Overlooking the Thames, with impressive views of Hammersmith Bridge from the Thames Path, Sam’s Riverside is set within the redeveloped Riverside Studios and features a large bar and private dining room. The restaurant is currently open outdoors for two lunch sittings and two in the evening, offering a large selection of oysters and seafood, and a modern European menu with a focus on Anglo-French dishes. Expect to sample the likes of cured wild sea bream with pink grapefruit, compressed cucumber and chilli dressing; Devon brill with rock samphire, kale, brown shrimp and hazelnut méuniere; and vanilla and buttermilk panna cotta with Yorkshire rhubarb and candied almonds.
1 Crisp Road, Hammersmith, W6 9DN
Nutbourne is located on Ransomes Dock, near Battersea Park. The neighbourhood restaurant is part of the same group of restaurants from the Gladwin Brothers, who have Sussex, The Shed and Rabbit to their name, and who serve 'local and wild' cookery inspired by the philosophy of 'what grows together, goes together.' Nutbourne’s terrace is currently open to outdoor diners, where the team is serving seasonal signature menus including fire-roasted premium beef and pork from Sussex, weekend breakfast with bloody marys, and a best farm-to-fork Sunday roast with all the trimmings. Spring cocktails and English wine can also be enjoyed on the dockside terrace.
35-37 Parkgate Road, Battersea, SW11 4NP
Joy at Portobello
Stevie Parle has reopened Joy at Portobello, his residency at Portobello Dock. Post-lockdown, Parle has pulled out all the stops, decorating the space with thousands of beautiful spring-blooming parrot tulips and launching a new seafood-focused menu, showcasing the finest produce from resident supplier The Goods Shed and its trusted Kentish fishmonger, as well as fresh Welsh catches from Lockdown Lobsters. The menu can be enjoyed al fresco in the picture-perfect glass greenhouse, one of the art-filled pavilions (which come with heaters) or out in the sunshine on a canal-side table.
344 Ladbroke Grove, Portobello Dock, W10 5BU
The River Café
Hammersmith’s The River Café was owned and run by chefs Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray until Gray's death in 2010; since then, Rogers has been the sole owner and still runs the restaurant today. Since opening in 1987, the Thames-side restaurant has gained a Michelin star, training up the likes of Theo Randall, Ed Baines of Randall & Aubin, April Bloomfield, Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall along the way. Simple signature dishes include the likes of wood-roasted turbot with potatoes, Amalfi lemon and courgette; fresh nettle pasta with butter and parmesan; and chocolate ‘Nemesis’ cake. It’s the perfect spot for special occasions.
Rainville Road, Hammersmith, W6 9HA
Diners have been heading to Blueprint Café since 1992, which offers unparalleled views over London’s skyline from its second-floor riverside location and floor-to-ceiling windows. The views stretch from Tower Bridge in the east to the glass-fronted skyscrapers of Canary Wharf in the west. Housed in the former home of the Design Museum, which was designed by the late Sir Terrence Conran in 1989, this is a stylish spot to enjoy the likes of roasted chicken breast with truffle stuffing and triple-cooked chips; and vanilla rice pudding with poached rhubarb and rose geranium.
28 Shad Thames, Tower Bridge, SE1 2YD
On the beautiful banks of Little Venice, The Summerhouse is a tranquil spot for waterside dining, where guests can tuck into New England-style clam chowder and popcorn shrimp. In the summer months, the picturesque restaurant rolls back its windows to leave only leafy partitions standing between diners and the bobbing barges beside them. We’re a big fan of the decor: picture light-oak floors, whitewashed walls, blue and white striped furnishings and a scattering of seaside artefacts.
60 Blomfield Road, Maida Vale, W9 2PA
Pear Tree Café
In the middle of Battersea Park, right on the river, Pear Tree Café has been a favourite fixture of south-London locals since it was opened by Annabel Partridge and Will Burrett in 2016. The café offers beautiful views across the boating lake and a seasonally changing menu in a relaxed setting. When it comes to food, this place has credentials: Annabel and Will met at Petersham Nurseries where they worked with head chef Skye Gyngell, with whom they then went on to open Spring at Somerset House. Expect to find the likes of grilled rump steak sandwich with horseradish cream and onion jam; sweet potato and chickpea curry with grilled flatbread; and roasted pumpkin toast with feta on the menu.
