We’ve been wanting to go on the London Shell Co’s Prince Regent for ages, but it’s always booked – which is a good sign. Well, we finally got a reservation. In case you’re not familiar, the Prince Regent is a boat that leaves from Paddington Basin and cruises up the canal while serving a five-course seafood menu.
This is a houseboat with tables. Duck your head and go down the steps, where you’ll be greeted by a cosy, candlelit dining room with five white tablecloth-clad tables.
There’s a set menu that changes seasonally, but expect British seafood throughout. Current dishes include trout crudo with Granny Smith; scallops with pumpkin, brown butter and capers; Cornish crab paccheri; baked cod with cavolo nero and Champagne caviar sauce; and a dark chocolate hazelnut dessert. There’s a £65 supplement for wine pairings, £25 for caviar or half a dozen oysters, and £14 for a cheese plate. The wine list was excellent, and the waiters really knew their bottles.
The cruise! Two and a half hours down the canal felt like the kind of thing you might do when visiting another city, so it felt special to be dropped off right back in central London. At night it was cosy, and we think a lunch booking would make this a great way to see the sights. The boat runs rain or shine – and surprisingly, rain actually makes it feel quite atmospheric.