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Little Venice area guide

Make the most of London's most picturesque narrowboat hangout with our guide to Little Venice

© Ben Rowe

Directly north of Paddington is the tranquil pocket affectionately known as Little Venice. The area is a popular tourist attraction mainly due to the picturesque canals with Narrowboat cruises travelling between Little Venice and Camden Lock. Treat yourself to gloriously juicy Chinese at Pearl Liang, seafood delights at Summerhouse or a spot of light entertainment at the Canal Café. Use Time Out's guide to London's inner-city oasis to find restaurants, pubs and things to do near Little Venice.

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Yasmeen Restaurant & Cafe
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Yasmeen Restaurant & Cafe

This good-looking Lebanese restaurant takes the place of Ed Shaerf's One Blenheim Terrace. The new owners have wisely kept in place the bright and breezy conservatory, accessed by an al fresco terrace offering elevated views out across this des res St John's Wood cul-de-sac. The food menu offers a tour of Lebanese and Middle Eastern cuisine. Mezze (here called Lebanese hors d'oeuvres) range from various hummus, moutabel and tabouleh to fatayer, meat sambousek, Lebanese pickles, Armenian sausages and the better-than-it-sounds foul moudammas - a traditional Middle Eastern dip of boiled broad beans cooked in lemon juice and olive oil.  The charcoal grill is kept busy. Options include cubes of chicken marinated in garlic, lemon juice and olive oil, mixed grills, lamb cutlets served with French fries and kafta yogurtlieh - minced lamb with onion and parsley grilled and then dipped in yoghurt and croutons. Moussaka, house wraps and red mullet with tahini feature, too.  Lebanese wines are prominent on a list that focuses firmly on the old world, though Chile, South Africa and Australia do make appearances. There's Lebanese beer too (Almaza), alongside bottles of Peroni and Corona. 

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Waterway
Bars and pubs Special offer

Waterway

The chief selling point of this stylish bar-restaurant is its wide terrace, so close to the Regent’s Canal that you can touch the bobbing barges. It’s quite pricey, but the clientele are happy to keep ordering as long as the sun keeps shining (you may find the interior completely empty of a July lunchtime), and it’s not as if the venue is cutting corners in its provisions. Cocktails (around £8) come in fairly standard categories, but the quality of the mixes and the spirit bases need little gimmickry, and all syrups and purées are made on-site. The wine list is long: of the 50-ish varieties, a dozen are served by the half-litre carafe, the bottle or two sizes of glass; if you’re just after a vin de pays to plonk into an ice bucket near the lap of the water, it’ll come in around £16. A flatscreen TV has been placed in front of a sofa for rainy days, though it’s just as nice to watch the barges from inside.

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  • 3 out of 5 stars
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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Things to do in Little Venice

London Canal Museum
Museums

London Canal Museum

The people, vessels, trade and wildlife of the capital’s canals are explored in the London Canal Museum. The museum is housed in a former nineteenth-century ice warehouse, used by Carlo Gatti for his ice cream, and includes an exhibit on the little-known trade in ice imported from Norway and once stored in two huge wells beneath the museum. This is perhaps the most interesting part of the London Canal Museum; the collection looking at the history of the waterways and those who worked in them is rather sparse by comparison.

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London Waterbus Company
Things to do

London Waterbus Company

Navigate Regent's Canal in a narrowboat with The London Waterbus Company. Trips run along the Regent's Canal linking Little Venice, Regent's Park, London Zoo and Camden Lock. Warwick Avenue is the closest tube if you are catching the boat from Little Venice.

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  • 2 out of 5 stars
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