Now that spring is upon us once again, we’re looking forward to getting back outside and catching some sunlight. For a change from the over-populated streets of London or scrambling for a spot in the local park, hanging out by the fresh waterside might be a better way to enjoy sunny days in a more peaceful setting. Check out our top five canal-side hangouts for inspiration to fill your weekends and longer evenings.
Shane’s on Canalside
26 East Bay Lane, Here East, London, E15 2GW
We absolutely love to chill out at this waterfront restaurant, Shane’s on Canalside, at Here East in Hackney Wick. The casual and minimalist setting is such a relaxing environment, with outdoor seating that looks out onto Lee’s Canal – a perfect spot to enjoy the sun this Spring! Not to mention, the food here is absolutely delicious. Fancy a fried buttermilk pheasant thigh burger? Yes, please! Check out the mouth-watering menu in full here. We’d recommend going for brunch where your host, Shane, will take care of you, before spending the rest of your day visiting the local shops that Canalside has to offer, followed by a relaxing stroll along the waterfront gardens. It’s the perfect way to spend a sunny weekend.
Image: Proud East
2-10 Hertford Road, London, N1 5ET
Proud East, previously The Proud Archivist, is a newly-renovated restaurant, cafe and cocktail bar burrowed on the banks of Regent’s Canal. It also functions as a gallery, pool room (with the occasional ping pong) and event space. This is an ideal place to visit for a weekend brunch that slowly drifts into a pleasant afternoon, with a wide range of events and activities available including live music, a cinema club on the terrace, wine-tastings and a traditional English high-tea. And, while you’re there, why not make an evening of it and stay for a cocktail (or two!)?
Image: Crate Brewery Facebook
Unit 7, Queens Yard, Hackney Wick, London, E9 5EN
The popular hangout and industrial-chic setting of Crate Brewery sits by the River Lee, and could not be missed off our list! This hipster craft brewery and pizzeria, situated canal-side in Hackney Wick, features many beards, live jazz music and loads of beers. The beer here can be seen being brewed on site, and they also offer a good selection of international craft ales to be paired with their super-crispy pizzas which feature some novel toppings; including sage and truffle or middle eastern lamb. Check out the menu here.
If you’re a fan of craft beers and want to get a closer look at how these are made, brewery tasting tours are available to book. An hour session, with tastings of beers from a range of their selection, costs £15pp. Or, if you fancy trying out their new Premium Tasting tour for £25pp, this includes a tasting of all their beers paired with some tasty ‘Delicatessen’ sharing platters.
Image: The Summer House Facebook
The Summer House
60 Blomfield Road, London, W9 2PA
The Summer House offers a light and calm setting with a strong nautical theme throughout and additional canal-side seats where you can watch the boats drifting by. The perfect venue for an afternoon of Pimm’s or a cool glass of prosecco. The sea theme continues right through to their menu, with an ocean of seafood on offer including a New England clam chowder, crab, smoked salmon, seared scallops, baked sea bass and so much more. We highly recommend this restaurant because it always gives us that holiday feeling, as if we’ve escaped London for an afternoon – it is the best kept secret in Little Venice (until now!). For a romantic dinner, a ladies’ lunch or casual drinks, book a table here.
Image: Dock Kitchen Facebook
Portobello Dock, 342-344 Ladbroke Grove, Kensal Road, W10 5BU
This West London waterside restaurant, run by chef Stevie Parle, is situated in a converted Victorian Wharf building neighbouring the Union Canal, with a large terrace overlooking a small dock – ideal for the coming sunny days. This newly-renovated building, part of an urban regeneration project, retains a lot of character and charm owing to its original brick arches and restored ceiling beams.
Stevie Parle, former Observer Food Monthly Young Chef of the Year winner, ensures the kitchen presents an ever-changing and experimental menu that caters to the season’s best ingredients. The food here is collected, adapted, and recreated Dock Kitchen style – mixing classic Middle Eastern, Asian and European dishes. Check out their distinctive menu for yourself. The Dock Kitchen also hosts a Cookbook Club which sees food writers visit the restaurant to cook from their latest books. This place has so much style and flair, it makes for a great hangout.
Have you ventured to any of these London canal-side treasures? Let us know in the comments below!