Little Venice area guide

Make the most of London’s most picturesque narrowboat hangout with our guide to things to do, eat, drink and see in Little Venice

Little Venice
© Will Rodrigues / Shutterstock.com

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.

If you’re hungry, treat yourself to gloriously juicy Chinese treats at Pearl Liang or seafood at Summerhouse, and when you want to be entertained, just head to the Canal Café. Whatever you’re looking for, Time Out’s guide to things to do in Little Venice will keep you in the loop.

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Things to do in Little Venice

Bridge House
Bars and pubs

Bridge House

Can any theatre bar in London be as convivial as this one? Beneath the Canal Café, the Bridge House comprises a waterside terrace and a spacious, relaxing interior. If it’s sunny, sit outside and listen to the lapping of the Regent’s Canal; when it’s chilly, curl up around the fireplace. Refurbishments are planned, but for now the place has a charged, slightly naughty feel, thanks to velvety banquettes, bright red beaded lightshades and Anna Runefelt’s faintly erotic photos on the wall; even the toilets are concealed behind thick curtains. In the middle of the room, a bar dispenses ales (Landlord, London Pride and the like) and continental beers (Kozel, Franziskaner, Peroni), plus a list of wines available by both glass and bottle. An all-day kitchen deals with an extensive and affordable seasonal menu, snacks (crab and wasabi cakes, mini pies) complemented by smartened-up pubby mains (pork belly with bacon and sage mash, crispy duck salad, four types of Sunday roast).  

Canal Café Theatre
Theatre

Canal Café Theatre

Tucked away on the banks of Regent's Canal, this cosy theatre has been hosting theatre and comedy since 1979. The jewel in the Canal Cafe Theatre's crown is the Guinness World Record-breaking News Revue, which pokes fun at the week's headlines pretty much all year round.  But you don't have to be a newshound to enjoy the Canal Cafe Theatre's line-up: it also puts on new plays, cabaret, and stand-up nights in its 60-seater venue above the Bridge House pub.   

Users say
4 out of 5 stars

Restaurants in Little Venice

Beany Green - Little Venice
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Beany Green - Little Venice

A colourful, Australian-inspired cafe serving ‘Aussie brunch’, plus local craft beers and cocktails.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Book online
Pergola Paddington Central
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Pergola Paddington Central

Venue says: “Hidden alfresco garden and rooftop: drinking/dining in the heart of London, with 850 seats, seven day-beds, four restaurants and two bars.”

Users say
3 out of 5 stars
Book online
Gogi
Restaurants Book online

Gogi

Venue says: “Spring has sprung in Little Venice, and we've got your perfect dinner after an afternoon of exploring.”

Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Book online
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. 

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Book online

Hotels in Little Venice

Boutique Little Venice Apartment

Boutique Little Venice Apartment

Set in London, Boutique Little Venice Apartment offers self-catering accommodation with free WiFi. The property boasts views of the city and is 1.2 km from Lord's Cricket Ground.An oven, a toaster and a fridge can be found in the kitchen. Towels and bed linen are featured in this self-catering accommodation.Portobello Road Market is 1.6 km from Boutique Little Venice Apartment, while Hampstead Theatre is 2.3 km from the property. London City Airport is 17 km away.

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Veeve - Little Venice 74

Veeve - Little Venice 74

Veeve - Little Venice 74 offers accommodation in London, 1.1 km from Lord's Cricket Ground and 1.6 km from Portobello Road Market. Veeve - Little Venice 74 features views of the garden and is 2.3 km from Hyde Park. Free WiFi is offered throughout the property.There is a dining area and a kitchen complete with a dishwasher, an oven and toaster. A flat-screen TV is available.Regents Park is 2.3 km from Veeve - Little Venice 74, while Hampstead Theatre is 2.3 km away. The nearest airport is London City Airport, 17 km from Veeve - Little Venice 74.

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Bars and pubs in Little Venice

Bridge House
Bars and pubs

Bridge House

Can any theatre bar in London be as convivial as this one? Beneath the Canal Café, the Bridge House comprises a waterside terrace and a spacious, relaxing interior. If it’s sunny, sit outside and listen to the lapping of the Regent’s Canal; when it’s chilly, curl up around the fireplace. Refurbishments are planned, but for now the place has a charged, slightly naughty feel, thanks to velvety banquettes, bright red beaded lightshades and Anna Runefelt’s faintly erotic photos on the wall; even the toilets are concealed behind thick curtains. In the middle of the room, a bar dispenses ales (Landlord, London Pride and the like) and continental beers (Kozel, Franziskaner, Peroni), plus a list of wines available by both glass and bottle. An all-day kitchen deals with an extensive and affordable seasonal menu, snacks (crab and wasabi cakes, mini pies) complemented by smartened-up pubby mains (pork belly with bacon and sage mash, crispy duck salad, four types of Sunday roast).  

