stick around for a cocktail at the cinema club on the terrace or a beer-fuelled game of ping pong in the back. You probably won't ever feel the need to leave.
Mason & Company
25 East Bay Lane, E20 3BS
From the team behind The Five Points Brewing and Italian-American street food-specialists Capish? comes Mason & Company, a craft beer bar and hipster hangout in Hackney Wick. It's a haven of beechwood and Ikea-like uniformity overlooking the River Lee Navigation, and if you're looking for a spot to grab a banging Sunday roast (vegans we’re looking at you, too) it's the place to be.