Londoners usually hit up parks, lidos and rooftops when the City warms up but be sure not to forget about all the luxury waterside restaurants out there too.
Landlocked London can make you feel a bit boxed in during summer. It’s far from being a concrete jungle like New York, but sometimes you want that extra special cool breeze that skips over the water up on to shore when you’re feeling hot and stuffy.
And our dear Thames River and St Katharine Docks are the places to go for such a thing by the City. You might not want to stare at the murky brown water for too long, but the riverside views on both the north and south banks are pretty glorious.
So, next time London heats up, skip the rooftop and go for some waterside dining instead. Any of these spots will do just fine.
You’ll feel as if you’ve totally escaped London when dining out around St Katharine Docks. Either sit inside around the sleek open kitchen and watch the chefs work their magic or perch out by the water, soaking up the sun. During the day, tuck into their banging okonomiyaki or some of their other Asian-inspired brunch dishes. But dinner is where they really go for it. Each dish is ornately decorated in edible flowers and made to look like a piece of art – but it’s not a case of style over substance, the flavours are all on point, too.
Ivory House, East Smithfield E1W 1AT
These guys need no introduction. They run the riverside dining scene. And they do so all year round. This summer, they have their own Coppa Club beach shacks surrounded by tropical plants, a surfboard swing, and a bespoke VW van bar. Their glamorous winter igloos book out well before Christmas too, with Instagrammers going crazy over them. They follow all of this hullabaloo with really smart and tasty food, served alongside a decent list of wines and seasonal signature cocktails. Come for the theatrics but stay for a delicious dining experience at the Coppa Club’s riverside location.
3 Quays Walk EC3R 6AH
Northbank has everything going for it. It sits right on the bank of the Thames, offering up high-end British cooking with plenty of fresh seafood. Grab a dozen oysters, sip on some Champagne and get your tan on while looking out at Millennium Bridge, the Tate Modern and a whole host of other landmarks. You can even head inside on a rainy day and still take in the views if you’re sitting by the floor to ceiling windows.
One Paul’s Walk EC4V 3QH
For summer, these guys have teamed up with the British sparkling wine pros, Nyetimer, to bring a luxury Oyster Shack pop-up to the riverside. They’ve got top quality Colchester Rock Oysters (the meaty and firm kind) which are perfectly complemented by some Nyetimer bubbles. But, if you’re looking for something a little more hearty, pull up a pew in their restaurant and feast on all manner of stunning Aberdeen Angus Cross beef steaks and all the fresh seafood you heart could ever desire.
36e Shad Thames SE1 2YE
This is more of a watering hole than a restaurant, but they still do some top-notch food everyday day of the week. Of course, oysters here are obligatory (either West Mersea, Jersey Rock or Native) but they also do a decent roast for those who want to embrace the surf and turf life on Sundays. Just be sure to get here relatively early on a warm day so you can get some of the best spots overlooking the Thames river and surrounding sites.
1 Angel Lane EC4R 3AB
This famous French riverside restaurant is doing some collaborations for summer, too. They’re working alongside Minuty Rosé who have sponsored the new terrace. The sun-soaked paradise features a selection of rosés, seafood platters, unique rosé tastings, and seaside-influenced weekend rosé brunch menus. Rosé is very in right now, especially among millennials who claim it as their new summertime beverage. Le Pont de la Tour has taken this trend and glammed it up a little for the City audience.
36d Shad Thames SE1 2YE