The Waterside

The blurb

“After a weekend stroll on the riverside, a tiring day in the office or just because you fancy a G&T or two, stop by at the Waterside to relax and unwind.

We’re located overlooking the river Thames and at close walking distance from Imperial Wharf and Fulham Broadway stations. Our pub is the perfect venue for any occasion: from private parties, family dining or a catch-up brunch with friends. Our kitchen cooks up delicious dishes from brunch through to dinner; serving a variety of sourdough pizzas, sharing boards, small plates and tasty bar snacks. At the bar, you’ll find a fantastic selection of wines, beers, cocktails and soft drinks.

Join us to raise a glass to England Rugby team for the 2019 Rugby World Cup! Check out our what’s on page to find out which matches we will be showing and to book your table.

We’re big dog lovers at the Waterside so feel free to bring along your four-legged friend when you visit us!”

The style

A riverside gastropub with large terrace overlooking the Thames, the Waterside’s location (albeit within rather an unlovely stretch of expensive new-builds) is its USP. The terrace is attractively done up, with large navy blue parasols decorated with twinkling fairy lights and pretty hanging plants. Seating comes in the form of supremely comfortable navy leather sofas, and not-nearly-as-comfortable teal-painted metal chairs.

Inside, it’s cosy and faintly clubby, with a well-stocked wooden bar, painted wood panelling, large tables and more sofas, these upholstered in dark green chenille. It’s clearly designed with big groups in mind, and the drizzly August evening we visit, the terrace is packed.

The crowd

An awful lot of 30-something Fulham types, rugger bugger boys letting their hair down straight from work – there are a loads of blue suits, some well-tailored City, some estate agent slightly shinier wannabes. Girls on dates with perfectly straightened hair, weirdly identical trout pouts and thin legs in skinny jeans tottering on spindly high heeled boots. It’s depressing how many of them are drinking Diet Coke.

Our drily funny waitress (I reckon she’s around my age, late forties) seats us at a table in a far corner of the terrace, telling us it’s so we ‘can be away from the party’. It’s considerate, but do we really look that old? Still, we take her point – it’s definitely a party pub, and must be heaving at the weekend.

The food

Better than average pub grub. From a menu divided into ‘Brunch & Sandwiches’, ‘Sharers’ (eg a plate of British charcuterie at quite an eye-watering £18.50), ‘Seasonal British Sourdough Pizza’, Mains, Sides and Puddings, I start with crumbed beef and potato croquettes with pickled chilli and horseradish (£7) – tasty comfort food, quite a substantial portion, its accompaniments cutting through the stodginess. Andy’s dressed Devon crab on sourdough with avocado & pink grapefruit (£10) is sweet and fresh, with the refreshing tang of bitter citrus segments.

For mains I go for the ‘Skipper’s Catch’ which today is plaice. It’s delicious, squeaky fresh in a pool of lemony-buttery emulsion, surrounded by nutty new potatoes and minty peas. The portion’s huge – I barely manage half my potatoes and peas. Andy’s 28-day-aged Angus sirloin steak with chips and wild garlic butter (£22) is cooked perfectly medium rare, chips crisp on the outside, fluffy within, garlic butter just as it should be – a fine plate of much better than average food, but again pretty pricey.

Andy’s pudding of dark chocolate torte with raspberry sorbet is great. There’s nothing here that doesn’t work, and it’s not just ticking boxes: there are some very competent hands in the kitchen. My selection of British cheeses, though well chosen, is unnecessarily generous: Norbury blue, Rosary ash goats cheese, Sussex Charmer cheddar and Camembert (£12.50 in total, with quince jelly and crackers), each in itself enough to feed the mightiest of gourmands. It feels counter-intuitive to quibble about generosity, but serving much, much more than any normal person can (or indeed would want to) eat is just such a waste of really good produce.

Soap box aside, it’s an extremely well-executed meal, and much enhanced by the river view and engaging front of house.

The drink

Our amiable waitress recommends a bottle of Romanian white wine, which slips down nicely. Andy and I automatically assume she’s Romanian too, but no – she tells us later that she’s Swedish, which might account for the laid-back humour. Otherwise – well I guess the wine list’s not the point. It’s beers for the boys and Diet Cokes for the irritating millennial girls. With any luck, the girls stop pouting into their phones and liven up at weekends.

The details

The Boulevard, Imperial Wharf, London SW6 2SU
020 7371 080;; Monday – Saturday: 9AM – 11PM, Sunday: 10AM – 10.30PM

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