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
The Waterway
Restaurants Special offer

The 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.

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Book online
The Warwick Castle
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The Warwick Castle

A lovely, wood-clad pub that's been in Little Venice since 1867 and has maintained all its charm. They have open log fires to boot, which, let's face it, is a bonus in Brrritain.

Users say
4 out of 5 stars
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Prince Alfred & Formosa Dining Rooms
Bars and pubs Buy tickets

Prince Alfred & Formosa Dining Rooms

Tucked away among the imposing mansions and canals around Warwick Avenue is a little slice of nineteenth-century London. No, not a workhouse filled with criminal orphans, but something much nicer than that – a Victorian pub, complete with spectacularly intricate carved woodwork and ‘snob screens’ separating the different sections of the bar. The low doorways between them are a nightmare if you've got a bad back, but perfect if you're very short and need to escape a pub bore. It sort of helps that the Prince Alfred is a Young's pub instead of some chichi craft beer palace – it's simple, old fashioned, no nonsense. Peanuts, yup. Pint of bitter, yup. Sticky floors, yup. And all combined with the joy of watching your fellow drinkers playing a constant game of limbo.

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Buy

The perfect weekend in Little Venice

See: Canal Café Theatre
Theatre

See: Canal Café Theatre

Get a culture fix of satirical comedy, theatre and more

Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Eat: Mosob
Restaurants Book online

Eat: Mosob

Feast on spicy stews at this friendly Eritrean restaurant

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Book online
Drink: Bridge House
Bars and pubs

Drink: Bridge House

Sip a pint at this charming theatre bar and soak up the waterside views

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
Watch: Puppet Theatre Barge

Watch: Puppet Theatre Barge

Puppet shows for adults and children at a unique, intimate venue

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Buy

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Yasmeen Restaurant & Cafe
Restaurants Book online

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. 

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Book online
Gogi
Restaurants Book online

Gogi

Venue says: “Spring has sprung in Little Venice, and we've got your perfect dinner after an afternoon of exploring.”

Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Book online
Amoul
Restaurants

Amoul

Amoul has hit on a winning formula by finding a homely space on a villagey street amid the lavish white-stuccoed palaces of W9; filling it with flowers, candles and artistic black and white family photos; and serving above-average home-style cooking at prices the area’s residents can afford. It’s a charming spot, with engaging waitresses and Amoul herself – of Lebanese origin, with a self-published cookbook to her name – moving solicitously between tables and the kitchen. The food is predominantly Middle Eastern (including the breakfast menu at weekends, which contains the likes of eggs with yoghurt and cinnamon), though there’s also a strong French presence (steak, poussin), the execution of which influences the Levantine dishes. Samkeh harra came as a piquant fillet of sea bass with a side of spinach and a pot of tahina, rather than a heavy bowl of rice and sauce mixed in; and the flavour of loubieh bi zeit (green beans and tomatoes) owed more to Bordeaux than Beirut. But the food is none the worse for that – everything is freshly made, and around here, people don’t blink at the premium price tags for what are essentially café dishes.

Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Kateh
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Kateh

Roaringly busy throughout the week, this Persian restaurant is well hidden among the elegant houses of Warwick Avenue. Just a handful of tables are packed into a tight, conspicuously plain space. The atmosphere is provided by elbow-to-elbow diners and by furiously enthusiastic staff who tear around delivering refined, modern Iranian dishes, and chip in with friendly chatter. If you’re after a bit of privacy (or peace), head for the small basement room, which features a communal table and a pretty courtyard; romantically low lit, it’s ideal for an intimate party. In fact, Kateh is a great special-occasion destination. With a menu that’s a touch more expensive than the average for its type, and an arty, contemporary approach to plating up, it has the air of a smart European brasserie and the clientele to match. Hearty classics, such as ghalieh mahi (an excellent fish stew made tart with tamarind) and saffron-marinated grilled meats, feature alongside less defiantly Persian dishes – a charred sardine, basil and lemon starter, for example, minced veal kebab, or a frozen blueberry yoghurt dessert. It’s a creative and appealing mix, made more so by the quality of ingredients, the warm service and the stylish surroundings.  

Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Book online
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