There is very little better during a summer bank holiday in London than chilling out by the river with good company and good beer.
With this in mind, here are my top tips for the best riverside pubs to visit over the coming bank holiday weekend.
Dukes Head, Putney
A stone’s throw away from Putney Bridge, this gem of a boozer is well known as the prime location to watch the start of the boat race.
Grab a seat in the small but perfectly formed terrace and kick back while the river meanders by, or tell the bar staff you need a closer riverside pozzy and they’ll supply you with a plastic cup allowing you to lean on the railing and cheer on whatever floating craft happen to be passing by.
Oh, and they host our speed date events as well - click here
The Dukes Head
8 Lower Richmond Road
It would be remiss of me not to include this small but significant pub in a list of riverside drinking havens.
Dating from 1620 this real old world pub boasts a hanging wooden balcony over the river with fantastic views of the city. And yes, it’s the original mooring point for The Mayflower, the ship that took the Pilgrim Fathers across the Atlantic to begin settlement of the good old US of A.
And should you fancy a bite to eat, the restaurant is resplendent in antique laden candlelit charm.
Its tucked away location only adds to its charm, just ignore the plethora of American accents on a Saturday night.
117 Rotherhithe Street
Lockside Lounge, Camden
Okay. Not technically a ‘river’ side bar standing as it does on the Regents Canal but who am I to bicker and argue?
This first floor bar is a strangely relaxing venue given its location and its outdoor balcony is ideal to watch the lights of Camden Lock, the tourist trendies and even the occasional genuine canal boat.
Cocktails and Belgian beers are the order of the day, and the weekend - when it’s not privately hired - plays host to a bevy of DJ’s giving you a dancing option should the classic views not stimulate you enough.
The Lockside Lounge
75-89 West Yard Dock
This place is simply fun. And a little ambitious. An entirely al fresco bar – clearly optimism abounds here – serving steins of German lager to help wash down bratwurst, sauerkraut, pretzels and cured meats.
Order at the kitchen window, join a communal picnic table and be thankful for the sunshine as the great river views down from Richmond Bridge help ease the wait for your food.
It’s the ideal way to spend a lazy, if mildly drunken, Saturday afternoon when you’re in this neck of the woods.
The Dove, Hammersmith
One of my personal favourites despite being only a stone’s throw away from Fulham Football Club.
Inside it’s wonderfully quaint, duck to avoid head injury walls you’ll find a testament to the history of the pub including records of visits by Charles II and Nell Gwen.
But it’s outside that this boozer presents its real charms including a naturally shaded conservatory and a terrace area right by the river offering prime boat spotting opportunities. Or duck spotting. Or just drinking by the river.
So get your best boaters on, head down to the river with a couple of mates and indulge in the city’s water based wonders.
WORDS BY JOHN DAVIS