The River Thames has been the lifeblood of London
for a millennia, initially providing food and water and later carrying traders and their goods. While it still has its uses for transportation, nowadays the river
is generally reserved for more recreational purposes like thalassic tours and these brilliant boat bars.
Bar, Pub Grub, $$$
Moored along Victoria Embankment, Tattershall Castle
sits just downriver from the Palace of Westminster and right opposite the London Eye, with stunning views of both landmarks. It has a large, spacious open deck for outdoor drinks on a sunny day, while the bar downstairs is ideal for a rainy day. Different nights of the week see this boat host a nightclub, a comedy club and a monthly jazz club.
Bar, Pub Grub, Spanish, $$$
Once a barge, this boat has been reincarnated as an entertainment venue that floats at Temple Pier on Victoria Embankment, opposite the famous Oxo Tower. Bar&co
shows a range of sports including rugby, tennis and basketball, with a focus on football – and the screen on the upper deck is framed by views of the London Eye and Big Ben, which are between half a mile and a mile upriver.
Bar, Pub Grub, British, $$$
Another boat bar with views of the Palace of Westminster, Tamesis Dock
is just upriver from Parliament on Lambeth’s Albert Embankment. It’s a former 1930s Dutch barge that has been converted into a floating boat bar with a flamboyant colour scheme of yellow, green and red that makes it unmissable. To the delight of London’s maritime drinkers, this boat is open until 1am every day of the week.
Bar, European, British, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, $$$
Looking for a nautical nibble along with those drinks? Head to The Yacht
, moored at Temple Pier, for some delicious food. Technically a private members’ club, the restaurant here accepts bookings from the public. Be aware that the latest the restaurant is open is 9pm on Fridays and Saturdays, while it is closed all day on Mondays.
Bar, European, Contemporary, British, Gluten-free, Vegan, Vegetarian, $$$
Can’t get a booking for The Yacht, or looking to eat a little later? Try R.S. Hispaniola
, open until 11pm (10pm Sunday) with a restaurant serving up European fare. This boat floats right next to the Tattershall Castle, so guests enjoy all the same views of the London Eye and Big Ben.