A West London café in a boat



Rating: 8/10

Address: Warwick Crescent, Little Venice,
London, W2 6NE

Tube: Warwick avenue (5 minutes); Paddington (10 minutes)

Hours: Daily, 9:00—17:00


By Daria Dergacheva

The area known as 'Little Venice' is a small miracle - this part of West London looks and feels much more like Amsterdam or, indeed, the Sinking City itself. 

'Little Venice' is near the Warwick Avenue tube station. Regent's Canal and the Paddington arm of Grand Union canal meet here. Lots of trees, Victorian terraced houses and houseboats with tons of strange and unusual things on top of them, including flower pots and old buggies, make the area romantic and fun. Find more great photos of Little Venice in this blog.

The Waterside Café in Little Venice

One of the houseboats hosts a cafe - a real one, with breakfasts, coffee, and lunches on offer, all under £10. The Waterside Café is quite small, with only seven tables inside, but very cosy and unusual. It creates a feeling of an unexpected vacation, since who would ever expect to find a canal with a boathouse café in western London?

There are old photos of the boat and the area on the walls. In summer, there are also tables outside, right next to the canal. Well, they are there in winter, too, but no inexpinone was willing to sit there on a cold and windy day in February.

Food is simple and inexpensive, but don't expect anything special. Bagels, jacket potatoes, bacon rolls, croissants and the like. Coffee is fine, could have been better, but then again - this is not a place where the food and drinks are the main attraction.

Walk along the canal one morning, feed the always-hungry ducks and seagulls, watch the houseboats' occupants' extraordinary life and stop by the Waterside Café houseboat - a great start to a lazy weekend.

Read another review of the Waterside cafe by Tired of London, Tired of Life blog.


It is cosy, but since there are only seven tables, you might not get to experience the cosiness. We had to walk around and wait for about an hour before one of the tables was available. As the waitress said, “locals come here”, so be aware that they may be more efficient in getting one of the seven tables.

During the warm months, the situation should be much better, though, since the number of tables outside looks sufficient to accommodate both locals and non-locals alike.

London canals are very romantic - pretty much all canals are. However, unexpected things can sometimes be found in them. Today, for example, a lovely dead dog was floating peacefully along the shore. This would probably spoil the romantic mood.