Barge East | Floating Bar & Restaurant
It can be hard to talk about historic boats without coming across as rude.
Still, we’d like to persevere and draw your attention to Barge East, a glorious floating bar and restaurant set on a (surprisingly roomy) 114 year-old Dutch cargo barge.
The founders (one of whom is the generous man who brought London the Hot Tug) sailed it all the way from Holland to its current home in Hackney Wick, where it’s moored overlooking the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, CRATE Brewery, and the landmarks of London’s skyline.
It’s got space for 120 over its two decks; the upper, a canopied, festoon-lit sun-trap strung up with bunting, the lower an intimate hull filled with tables made from the boat’s former anchor winches. Here’s what you can find on board…
The dishes here come courtesy of co-founder Ryan Craig, who’s adept at cooking on the high seas having spent several years working as a chef on private yachts. Plucking ingredients from his travels round the world, the menu’s largely British with fusion twists – starters include crispy duck egg with sunchoke velouté, mushrooms and shallots; and cod ceviche with avocado, radish and grapefruit. Scaling up, you’ll find the ‘Bigger’ plates of pork belly with kimchi and toasted nuts; and Balkan kofta with red peppers and flatbreads; with affogato, salted caramel chocolate tart, and goat’s cheesecake to finish.
Balancing out all that water around you, you’ll find plenty by way of liquid refreshment too, in the form of craft beers brewed in Hackney and further afield, a well-picked wine list, spritzers, Dutch lagers, and cocktails like the classic Negroni, and the not-so-classic Sex with the Captain. Which leads us nicely to…
THE CAPTAIN’S CABIN
…no, not because you ordered that last one with a wink. The Cabin is a private area that can be hired out, which is cool because a) it essentially makes this your private boat, and b) it’s equipped with a direct phone line to the bar.
That’s for taking captain’s orders.
NOTE: Barge East is moored in Hackney Wick, and is open Wednesday – Sunday, 11am-11pm (10.30pm Sundays). You can find out more, and book, on their website HERE.
Barge East | Sweetwater Mooring, River Lee, White Post Lane, E9 5EN
Like nautical adventures? How about kayaking to the brewery opposite…