Eating & Drinking Along London's Canals
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Built around the late 18th century, London’s canal network is a strand of history weaving its way through the city, all the way from glam West London right through to the industrial landscape of East London. We’re starting west in Ladbroke Grove, will be chugging across to Mile End and up towards Tottenham Hale on the River Lea.
Situated on the Grand Union Canal, just above Tom Dixon’s swanky store and heavily featuring his designs, Dock Kitchen represents the more upmarket side to the Ladbroke Grove scene. The philosophy: global dishes made with primarily British produce, including monthly, themed, evening set menus from around the world. The à la carte menu changes on a weekly basis, while meat comes from a rare breed butcher in Yorkshire.
The Union Tavern has heaps of character with a real fire, leather sofas you can sink into and a great collection of board games. They have all sorts of activities on, with pub quizzes on a Wednesday at 8pm. We reckon the highlight is the view of the Union Canal from the venue's heated smoking patio out back.
A classic bistro with a modern twist, The Waterway makes for a nice little canalside eatery in Little Venice (although the hedges obscure the sight of boats bobbing past somewhat). You can expect a seasonal menu here, with hearty dishes prominent through the winter (i.e. Guinness braised Irish lamb stew), and the summer bringing a fresher culinary angle and outside eating, including BBQs.
In any other location this cafe would be somewhat unremarkable but considering its position overlooking Regent's Canal, it has made its way through Dojo's thorough venue-vetting net. The views from the cafe are truly beautiful especially on a summer's day when guests can sit outside on their terrace. The food is decidedly average so we wouldn't recommend eating here but you can't go wrong with a coffee and a piece of cake.
This floating Chinese restaurant is beautifully situated in London's Regents Park, Cumberland Basin. The menu is classic, serving Cantonese to Szechuan & Beijing cuisines: the wow-factor being the romantic setting and view.
It's not directly on the canal but Lantana is housed in the middle of Camden Lock market. Skip the dodgy street food and come to this sweet little cafe for homemade cakes, speciality coffee and a handful of brunch dishes.
You're seriously right beside the water here, so on warm sunny days it can get insanely rammoed, but it's worth the fight for a table.
On the food side, mornings have the classic granola with fruit combos, and there are awesome cakes in the afternoons. For something more serious is the cured wild sea trout with sweet mustard, pickled cucumbers and dill.
Inside this tranquil domed pavilion, gaze out onto the water whilst enjoying delicious sandwiches with homemade bread, light and healthy egg dishes and indulgent, syrup-soaked praline & banana pancakes. Be it a crisp winter's day or a blazing summer afternoon, this is the perfect spot to sit back and chill.
Fancy potentially getting yelled at and kicked out when trying to order a drink? The landlord and lady here are as old school East End as you can get, so you better not piss them off. Yep, The Palm Tree has a reputation for being a bit...unfriendly, but that's what people come for.
Inside it's dark as hell, lit by dim red lights, with photos of old celebrities you probably won't recognise. There's a small corner stage for live jazz - come on one of these nights and the vibe gets downright energetic.
This is what canal-side dreams are made of. This craft beer brewery was Hackney Wick's first, and remains the best. Housed in a former print factory, the industrial space is a siren song to East Londoners - especially in summer, when you can dine al fresco on some pretty scrumptious pizzas.
This is a local spot through and through - the interior is made with reclaimed materials sourced from local artists. You can even chill in the boats that are moored up during summer. Nice.
Beavertown Brewery have been supplying the thirsty people of Tottenham with a range of crazy craft beers since 2013. Settle yourself among the heavy machinery and order one of their finest brews which range from black IPAs to 9% smoked porters. Open between 2 and 8 every Saturday, your window of opportunity to actually drink the beer is pretty limited so get in and on it.