Days are finally longer and there’s a slight hint of increased temperature that I can feel in the air. It’s only a matter of time when the al fresco weather will be upon London which means, riverside pubs season!
There are a lot of pubs in the city centre but there’s something about riverside pubs in South West London that’s more interesting, it’s just a prettier scenery in the leafy districts of London, most of them has a very “village-y” feel to it and much relaxed atmosphere with the River Thames right in front of you as you sip on your chosen poison of the day. Luckily for me, there’s an abundance of it around where I live in Kingston-Upon-Thames.
It’s also not that far from Central London, while yes some of these places will require taking the dreaded (almost always delayed) South West Trains but I suggest you do this on the weekend when you’ve got all the time in the world. 🙂
Every weekend that the Greek Mister and myself are both off, we make it a point to go for a walk together. We’re the most physically unfit couple so to make it more enjoyable and to encourage us to do the walk, the route we take is towards a new riverside pub where we can have lunch and some drinks afterwards. I do think it defeats the purpose of the walk but hey, anything to get us out of our apartment right? 🙂 Besides, the journey is always pretty from where we live.
We’ve visited quite a few since we’ve moved here in London that I can now make a list of some of my favourites. I’ll be updating this list from time to time as and when we discover something new.
Beautiful Riverside Pubs in South West London
The Boater’s Inn
The Boater’s Inn Website
Of course this would be the very first in my list as it was also the very first riverside pub in London that we’ve visited. It’s a 15-min walk away from our apartment and possibly the reason which makes it even lovelier. Set right in the middle of Canbury Gardens, it definitely gives you a relaxed environment that you deserve after a long week at work. They have a pretty indoor area which overlooks the river as well but we always prefer to sit on their fabulous beer garden area.
The White Cross
The White Cross Website
It was high tide when we first went to the White Cross in Richmond and the River Thames overflowed up to the sidewalk of this pub. Despite the water level, the pub was packed! I admired the resilience of the English when it comes to having their weekly pint, no amount of water can stop them. This is when we realized that we’ve integrated quite easily with the British ways since we’ve moved here – the pub culture is already running in our veins. :p
Pitcher & Piano
Pitcher & Piano Website
The terrace in this lovely riverside pub is of good size but during the weekend, it still gets extremely packed specially if the sun’s up. They also have some balcony tables which overlooks the whole of Richmond’s riverside but I guess you’ve got to make a reservation to grab that most coveted seats.
This isn’t exactly by the River Thames but it offers an amazing view of the river and the whole valley – I call it valley because it looks like it but it’s not really a valley. Lol. This pub was the reason we started our weekend walks to the pub. Its location is very convenient for us because we’ll just have to cross Richmond Park from our apartment and we’ll then have a magnificent view of the River Thames while having our pint. I guess no other pubs can offer this vantage point of the River Thames so this one’s high up on my list.
The Bell & Crown
The Bell & Crown Website
I discovered this beautiful area of Chiswick as I was doing one of my London Walks and I passed by so many riverside pubs along the way. This one caught my eye though as it has the biggest outdoor seating in the area. It’s high up on my list of pubs to bring visitors to because it’s a nice walk by the river.
The White Swan
The White Swan Website
I also discovered this pub in Twickenham while was I doing my Twickenham Riverside Walk. The gorgeous sitting area right on the banks of the River Thames caught my eye but I realized when I went back there with the Greek Mister that the seating area was quite too small. The husband doesn’t function too well in cramped spaces because of his height so we might have to skip this one but I’d definitely go back there with visiting friends and family. 🙂
The Blue Anchor
The Blue Anchor Website
There is an abundance of pubs in this part of the River Thames but we haven’t tried all of it yet because this is no longer a walkable distance to us. :p It holds a prime position with the River Thames view as well as the Hammersmith Bridge. It gets extremely packed and crowded though when the sun’s up but which pub isn’t packed when the sun’s out in London?
The Crabtree Website
Their outdoor seating area looks like it’s straight out of quaint-ville. Sitting under the shade of the trees while having your pint on a sunny Sunday afternoon is the perfect way to end a weekend isn’t it?
The London Apprentice
The London Apprentice Website
Getting here was definitely the best walk we’ve done because most of it were through Richmond Park and by the River Thames. I will forever remember this pub as the one which served us 20 chicken wings for only GBP12.00. The only downside is it’s on the flight path so you can hear the aircraft engine roar as they pass by.
White Hart Barnes
White Hart Barnes Website
We went to White Hart in Barnes on a Friday after work after being heavily disappointed with the first pub that we went to in Wandsworth. I told The Greek Mister that the further the riverside pub is from city center the prettier it gets and his choice of riverside pub in Wandsworth just doesn’t make it for me. Lol. We didn’t eat anything here although the dishes we saw the other diners were gorging out looked nice. I love their terrace but it was packed when we got there so we settled on the benches right by the river bank.
Technically, the next few pubs below are no longer located in London but geographically, it is located South West of London. Lol. I just can’t not include these in the list as it’s all worth mentioning.
This is definitely one of the prettiest pubs we’ve been to. It overlooks the River Wey and a green field, the outdoor terrace is massive but it was still hard to get a table while we were there. Nevertheless, the view alone is worth the drive to Guildford and as a bonus, there’s a massive paid parking area nearby so parking wasn’t a problem at all. :p
Ye Olde Swan
Ye Olde Swan Website
The outdoor seating is extremely pretty, maybe just ignore the fact that the parking is also in the same area as the outdoor terrace which ruins its instagrammable look. Lol. There were some tables on the wooden pathwalk right on the river and your view are the pretty houses on an island just opposite the pub.
The Albany Website
Just next to Ye Olde Swan is the stylish The Albany with a massive outdoor seating area. I think this is the largest outdoor area I’ve ever seen in a pub. You can see the Hampton Court Palace from here just across the River Thames. This is The Greek Mister’s favourite one among all the pubs we’ve visited because of the size of their terrace. :p
The Magpie Website
The way to this pub wasn’t exactly the prettiest but the cozy outdoor seating is worth it. It may be on the smaller side but I think it just added on to its charm. Also, this is where I had the juiciest burger ever served in a pub. :p
The Weir Hotel
The Weir Hotel Website
We weren’t supposed to go to The Weir Hotel that day but the Greek Mister was nursing a hangover then and as soon as we passed by this pretty riverside pub, he immediately want a detour. I can’t blame him though because the massive outdoor seating area was very inviting that it would be a sin if we didn’t stop there. Food served is also great!
The Old Crown Public House
The Old Crown Public House Website
I wasn’t feeling well the weekend that we went to The Old Crown Public House so instead of walking, we took the car. Sun was out that weekend so even if I wasn’t feeling my best, I thought we must go out just to get some warmth from the sun. There are numerous outdoor seating options in this pub but we of course chose the garden by the river. It was quite small but we didn’t mind as we immediately got a seat. We had chicken wings (of course) which was great! It’s a cozy area which I definitely would be going back to.
The Swan Walton
The Swan Website
I think this is my favourite pub at the moment mainly because of its massive outdoor seating area. Even if there were a lot of people while we were there, it didn’t feel too busy because of its size. We loved it so much that we stayed there for 7 hours. The downside is, everything we ordered from their kitchen wasn’t good and I saw some diners returning their food to the kitchen as well. However, they’ve got a burger shack which serves amazing burgers! I’d say it’s Five Guys quality. :p Avoid the hotdog though, it was the most miserable hotdog sandwich I’ve ever seen. Lol.
Did this list make you long for the warm and sunny days in London? I’m not going to take credit for that because I think we’re always longing for those days here anyway. :p