By Teresa Madeline
The hypnotizing sound of water lapping gently as boats pass by and close enough to dip a toe in to Regent’s canal, the Waterline Restaurant and Bar, sits on the water’s edge of Regents Canal, just off Kingsland Road. Dependant on the time of day the face of the crowd is ever-changing, from yummy mummies taking their little ones to the morning ‘baby cinema’, young professionals tapping away at their laptops, elderly retired couples enjoying a canal-side lunch and then of course there’s always a place for the young and hip jamming to live jazz in the evening.
The ambience is completely transformed depending on the time of day and there is almost something for everyone here, except, perhaps those after a more rowdy party spot. The focus for owners Anthony, Alex and Hugh has always been about the food. Waterline provides an eclectic menu of Modern Europeans dishes. The customers favourite is a classic Tuna Nicoise Salad, artistically put together by their amazing chefs.
The most obvious pro to this venue is the location, co-owner Anthony described it as ‘striking gold’. The interior presents a classy, yet rustic affair which is cosy, but clean and sleek. They’ve made the most of the small space, creating apart from the main dining and bar area, a private dining balcony area, and a cosy space for movie screenings or small gigs in the back. Head down on any Thursday night and discover a secret, intimate space filled with huge sofas, bean bags and candles directed toward the stunning white grand piano, regularly tinkered with by top class jazz acts.
The only downside is that the atmosphere is unpredictable, being in such a unique location can have negatives too, the feel of the space is often dictated by the weather. Rainy days generally bring less customers in, but on the flip side, at least there will be more free tables.
The service is down to earth and friendly, the owners, when not rushed off their feet, casually hang around the bar chatting to their regulars. Dreadlocked, co-owner and surfer dude, Anthony, speaks of Waterline with the real passion that reflects in the care of the space’s design. After starting up from scratch three years ago they have seen it grow organically, taking on a personality and identity of it’s own. The first few years completely superseding their expectations, they now look forward to developing the venue in a more guided way. Music is the way forward, with regular Open Mic nights and Songwriter Sundays growing in popularity.
Still a bar in the making, the boys have done amazingly well in a short amount of time, and there is yet more potential for it to grow and become a top class spot. This hidden waterside gem won’t stay Shoreditch’s best kept secret for much longer!