Places to Visit in London: Riverside Eats
Wed 29 Sep 21
Whether you’re searching for canal-side cafes or elegant afternoon tea spots – there’s plenty of places to visit in London for riverside vistas and eats. The Thames crisscrosses its way through the city, with everything from French bistros to indie breweries propped up on its banks.
One location comes up trumps, though. The Old Royal Naval College is part of Maritime Greenwich, a UNESCO World Heritage site that sits on the water’s edge. It’s here that you can sip speciality coffees, sample a light lunch of seasonal ingredients, stick your pinky out over afternoon tea, and try locally-brewed beers. All under one riverside roof. Keep reading for our guide to the best place to visit in London for food and drink by the river.
Places to Visit in London for Light Lunches
The Old Royal Naval College’s Café serves up light lunches with a generous helping of art. Start your foodie day out here, by the river and Britain’s answer to the Sistine Chapel. The café does speciality coffees – ideal for a quick caffeine stop if you’re planning on taking the College’s art or film tour. Or, stay for lunch and take your pick from a menu of seasonal salads and fresh sandwiches. The setting itself is striking, beneath the Painted Hall (a rival to Rome’s iconic Michelangelo piece) in the Undercroft.
All about the river? Understandable. You can take your food outside for an alfresco picnic on the manicured lawns.
Places to Visit in London for Afternoon Tea
For a more refined take on riverside dining, there’s also afternoon tea at the Old Royal Naval College. Take a stroll along The Thames and through the grounds to the Painted Hall Café. You’ll be served the traditional selection of dainty finger sandwiches with homemade scones and rich clotted cream and jam. The obligatory selection of cakes and desserts will be on offer too. Choose classic and have yours with tea or add some bubbles to your afternoon and choose prosecco. The afternoon tea is served from midday and must be booked at least three days in advance.
Finish your afternoon of eats at The Old Royal Naval College with a riverside pint. The Old Brewery is tucked away to one side of the UNESCO World Heritage buildings that make up Maritime Greenwich. It’s got an unrivalled position, overlooking the river and a stone’s throw from The Old Royal Naval College’s grand architecture. Inside the pub, there are lofty ceilings, walls lined with artworks, and leather banquettes pushed up against exposed brick walls. You’ll spot brewing tanks in the dining rooms, these are for the local Meantime brewery. Grab a pint – we recommend the Meantime Tank Fresh Keller Lager – and take a seat on the terrace. The terrace is a leafy spot by the river.
Feeling peckish? The menu here is full of locally sourced ingredients and British classics. Try the heritage tomatoes with artichoke, basil pesto, and a scattering of toasted seeds. If the weather’s good, get your drink to takeaway and wander the Old Royal Naval College grounds, taking in the boats that pass by and the towering columns.