When you think of London’s waterways, quaint canals are probably not the first thing that spring to mind. But look beyond the River Thames and you’ll see that urban London is also home to some serene waterside spots. We reveal where they’re hiding, and more importantly, where you can get the best cups of canalside coffee!
Image: Breakfast London
60 Blomfield Road, W9 2PA
Resting on the Union Canal is The Summerhouse café and restaurant. With an outdoor seating area that sits directly on the water, this hidden gem offers a tranquil oasis in bustling west London. Their classy menu covers a range of fresh seafood, salads and meat options as well as tempting weekend brunches. Seating is fairly limited so booking is advised, but if you get there early enough you should be able to enjoy a very peaceful morning coffee.
Image: De Beauvoir Association
Regent’s Canal towpath, N1 5DB
If you’re anywhere near Regent’s Canal, make sure you pay a visit to the charming Towpath Café. Built across four canalside units and overlooking a beautiful stretch of water, Towpath is simple, unpretentious and a perfect summertime pit stop. It may be diddy, but this place caters for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, so you can swing by at any point of day and refuel with good food and, more importantly, a decent cup of coffee.
Image: Visit London
The Counter Café
7 Roach Road, Hackney Wick, E3 2PA
If you’re after a coffee with a view, we’d recommend heading straight to The Counter Café in Hackney Wick. Positioned opposite the Olympic Park, you can sit out on the floating pontoon area and enjoy a drink overlooking the towering stadium. Homemade dishes including fry ups, butties and pies grace the menu, as well as a selection of cakes and pastries to pair with your cuppa.
Image: Visit London
452 Edgware Road, W2 1TH
It can be easy to forget where you are when sitting at Café Laville. Positioned on a bridge across the Little Venice canals and serving authentic Italian drinks and nibbles, this is a perfect spot to relax and escape the madness of central London. There’s a reasonably priced menu of antipasti, mains and light-bites, along with a selection of hot and cold beverages to work your way through. Bellissimo!
Canalside, Here East, 27 East Bay Lane, E15 2GW
The newly opened Gotto Trattoria isn’t strictly a café, but we thought it deserved a spot on here purely for its first class canalside location. Proudly perched on the bank of the Lee Canal in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, this casual rustic Italian trattoria boasts picturesque canalside views. Opened by the team behind Soho’s Mele e Pere, Gotto’s seasonal menu features everything from octopus polpette to stuffed pasta; or why not just swing by for a mug of excellent Italian coffee?
Know of any other peaceful canalside cafes in London? Let us know where in the comments below!