If you are looking for an inspired choice of venue for lunch or dinner in central London, head for the Yacht on the Victoria Embankment, a hop, skip and a jump from the House of Parliament.

The name may be a bit grand for what is, effectively, a permanently moored restaurant and club barge, but the views are definitely worth braving the traffic in that area.


A long covered pontoon takes you the deck where you access the bar or the restaurant. The barge is comfortably heated and virtually all inside tables have a view of the river.

The Yacht is also a private members’ club and has an extremely well-appointed Members Stateroom, open between midday and 5 pm (members only), with free WiFi, which makes it useful as an occasional office/meeting room with a view. The club hosts its own networking nights.

Restaurant 2

Weather and season permitting, you can dine on the outside deck and I can imagine this is a phenomenal experience on a hot summer night. You don’t need to be a member to book a table at the restaurant, but if you are, you get a 25% discount.

We had lunch on a miserable January day, looking at the river and the London Eye through the windows. Still a joy and, if you like boats, you get a simulated boat ride as the Thames is, of course, a tidal river and there is always a light movement, even when anchored to shore.

Staff are friendly and obliging; the space cosy and the outside traffic practically inaudible.

We ordered just one course each: a vegetarian risotto, a home-made burger and fish&chips –  a hearty meal for a cold London day.

My risotto was creamy and full of vegetable chunks, properly cooked and ever so slightly al dente.

As is now the norm, the dish was very lightly seasoned, and benefitted vastly from adding salt and pepper – based on my personal preferences of course.

The fish was lightly battered and correctly cooked as was the burger (well done, as per our guest’s request). The burger was indeed home and freshly made as opposed to a cookie-cutter patty. The chips accompanying both dishes were most excellent and devoured with gusto by both diners.

We had a glass of house rose. The wine was good quality and nicely chilled, certainly much better than the corked and vinegary stuff you get in some of the expensive venues in town.

The bill came to a very reasonable £25 per person (without the members discount), the fabulous views of the river and the opposite bank across, included.

Top Deck 2

Highly recommended, especially if you have a private event as you would then get the entire outside deck for drinks. It should be also be given serious consideration if you need an occasional office-cum-meeting space near Temple or Big Ben.

Address: Temple Pier, Victoria Embankment, London WC2R 2PN


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