As a rule, canaries are generally quite beautiful.
And Canary Wharf is no exception, mostly thanks to the fact that – being a wharf and all – it features more serenely placid waterside locations than almost anywhere else in the city, and the fact that those locations have been designed by some of the country’s leading architects & artists doesn’t hurt either. So we’ve decided to throw together a quick rundown of the ten most picturesque places you’ll find there…
The Boathouse is like a little, floating Parisian jazz bar. And for looks alone, it would take the cake as one of the most serene & elegant places in the neighbourhood, boasting a rooftop terrace overlooking the waters of South Dock and some of the beautiful architecture of Canary Wharf itself. But as it happens, it also has a solid programme of events, with regular live music and cocktails.
Details: Boardwalk, Wood Wharf, E14 9SF | Open Tues – Sat, 3pm – 11pm | More info here
The gardens and boardwalk of Harbour Quay exude the serene ambiance of a tranquil beach, with the rhythmic lapping of water against the boardwalk adding to the soothing ambiance. Running along its length, this idyllic spot is enhanced further by the rich palette of vibrant flowers from the garden, injecting a burst of colour that is nothing short of picturesque. It’s definitely one to keep in mind for a picnic…
Details: Harbour Quay Gardens, London, E14 5FW | Open daily | More info here
There aren’t many botanical rooftop gardens overlooking a river in the city. In fact, we’re going to go ahead and throw out hats over the wall, and state that there’s just the one. And it’s a hell of a looker. Perched on the roof of the architecturally striking Crossrail Place, the garden almost perfectly straddles the greenwich Meridian – plants hail from the East and the West and are planted either side accordingly. Plus, in summer the 80 seater amphitheatre here plays host to live music, performances and more – and it’s all right next to Pergola on the Wharf if you fancy a little refreshment after.
Details: Crossrail Place, London, E14 5AB | Open daily, until sunset | Free | More info here
Nestled in a leafy corner of Cabot Square, Iberica La Terraza feels very much like a small slice of Madrid that’s been plucked right out of the city, and transported a couple of hundred miles to our fair shores. And speaking of shores, as well as sun-dappled trees, festoon lighting, and a tiled & shuttered beach-hut style bar, you’ll also get a tranquil soundtrack of water lapping away a few yards away from you. And the excellent food is the icing on the cake…
Details: Cabot Square, London, E14 4QQ | Open Weds – Sat, 12pm – 11pm | ££ | Book here
Pergola on the Wharf. Even the name sounds beautiful. And this Canary Wharf outpost of the wildly popular rooftop bar doesn’t disappoint, with canopies of greenery stretching overhead both inside and out. Admire the views over the neighbourhood from the terrace as the sunset glitters on the water, then head inside to enjoy the DJ sets, seasonal small plates and cocktails… which are pretty good-looking too.
Details: Crossrail Place, Canary Wharf, E14 5AR | Open daily | ££ | Book here
This expansive rooftop garden is home to over 200 trees forming a lush canopy overhead, their leaves dappled with sunlight. Underneath, you’ll find sun-kissed expanses of grass, creating inviting spots for sunbathing or leisurely picnics. Meandering across the three-acre landscape, a rough stone water channel carves its way, its journey punctuated by the murmur of miniature fountains. Here and there, benches nestle into quiet nooks, offering tranquil retreats where one can sit back with a book or simply soak in the serene atmosphere. The park isn’t only home to natural wonders, but also a display of carefully curated artwork, lending a unique charm to this hidden gem.
Details: Bank St, London E14 5JP | Open daily | More info here
When a restaurant has the words ‘In The Park’ in its very name, then it almost feels like it should be a legal requirement for that restaurant to also have a nice little terrace that backs onto the greenery, and is also dappled with a lush scattering of plants & trees of its own. And The Ivy In The Park has precisely that.
Details: 50 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, E14 5FW | Open daily | £££ | Book here
Canada Square Park is a gorgeous little space all on its own, with plenty of tree-lined space to relax. But the best bit? Is the fact that that space plays host to frequent outdoor events, festivals, and concerts, with one of the highlights being the Summer Screens (which are completely free, btw). And the kicker? The place is also surrounded by outdoor terraces for restaurants and bars like Rocket and The Parlour.
Details: 25 Canada Square, London E14 5AH | Open daily | More info here
Honestly, this has to be one of the most flat-out striking designs for any bridge in the country, let alone in London. Created during the pandemic by local artist Camille Walala, its colourfully geometric design isn’t just there to be pretty, it also enhances & distorts the perspective of those crossing through the tunnel, so as to create a slightly surreal feeling of forward momentum.
Details: Adams Plaza Bridge, London E14 5AQ | Open daily | More info here
It’s tough to craft a venue as beautiful as what goes on the plate at a Hawksmoor, but they’ve done it here. The Wood Wharf restaurant is an eye-catching, two-levelled pavilion that’s part-boat and part-island of steak, with its twinkling lights casting a glittering reflection onto the water through sleek, slatted sides which somehow make it appear even more futuristic than the dozens of skyscrapers around it.
Details: 1 Water St, London E14 5GX | Open Mon – Sat, 12pm – 10pm; Sun 12pm – 8pm| £££ | Book here