From drinks on the cool canals of the North East, to riverside rendezvous on the Thames with postcard-worthy views; There are a variety of fabulous boat restaurants in London. Whether it’s a pub-style boat charged with live music and craft beers, to exclusive seafood fine-dining along the Regents Canal – we’ve picked out some of the leading boat restaurants in London to hop aboard this summer.
Barge East, Hackney Wick
A barge owned by three childhood friends which they sailed from Holland before settling in Hackney Wick is Barge East. This East London (no surprises there) floating restaurant and riverside bar, on board a century plus old boat, has done pretty well since dropping anchor to open up in 2018.
This includes winning London’s #1 Restaurant 2019 – 2020 and Travellers’ Choice 2020 Tripadvisor awards. Offering a British set menu with global influences and dishes which change with the seasons, following their success, last year they opened up their garden by developing the land adjacent into a places to eat in London, to drink, dine and socialise. Today, they say, it is one of the largest outdoor dining spaces in East London.
Tamesis Dock, Vauxhall Embankment
This 1930s converted Dutch barge located between Vauxhall Bridge and Lambeth is the ideal place to polish off delicious Italian dishes including hand-crafted, fresh pizzas and a range of vegan and veggie calzones and salami stuffed calzones.
The Tamesis Dock is the complete package, with astonishing Central London river views and with a generous outdoor and indoor space, it has a relaxed and friendly atmosphere throughout. As evening draws in, step inside and catch one of the live gigs whilst you make your way through the selection of craft beers.
Alfred Le Roy, Hackney Wick
Set off the summer season in style aboard Alfred Le Roy who’ll take you on a cruise down its East London canal. Starting out at Hackney Wick, the team will guide you on a tour of the River Lee, whilst settled in one of their low-lit booths. Hum along to the onboard sound system as you float down the river with decadent cocktails, cheese and charcuterie boards.
Described as ‘Hackney Wick’s favourite speakeasy on the water’, this classic British, wide beam canal boat is also available for private hire and private skippered cruising.
Bar & Co, Temple
The ‘party boat rocking on the Thames’ is Bar & Co. A combined bar, restaurant and nightclub, it hosts a number of events throughout the year just five minutes from Holborn and right outside Temple Station.
Revelling in landmark views that include the London Eye, Big Ben and Oxo tower, its late licence until 3am makes it the perfect raving river spot, whilst upstairs, the deck is ideal for a cool beer in the sunshine.
The Prince Regent, Regents Canal
These floating seafood specialists will be running private cruises on their canal boat restaurant, The Prince Regent this summer. Serving an al fresco six-course meal on the deck of the boat, guests will be able to enjoy exclusive use of the space as it travels to Camden Lock and back.
The perfect way to toast milestones and occasions with loved ones, which could not be celebrated during lockdown – each private dining cruise features fresh seafood supplied by Cornish day boats and seasonal ingredients.
Whilst dining, cruise along the Regents Canal passing beautiful scenery and iconic landmarks such as London Zoo, Regents Park and through the iconic Maida Hill Tunnel. For £75 a head, highlights from the six-course menu include cured trout, a warm shellfish & asparagus salad and Cornish hake with braised artichokes & Jersey royals.
Bateaux London, Embankment
Bateaux London is a restaurant cruise experience on the River Thames, that serves up beautifully fresh British flavours, paired with fine-wines and an alternative perspective of London from the Thames. Departing from Embankment Pier, its route guides diners elegantly down towards the banks of West London and Battersea Park, before turning around and heading back towards the striking setting of Tower Bridge.
Whilst you wait to step aboard is their bar ‘The Pier’. Conveniently located on the historic Victoria Embankment and offering sensational river views, The Pier is suited to an intimate catch up, after-work drink or pre-dinner aperitif.
Feng Shang Princess, Regents Park
A floating Chinese dining experience along the banks of Regents Canal is Feng Shang Princess. Plating up hand-crafted Chinese cuisine, this Asian restaurant combines traditional and modern innovations washed down with fine-wines, cocktails and champagnes.
The elaborately decorated and bright red barge situated between Primrose Hill and Regents Park offers a wide range of dumplings, soups, duck specials and beef dishes, all in the beautiful surroundings of the canal.
Voted the best Chinese restaurant in Primrose Hill, they’re also known as an alternative venue for any Chinese food lovers looking to host a party or wedding.
Tattershall Castle, Embankment
Tattershall Castle is a popular central boat restaurants in London destination for al fresco dining and drinks opposite the London Eye and between Westminster and Embankment tube stations. With a spacious deck area that is unrivalled amongst similar venues in the vicinity, this pub on the Thames provides a cosy and elegant setting with the terrace outside offering postcard views.
With fair priced delicious pub classics with a twist like calves’ liver and bacon or the ploughman’s platter; Tattershall Castle is a modern classic to put on your checklist. Not only is it affordable, flavoursome and carries a striking view, it also offers itself up as a floating night club at the weekends.