Lakeside Cafe, Battersea Park, SW11 4NJ
The Grand Duchess
The Grand Duchess is a barge moored on the Grand Union Canal in Paddington, which doubles up as a floating restaurant. Open for lunch and dinner, the team focuses on British fish delivered daily from Cornwall and a drinks list that centres on sparkling wine. The seafood-heavy menu offers a nod to British classics – think beer battered lobster served with chip shop curry sauce or crisp pork belly with cockles and laverbread. The team focuses on wine producers with low productions who make wine in an eco-conscious way – and each can be matched seamlessly with dishes across the menu.
Sheldon Square, Paddington, W2 6DL
The Swan at the Globe
Part of Shakespeare’s Globe itself, close to the National Theatre and across the river from the West End, this high-end spot is often the backdrop for working actors to head for dinner following their performance: Mark Rylance, Dame Judi Dench, Stephen Fry and Jude Law have all been spotted here for a pre-theatre bite to eat. As well as booking in for brunch, lunch and dinner – on the terrace for now, but indoors from 17th May – guests can eat their way through Shakespeare's ethereal romantic comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, via an afternoon tea. Inspired by the journeys of the characters, expect to eat the likes of cherry confit and pistachio cream-filled choux pastry topped with crumble; and caramelised honey cream tart with redcurrants and green chocolate moss.
21 New Globe Walk, Bankside, SE1 9DT
The Cheese Barge
This May, Mathew Carver, founder of Pick & Cheese and The Cheese Bar, will finally launch his new restaurant, The Cheese Barge – a double-decker vessel permanently moored on the Grand Union Canal in Paddington. Originally scheduled to open in spring 2020, the barge has spent the last year in Somerset, and once open will comprise a 40-cover lower deck dining room and a 20-cover open-air upper deck. A refined menu of British dishes using small producer cheese includes the likes of Windrush goats’ curd with lamb scrumpets and pickled walnuts; Mrs Kirkham’s lancashire served with fennel and red wine sausages and braised red cabbage; and a half-kilo Baron Bigod, made by Fen Farm Dairy and served baked to order. We can’t wait to get stuck in.
Sheldon Square, Paddington, W2 6HY
Crate Brewery has a colourful history as a print factory and a squat. Today, it’s a canal side bar, complete with a riverside garden, built with the help of the local creative community. The experimental brewhouse serves the full Crate range and more across its rotating taps, plus wine, cocktails and superlative sourdough pizzas. Upstairs, in The White Building, you’ll also find acclaimed zero-waste restaurant Silo. Keep an eye out for the Alfred Le Roy, a bar on a boat which moors nearby and takes guests for drinks-filled trips on the water.
Queens Yard, Hackney Wick, E9 5EN
A lot has changed since Towpath first rolled up its shutters 10 years ago on the Regent’s Canal in Hackney – a time where everything but the toasted cheese sandwich was cooked from home across the bridge. However, it’s still a relatively secret spot that’s loved by locals – and it still closes every winter. Located on a perch beside the east London canal, this is the place to head if you want a relaxed meal in a vibrant neighbourhood. Whether you’re planning a party or a long lunch, make sure to order extensively from the regularly changing menu, which includes the likes of taramasalata, radishes and toast; brown shrimp with capers, rocket and mint; and goats’ curd and garlic.
42 De Beauvoir Crescent, Haggerston, N1 5SB
Oxo Tower Restaurant
On the top floor of the Oxo Tower, this restaurant offers great views across the Thames over to St Paul’s Cathedral. Open for anything from a quick coffee and afternoon tea to a six-course tasting menu with matched wines, the space has been a London staple for over 20 years. Until 17th May, customers can dine outdoors on three terraces, which are now housed beneath temporary coverings. Heaters have been fitted to help keep everyone warm, and hot tea and coffee is on hand to give customers a boost of heat, if needed. Of the main menu, we like the sound of Scottish langoustine and chorizo skewers with spring slaw, shaved white asparagus, fennel, dandelion and white gazpacho; and truffled burrata with pea gel, basil seeds, asparagus, puntarella, lemon oil and basil cress.
Barge House Street, South Bank, SE1 9PH
Gordon Ramsay’s The Narrow is a Grade II-listed riverside restaurant in Limehouse, which offers panoramic waterside views and a menu that focuses on world cuisine made with British ingredients. Here, you’ll find the likes of spicy tuna tartare with crispy wontons, crème fraiche and avocado; tamarind-spiced chicken wings; and potted beef brisket with wholegrain mustard, piccalilli and seeded crackers. With views of the Thames and The Shard in the distance, the restaurant’s terrace is a great location for those wanting to make the most of being back in the capital. During the summer months, a BBQ will be set-up on the terrace at weekends.
44 Narrow Street, Limehouse, E14 8DP