Having lived in Amsterdam and kept a tiny boat on our nearest canal, I’ll always have a soft spot for being on the water. A summer evening bobbing along and drinking in the city is a very happy one. The closest thing to that experience you’ll find in London has to be with London Shell Co. the charming floating restaurant that’s run by brother and sister duo, Harry and Leah Lobek.
Step aboard their jolly barge, the Prince Regent and you’ll be taken on a tour of London’s waterways from Paddington Basin through Little Venice and up Regents Canal to London Zoo and Camden Lock. Discover a side of London’s you’ve never experienced before as you meander past houseboats, snoop at the private gardens that roll right down to the water, and all the while enjoy a set seafood feast. The 5-course cruising menu changes daily according to the catch, but might include angel hair fries and oysters, and Cornish Cod with new potatoes, pea & broad bean haché – emphasis is on sustainable, British fish. Equal thought goes into the drinks menu too; there’s a small but well-formed selection of cocktails, short aperitifs, English fizz and a decent wine list.
New this summer, London Shell Co have opened a second boat, The Grand Duchess. Rather than setting sail, she’ll be permanently moored on the Grand Union Canal in Paddington Central for lunch and dinner. Ideal for groups, book the Captain’s Table for up to 8 people and you’ll get prime position at the bow of the boat.