Hot Dinners recommends

From the elegant gardens running down to the Thames of The River Cafe to canalside spots like Gotto Trattoria in Hackney, we pick some of London's loveliest waterside gems to dine at.

The Bingham

The Bingham

61-63 Petersham Rd, Richmond TW10 6UT

Head way out west to Richmond and you can find one of the best waterside spots in London at the idyllic Bingham. Expect a high-end food experience to match the view. 

What's on the menu? It's pretty fine dining, so you'll find a mix of French and modern European cuisine on the menu - dishes like - "Duck breast | Moroccan spiced duck leg | tamarind | cabbage".

Find out more about The Bingham

 

Blueprint Cafe

blueprint

Butlers Wharf, 28 Shad Thames, London SE1 2YD

With smashing views over to Tower Bridge and the river, this longstanding riverside spot has a new lease of life with a new Head Chef, Mini Patel formerly of The Connaught and The Pointer at Brill.

What's on the menu: Aromatic crab cake with New Delhi spices, picked radish and seaweed or maybe charred cauliflower with spiced butter, barrel aged feta, capers and almonds.

Find out more about the Blueprint Cafe

 

Darcy and May Green

Darcy and May Green

Grand Union Canal Sheldon Square, London, London W2 6DS

Not so much waterside as actually on the water. These two barges, designed by British pop artist Peter Blake,  form the floating restaurant from the Daisy Green people, parked out at Paddington. 

What's on the menu: As with the other restaurants from the group, there's an Australian/Pan Pacific feel to the menu, and if you're after an Aussie brunch on the canal, this is the place to come to. 

Find out more about Darcy and May Green

 

Gotto Trattoria

gotto

Canalside, Here East, 27 East Bay Lane, E15 2GW

Part of the rejuvenation of the former media centre at Stratford's Olympic Park, this Italian canalside space is from the same people who brought you Soho spot Mele e Pere.

What's on the menu: As the name may give away, it's all Italian here - with a mix of antipasti and a fair choice of pastas for mains (with more dishes added for weekend brunches). 

Find out more about Gotto

 

Le Pont de La Tour

Le Pont de La Tour

36D Shad Thames, London SE1 2YE

One of the more famous riverside restaurants in London, this institution had something of a revamp recently, with new chef Julien Imbert taking charge. One thing that hasn't changed is one of the most spectacular views of the Thames. 

What's on the menu: We have to say that the brunch is a real tempter, and the signature dish of scrambled eggs, black truffle, toasted brioche and Comte cheese looks like a winner. 

Find out more about Le Pont de la Tour

 

Rick Stein Barnes

steinbarnes

Tideway Yard, 125 Mortlake High Street, Barnes, London, SW14 8SN

South London may be a long way from Cornwall, but Rick Stein has swapped seaside for riverside with his first London restaurant. There's a wonderful view over the Thames here - the spot to covet is the central section with the tables by the window.

What's on the menu: As you can imagine from a Rick Stein restaurant, there's a strong focus on seafood. The Indonesian fish curry is amazing - pair that with a lovely glass of wine chosen by Rick's son Jack.

More about Rick Stein Barnes

 

High Timber

hightimber

8 High Timber Street, London EC4V 3PA

Once you've found this Thameside restaurant, hidden away off the north elevation of the Millennium Bridge, you'll consider yourself pretty lucky. Settle down with a glass of Jordan Chardonnay - the restaurant is owned by the winery - this is a good place to watch the sun go down.

What's on the menu? Expect a focus on grilled meat and fish for mains. And there's a South African feel to the place too - so you can start with their homemade Biltong and stick with the meat theme by following that with a Jo'Burger.

Find out more about High Timber

 

The Lighterman

lighterman

3 Granary Square, London, N1C 4BH

Taking up a large part of King's Cross's Granary Square this restaurant was named after the Victorian Lightermen who worked on flat-bottomed barges, known as “Lighters” here on the Regent's Canal. This two floored restaurant makes the most of its position with terraces galore.

What's on the menu? It's a broad modern European menu. We've had the salt and pepper squid a few times now and it's always good. But the Crayfish salad with Jersey Royals, shaved fennel, celery, apple and citrus mayo also sounds like it'd hit the spot.

Find out more about The Lighterman

 

London Shell Company

londonshell

The Prince Regent, Sheldon Square, London W2 6PY

Why eat by the water, when you can eat ON the water? The well-reviewed London Shell Company is always a good bet for the summer where you can take a sunset tour down the Regent's Canal. 

What's on the menu? It's mainly seafood here, and there's a set menu in the evening and weekend cruises. But if you're going for the lunchtime a la carte, we'd try the crab beignet because of course) and the Cornish trout tartar. Expect a regularly changing menu - so watch the website for the latest. 

Find out more about London Shell Co

 

Sargeant's Mess

Sargeant's Mess

Tower of London, The Wharf, St Katharine's & Wapping, London EC3N 4AB

This one's so new that - at the time of writing we don't actually have a riverside pic. But it sees Mark Sargeant (of Plum & Spilt Milk and others) taking over the restaurant right beside Tower Bridge (which was previously The Perkin Reveller). Expect a makeover to the big outside terrace looking over the Thames. 

What's on the menu? It's an all-day menu which pretty much covers all the bases, but we think the Atlantic cod, dripping chips, mushy peas, tartare will be worth a try.

Find out more about Sargeant's Mess

 

The River Cafe

river cafe

Thames Wharf, Rainville Rd, Hammersmith, London W6 9HA

Ruth Rogers' riverside restaurant began life as a work canteen but is now one of London's loveliest (and spendiest) Italian restaurants.

What's on the menu? There might be split & wood-roasted Scottish langoustines with chilli and oregano or Tagliatelle con le Ortiche – fresh nettle pasta with butter & parmesan

Find out more about The River Cafe

 

Summerhouse Little Venice

summerhouse

Opposite 60 Blomfield Road, London W9 2PA

Run by the folks behind local Waterway restaurant in Little Venice, this canal-fronting cafe began life as a summer pop-up but now runs all year round.

What's on the menu? Seafood is the thing here (naturally) so a roast monkfish, wrapped in Parma ham, squash purée, truffled potato fritters, spinach, red wine sauce should do the trick. 

Find out more about Summerhouse

 

And don't forget...

coppasummer 

The restaurant at Sea Containers opens out onto the South Bank for a riverside view - and they've teamed up with Laurent Perrier for the terrace this summer.  

Over by Waterloo Bridge many of the tables at Bryn Williams at Somerset House have lovely river views.

Coppa Club by Tower Bridge has some pretty amazing cabanas looking out over the river. Some you can just turn up and grab, others are bookable.

Head into St Katharine Docks and try out Dokke for Asian fusion, made with British ingredients. 

In King's Cross, find the terrace at the back of Rotunda for seats right by the canal.

Head eastwards towards Limehouse and you'll find Gordon Ramsay's The Narrow, with a pretty spectacular view of the river, both from the terrace and a huge glass covered dining space. 

The Ivy Tower Bridge has a lovely riverside setting, but if you manage to get into their private dining room upstairs, the views of the river are wonderful. 

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