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Secret Guides

16 Of The Best Floating Bars And Restaurants In London For A Lovely Day On The Water

Julie Freeman Julie Freeman - Staff Writer

floating bars and restaurants london

Hop aboard London’s most scenic floating pubs, bars, and restaurants.

Though life in the city can feel hectic at times, we’re blessed to be surrounded by beautiful parks, charming canals, and the River Thames, right here in London. When you’re in need of a break from the hustle and bustle, there’s nothing better than a drink or a meal on the water, especially when it’s sunny out. We’ve rounded up some of the best floating bars and restaurants in London that offer great food and panoramic river views:

1. Barge East, Hackney Wick

Barge East is the epitome of romantic waterside dining, with dreamy fairy lights, delicious food, and a scenic, maritime atmosphere. Moored at Sweetwater in Hackney Wick, the nearly 120-year-old Dutch barge has been transformed into one of London’s finest outdoor bars and kitchens, serving a seasonal British menu and drinks. Due to its popularity, Barge East has added an entire garden area to accommodate more guests, and is a perfect date spot both during the day and and night. River Lee, Sweetwater Mooring, White Post Ln, E9 5EN. More info on their website.

2. Alfred Le Roy, Hackney Wick

Crate Brewery in Hackney has its own boozy barge serving up cocktails, beer, wine, and food while moored. Alfred le Roy also offers private hire and canal cruise experiences along the Lea Navigation. Queen’s Yard, White Post Ln, Mooring, E9 5EN. More info on their website.

3. The Milk Float, Hackney Wick

These milkshakes bring all the boys to the… barge. The Milk Float is exactly what you’d expect, a charming lil’ boat serving scoops of delicious ice cream, coffee, and cakes. But there’s actually much more: Not pictured here is a large seating area out on the water, where you can order (alcoholic) drinks from the bar, and eat street food from the back deck. Tacos, burgers, and then ice cream and shakes — need we say more? Capital Ring, E15 2DZ. More info on their website.

4. The Cheese Barge, Paddington

The Cheese Barge
Photo: @thecheesebarldn

If you’ve been following our page throughout the year, this brand new floating temple of fromage needs no introduction. The Cheese Barge is dedicated entirely to cheese, and comes from the team behind The Cheese Bar, so you know it was bound to be a success. Fromage lovers can stuff their faces with endless cheesy goodness while enjoying views of the water. Paddington Basin, Sheldon Square, W2 6DL. More info on their website.

5. Darcie and May Green, Paddington Central

These pop-art barges will really float your boat. Darcie Green is the perfect setting for al fresco dining, serving Aussie dishes. May Green, open all day, transforms into a buzzing bar with delicious and creative cocktails. The two boats share an open-air deck overlooking the Grand Union Canal, making them the perfect outdoor hangout spots for food, booze, and good times. Grand Union Canal, Sheldon Square, W2 6DS. More info on their website.

6. London Shell Co – The Grand Duchess & The Prince Regent, Paddington

London Shell Co is known for their floating fish restaurants in Paddington, The Prince Regent and The Grand Duchess. Dine on deck of the permanently docked Grand Duchess boat, or hop aboard The Prince Regent for a cruising lunch or dinner. You can always expect to enjoy the freshest catch and outstanding seafood here. Sheldon Square, W2 6PY. More info on their website.

7. Feng Shang Princess, Regent’s Park

Feng Shang Princess is a floating Chinese restaurant on the edge of Regent’s Park. Aside from traditional Chinese cuisine, they also serve wine, cocktails, and champagnes, but the *floating* aspect and picturesque location is what really sets this haunt apart from other options in London. Cumberland Basin, Prince Albert Road, Regents Park, NW1 7SS. More info on their website.

8. Tamesis Dock, Vauxhall

Tamesis Dock is a converted 1930s Dutch barge-turned-pub, moored between Lambeth and Vauxhall Bridge. Guests can catch live music gigs, eat handmade pizzas, and drink their way through the never-ending selection of beers, ciders, and ‘docktails’. Albert Embankment, SE1 7TY. More info on their website.

9. Bateaux London/Glass Room, Embankment Pier

Glass Room floating restaurant

Bateaux London is your destination for luxury dining and events on the River Thames. With incredible city views and floor-to-ceiling windows, the Glass Room boat will take you on scenic dining river cruises during the day and at night. The venue is incredibly beautiful and hosts a number of events, such as floating jazz evenings and romantic candlelight concerts. Embankment Pier, Victoria Embankment, WC2N 6NU. More info on their website.

10. Bar&Co Boat, Victoria Embankment

Also known as ‘The Party Boat Rocking The Thames’, Bar&Co is a bar, restaurant, and nightclub right outside Temple Station. Watch your favourite sports games on the lower-deck screens, dance all night with views of The London Eye and Big Ben, or simply spend a sunny afternoon downing a few pints on the water. Temple Pier, Victoria Embankment, WC2R 2PN. More info on their website.

11. Tattershall Castle, Victoria Embankment

floating restaurant and bar

The Tattershall Castle is perfectly located opposite The London Eye and between Westminster and Embankment Tube stations, so you’re guaranteed a prime view from the deck. The ‘Pub on the Thames’ offers the usual pub grub such as fish & chips, but you can also come here for bottomless brunches and afternoon teas. Plus, The Tattershall Castle hosts various events, such as comedy nights on the Thames — find your tickets here. Victoria Embankment, Whitehall, SW1A 2HR. More info on their website

12. The Oiler Bar, Royal Victoria Docks

This ex-Royal Navy refuelling barge is now a floating beer garden with views of the Royal Docks, the Canary Wharf skyline, and the WakeUp Docklands watersports park. The Oiler Bar is a lovely spot for a daytime drink on the water or a pizza dinner while watching the sunset. Royal Victoria Docks, Royal Victoria Beach, E16 1AG. More info on their website.

13./14. Hawksmoor & The London Project, Wood Wharf

The London Project

London’s newest pair of floating restaurants has docked in Wood Wharf, and it’s set to open later this year. As you can see, the structures are quite the eye-catcher, and the eateries setting up shop inside surely won’t disappoint either. Moving in are a new branch of the London steak restaurant Hawksmoor, plus a brand new addition to our city’s dining scene, namely The London Project, a Dubai-based bar, restaurant, lifestyle venue, and gin distillery. Needless to say, there’s plenty to look forward to here! 5 Water Street, Wood Wharf, E14 5GX. More info soon on the Hawksmoor and The London Project websites.

15. The Barge House Brunch Boat, Haggerston (temporarily closed)

There are many reasons to visit Barge House, and their lovely canalside setup is merely one of them. Their famed ‘Breakfast En Bread’  (a huge sourdough loaf stuffed with all the best breakfast foods) draws crowds in, and they can enjoy them out on the water on a dedicated Brunch Boat sailing down the canal. Due to the pandemic, the restaurant is currently closed (they do deliver), but keep this place on your must-visit list when they reopen. 46a De Beauvoir Crescent, N1 5RY. More info on their website.

16. Waterside Café, Little Venice

This tiny boat is actually London’s ‘original floating café’, delighting passersby in Little Venice since 1995. Waterside Café offers tea, coffee, breakfast, light lunches and even afternoon teas, and is a perfect spot for a sun-drenched break during a walk along the canalside. Warwick Cres, W2 6NE. More info on their website.

Now that you’ve crossed off floating bars and restaurants, head to the sky for these 27 places with panoramic views of London.