The Waterside, back after a makeover and better than ever
‘’Location, location, location’’ is the estate agent’s desirability mantra but it can be applied to lots of other things too, not least pubs. And The Waterside, a Young’s pub in Chelsea, has it in spades.
On the Thames near Chelsea Harbour, The Waterside is set in one of London’s most interesting areas. Not because the area is old and grand or old and quaint but because it isn’t that old. With a mixture of modern architecture, this stretch of the river has seen a huge amount of development over recent decades and has become a part of London that to me doesn’t really look like London.
With an expansive Thames-side terrace with plenty of seating and a light and airy conservatory looking out onto the river, The Waterside has a great setting. You can sit and observe the river traffic, helicopters landing across the water and even the odd steam train going over Battersea railway bridge; or just people-watch. Inside, the pub has an airy and smart interior, spread over three floors.
Well-known, popular and dog-friendly, The Waterside re-opened this spring after renovation, and it’s looking better than ever and tasting great. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the Waterside offers good and hearty home-made food and a wide range of drinks.
To mark the season, The Waterside is offering a Summer of Spritz drinks menu. Not just Aperol but a range of different gin-based cocktails and a mocktail. The elderflower Floral Spritz is light and refreshing, the Blood Orange Spritz nicely orangey and mildly bitter.
The main menu is fashionably split into Brunch, Sandwiches & Snacks, Sharers, Pizzas and Mains. The Sharers include a really generous – it would be enough for three – plate of salmon pate, half a pint of prawns in chilli, garlic & lemon, dressed crab and sourdough toast (£19.50). The pate is creamy and delicately flavoured with a surprise of some delicious chunks of beetroot hiding at the bottom of the dish; the crab is light and fresh, the prawns zingily moreish. Other choices include a plate of British charcuterie or baked camembert.
The Mains section is good value for money and offers menu mainstays like the Waterside burger (£14.50), 28 day-aged Angus sirloin steak (£22), pork bangers, sweet potato hash and ale onion gravy (£13.50) and Young’s beer-battered cod, chips and mushy peas (£15).
Other dishes include sticky molasses pulled lamb shoulder with spinach, pomegranate, pickled chilli and Cornish mids (the smallest type of jersey royals in case you didn’t know) (£14).
The pulled lamb meat is sweet and soft, prettily topped by the pickle and pomegranate seeds, and nicely complemented by some mint crème fraîche. It is though served with more potatoes than you probably want. The free-range chicken schnitzel with duck egg, fennel and orange salad (£14) looks good and satisfying. There are naturally vegan and vegetarian options like quiche and salads.
Sundays see roasts on the menu – beef sirloin, leg of lamb, pork shoulder and chicken, all served with roast potatoes, Yorkshires and veg.
For fish fans, as well as a daily skipper’s catch, there’s Scottish trout Niçoise salad with boiled egg, olives, tomatoes, plump green beans and mids in a lemon dressing (£16). The trout is well-cooked but again served with more dressing and potatoes than you’d want.
Main course portions are so generous you might not fancy a dessert, but it’s good to indulge from time to time. The puds aren’t for the calorie-conscious – unless you stick to the sorbets or the celery that comes with the cheese – but are good old comfort food including ice cream, pineapple upside-down cake, Eton mess and dark chocolate torte (all £6.50). The apple and rhubarb crumble with custard (£6) is nicely tart and full of fruit.
The wine list is split by theme (e.g. Whites – Crisp & Fruity, Aromatic & Spicy; Reds – Soft & Fruity, Savoury & Complex). There’s no house wine as such but the least expensive is excellent quality.
There is, of course, a good range of beers and The Waterside is open for you to raise a glass or five to the England Rugby team (or whoever you’re supporting) for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan. Their What’s On web page shows which matches will be shown and how to book a table. As many matches will be early kick-offs in the UK, The Waterside is offering a special breakfast menu.
The pub has a range of areas which can be reserved for private parties – birthday dinners, family lunches or private meetings – including the charming (and very floral) upstairs River Room with its own bar. If you have nothing to celebrate except being in a job, you can hot desk, plug in and connect with a wireless printer on hand and a concierge service for receiving packages.
Close to Chelsea Harbour pier, a great watery way to arrive at The Waterside is by Thames Clipper. Imperial Wharf overground station is near, Fulham Broadway tube a short walk. If you want more than a short walk, The Waterside sits on the Thames Path which goes between the source of the river and the sea.
However you get there, at The Waterside you’ll enjoy some great river views, drinks and food. So while there’s still some summer left, The Waterside is a great place to go and spend some of it.
London SW6 2SU
Tel: 020 7371 0802
Monday to Saturday: 09:00-23:00 Food served: 10:00-22:00
Sunday: 10:00-22:30 Food served: 11:00-21:00
Looking for an alternative riverside dining venue in the area? We recommend Nutbourne Restaurant and Bar from the Gladwin Brothers.