River Thames: London’s Top 10 Best Riverside Restaurants. Much is made of the capital's north-south divide. It's nonsense really; what divides us is also what unites us - the majestic River Thames. Yes, it also flows through Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire (among other counties) but everyone in London knows it's OUR river and we love it. Riverside bars, pubs and restaurants have always been popular drinking spots, especially in our annual fortnight of summer, so Fluid brings you ten of the best to rush to before the sun disappears behind a cloud again...
Le Pont de la Tour Restaurant
City of London / Restaurant / Cuisine: French
London's Le Pont de la Tour restaurant is one of London's most illustrious restaurants. Beloved of celebrities, courting couples, London visitors and local residents alike, the riverside restaurant offers fabulous French food in an awe-inspiring setting by Tower Bridge. The classically elegant restaurant comes into its own at nightfall when the bridge is floodlit and the glittering cityscape beyond twinkles with life. The restaurant's Thameside terrace is one of its most enduring and alluring assets. In the summer, it boasts an open-air crustacean bar; while in the winter, it welcomes its Champagne bar for cocktails and winter warmers against the backdrop of Tower Bridge.
City of London / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: British
The sun-trap terrace is open just in time for the summer party season. Enjoy stunning riverside views of the Millennium Bridge, Tate Modern, Shakespeare?s Globe and the majestic Shard. Tables for lunch and dinner are available on a first come, first serve basis or book the terrace exclusively for up to 40 seated / 50 standing or combine the terrace and bar for up to 100 guests. This desirable space is a hands-down winner for informal corporate events, birthday parties, wedding receptions and more. Choose from a selection of menus including burgers & salads, bowl food or canapes with Pimms, prosecco or buckets of craft beers.
Skylon Restaurant & Bar
South Bank / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: European
Located within the Royal Festival Hall, Skylon offers a spectacular panorama of London's skyline with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the River Thames. A destination restaurant and a relaxed, informal grill centre around a raised bar serving classic and contemporary cocktails.
Chelsea / Restaurant / Cuisine: Thai
Chelsea - This Thai restaurant near Imperial Wharf tube station launched its riverside alfresco terrace in the summer of 2012, offering great views across the Thames (from the north side). With terrace patio heaters ensuring that guests can dine al fresco throughout the summer months and beyond, this gorgeous area provides the perfect backdrop, perhaps for a little romance. It also offers the perfect location from which to imbibe one of Blue Elephant's famous cocktails which include their wonderful Mai Tai or a spicy Thai Bloody Mary.
Rum & Sugar
Canary Wharf / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: British
Rum & Sugar boasts a distinctive quayside location with a spacious terrace area where you can dine al fresco while enjoying superb views of the impressive Canary Wharf skyline. Overlooking the river, it's the perfect place to cosy up with a shared platter and cocktail or relax and soak up the long summer evenings as you peruse the impressive cocktail list and delicious British menu bursting with flavour. If the temperature drops then head into the stylish interior to enjoy some great live music (Wed, Thurs and Friday).
The Depot Brasserie
Barnes & Sheen / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Brasserie
This former stable block remains a supremely popular restaurant since it opened back in 1986 and this owes something to the dreamy atmosphere magic'd up by the unrestricted view of the Thames. A combination of the vista, the location in civilised Barnes, and the hearty, high quality menu means you're almost guaranteed to leave at the end of the night feeling somewhat starry-eyed.
OXO Tower Brasserie
South Bank / Restaurant / Cuisine: Brasserie
The OXO Brasserie, with its state of the art open plan kitchen produces exciting dishes with intense flavours and global influences.The grey-blue contemporary tables in the airy dining space add to the impression of dining in the sky. Summertime al fresco dining is not to be missed, while live music from a fabulous line up of musicians adds a different dimension in the evening.
Canary Wharf / Restaurant / Cuisine: International
Rotherhithe - With views of the twinkling, hard working lights of Canary Wharf across the river Thames, this Hilton London Docklands Riverside Hotel restaurant is a lovely little hidden gem of an alfresco terrace (there's a clue in the name), far removed the central London crowds. It blends a lodge-style setting with glossy, modern furnishings, and the menu offers contemporary and international classic cuisine. A top spot for watching boats and liners drift by on calm waters. There's also a family-friendly vibe, and the restaurant welcomes its younger diners with a fun kids' menu.
London Bridge & Bermondsey / Restaurant / Cuisine: European
Blueprint is on the first floor of the Design Museum. It has a spectacular glazed balcony which looks out to Tower Bridge and the City. The food is Modern European: simple and delicious, using the best fresh ingredients and expertly blending culinary influences from around the world.
Aqua River Brasserie
Vauxhall & Oval / Restaurant / Cuisine: Mediterranean
With magnificent views of the Thames and some of the top landmarks in London, Aqua is up there with the best. The Aqua Brasserie in Vauxhall is served by glorious views of the Thames through the floor-to-ceiling windows that fill the dining area with light. The décor is very cosmopolitan, with a horseshoe-shaped bar at which to enjoy a drink before a meal.
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