So what do we need to know about The Grand Duchess?
This is the second floating restaurant from the folk behind the London Shell Co (their other boat is also moored nearby between services) and seafood is definitely a focus.
A floating restaurant - am I going to get seasick?
Unlikely. While their other boat, The Prince Regent actually heads off down the Regent's Canal for some of its services, this one is staying put on a permanent mooring. So you can get off at any time - and it's very sturdy.
Where exactly is it?
You'll find it at Paddington Central moored alongside Sheldon Square. The best way to get here is by tube as it's just a few minutes from the Hammersmith & City Line exit of Paddington Station.
Where could I meet for a drink first?
If you're not heading on board straight away, then the newly opened Vagabond wine bar - just a short walk away - is probably your best bet.
What's it like on board?
It's incredibly spacious. There are glass panels in the roof and windows the length of the boat, so everyone gets a good view of the canal and if you're having a meal here on a weekend lunchtime or early evening, you can wave to the diners aboard the Prince Regent goodbye as they set off on their cruise.
Where should I sit?
There are tables all along one side and a very nice looking semi private dining space at the end, but we loved our bar style seats by the window (usually reserved for walk-ins only) which gave you a view direct out on to the canal itself. best for the aforementioned boat-people-watching.
What's on the menu?
As with their other restaurant, there's a definite focus on Cornish seafood although it's not exclusive pescatarian. Here's what we had:
And to drink?
The wine list had a distinct focus on sparkling wine and we kicked off our preview dinner here with a glass of perhaps the nicest glass of English sparkling wine we'd ever had. It's their own-label house fizz and created for them by Hattingley Valley wines. If you could taste the British summer in a glass of wine, it would taste like this. Their rosé is also very drinkable. We think it's a great opportunity to be guided to trying something new.
Wonderful seafood, some of the best fizz we've enjoyed in ages and an added bonus of top people watching with folk on boats pootling past you on the canal - what's not to like?
Hot Dinners dined as guests of the London Shell Co. All prices correct at time of publication.
More about The Grand Duchess
Where is it? Sheldon Square, Paddington, London W2 6EP. If you walk along the canal, The Grand Duchess is moored alongside Sheldon Square in the direction of Little Venice
How to book: Book online.
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