Friday 20 July 2012

Things I Love About Little Venice

I’m not sure if this is true but I feel like everybody has heard of Little Venice. Maybe they’ve just heard of Venice?

I lived in London for many years but because most of that time was on a boat I was well aware of Little Venice. I decided to write my top five things that I like about Little Venice but once I got started I couldn’t stop!

Here you’ll find the meeting of three canals; the Grand Union, the Regents Canal and the Paddington basin part of the Grand Union. Their meeting point is a large pool which is an oasis of calm among the trees, tall elegant houses and colourful moored boats. One of these boats is the Cascade Art Gallery.

When we moored in Little Venice I liked to meet a friend for breakfast or lunch in The Floating Boater; a wide-beam café boat there in the pool. Brownings Pool and Browning’s island are named after the poet, and the island is now home to a gang of occasionally noisy geese. Apparently rather than Browning it was actually Lord Byron who called the place ‘dirty Venice’ in the days when the island was known as ‘Rat’s Island’. It’s cleaned up its act now and is a rather lovely place to be. Try having a picnic in the peaceful Rembrandt Gardens from which you can watch the comings and goings in the pool of boats and birds.

The Canal Café Theatre above The Bridge House pub is one of those secrets of London you get to discover when you live there. It’s a thriving comedy and new writing venue, and home to the Guinness World Record holders: NewsRevue. ("Longest running live comedy show"). I’ve seen the NewsRevue a few times and it’s always brilliant. Unlike a traditional theatre it’s one of those venues where you get to sit around a table and have a drink while you watch. The theatre can host over 14 shows per week and it’s advisable to book.

Then there’s the local pubs and restaurants and the places you can walk to; no need for buses and tubes when you’re so central. Visit the Canal Voyagers blog today where I’ve written in more detail about things to see in London’s Little Venice.

Between Thursday 26th July and Monday 13th August you can book bed and breakfast on board hotel boats Snipe and Taurus (the only VisitBritain hotel boats in the city during this special time.) Have you ever stayed on a narrowboat hotel? There’s a first time for everything!

Contact Neil and Corrine at Canal Voyagers for more information. 

Disclosure: I wrote this post for Neil and Corrine to promote their business. But they are lovely people and I genuinely think staying on a narrowboat in Little Venice would be brilliant!

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