From canalside cafés to floating record shops and cruising restaurants, London’s waterways are dotted with quirky addresses and imaginative barge conversions. Here’s our pick of the capital’s best places to chill out on – and by – the water.
The weekend brunch at this buzzy Haggerston venue is worth working up a hangover for.
There’s not much their ‘breakfast in bread’ (literally a full English encased in a loaf) can’t cure, especially washed down with a house Bloody Mary. Sharing boards and cocktails make it fine choice for summer evenings, too.
Seafood heaven awaits at this pop-up-turned-permanent restaurant on a boat in Paddington Basin.
Lunches are static but dinner guests get to cruise the canal as they knock back oysters and tuck into perfectly-prepared fish dishes. The menu changes daily, and advance booking is essential.
Moored on the canal in beautiful Little Venice for most of the year– with a summer sojourn in Richmond (July–Sept) – this quirky barge theatre is a waterways treasure.
Imaginative, transporting and utterly charming, the shows prove puppetry isn’t just for kids.
Owned by affable vinyl fiend Luke Guilford, this floating second-hand record shop sails East London’s canals, mooring up on sunny afternoons (it’s generally closed in bad weather).
Fancy a rummage? Check the Facebook page for a list of this month’s stop-offs.
Summer drinking spots don’t get much better than the wooden deck of this eccentric 1930s Dutch barge, with views of the Houses of Parliament and Battersea Power Station.
The rest of the year, head below deck for live music, fuss-free bar snacks (burgers, nachos, sandwiches) and a chilled-out vibe.
Off the beaten track and perfect for people-watching, this unassuming canalside café has been a locals’ favourite since it opened in 2010.
Watch cyclists, swans and the world go by while you decide between a virtuous superfood bowl or the oozy and delicious grilled cheese sandwich.