We've tracked down everything you need to eat, drink and do in and around Paddington, Little Venice and the surrounding areas, from restaurants and pubs to watery activities.
The most well-known thing about Paddington might be a certain bear, but look a little harder and you'll find a neighbourhood perfectly positioned to enjoy Regent's Park, and Hyde Park, as well as the waterways of the Paddington Basin. The streets are peppered with historic pubs and bars, while a clutch of cool cafés and venues steadily beginning to make the area their home – go now and you'll beat the crowds to the punch.
We've put together our ultimate guide to spending the day in Paddington, from our knock-out dinner experience on board the Prince Regent to the ultimate Instagram spot. And these businesses are all bravely opening their doors post-lockdown, so pay them a visit and you'll be supporting a small business, too.
Eat at London Shell Co's restaurant on board the Prince Regent
There's probably no London location more fitting for eating the finest British seafood than on a gentle cruise along the canals, spotting giraffes at London Zoo and picnic-ers in Regent's Park (and yes, you can feel smug that your meal will definitely be better than theirs). You'll be treated to five courses of UK-fished seafood, all served at your candle lit table. Oh yes, this is very, very romantic – and it beats three months of TV dinners. Go on, you deserve it.
Learn to paddleboard
Everyone's seen that classic paddleboarding Insta shot: you're gracefully perched on the board, gliding on the water with ease. The reality is probably a bit less, erm, steady than that. But our private paddleboarding masterclass for two gives you time to master everything to need to know, plus a trick or two, over the course of a 1.5 hour session in Kew Bridge, Brentford Lock or Paddington. Stand up, make sure the camera's getting your good side, and watch the likes stream in.
Soak up the vibes at Pergola Paddington
Sunny day? Make for the rooftop at Pergola, where you can sip a drink or five underneath blue skies and flower garlands. Come here for lunch, and you can nibble at plates from some of London's best street-food traders: Salt Shed, Temaki Bros, Babek Brothers and Thunderbird's crispy fried chicken, and gently ease yourself into your day out with a beer or and G&T.
Be master of your own ship
(image: CEphoto, Uwe Aranas)
Aye aye, captain! Take the wheel and sail your beloved along the waterways of Little Venice, packing an Aperol Spritz for max dolce vita vibes. Don't knock it till you've tried it – it's much closer (and cheaper) than a Venetian gondola.
Eat coffee and cake at KuPP
After a day of gentle cruising and boozing, perk yourself up with fika (coffee and cake) from Scandi-inspired café KuPP. Who needs holidays when you've got Paddington, eh?
Have a nightcap at The Heron
The Heron is as British a boozer as they come, complete with Windsor memorabilia, grandfather clocks and more, which means it's the perfect antidote to a day of carousing.
Don't miss: The Merchant Square Water Maze and Paddington Bear Statue
If you didn't Instagram it, were you even there? Give yourself to stop and find the photo opps on your adventures: try the glittering fountain in Merchant Square if you want to make a splash, or pat Paddington Bear on the head for luck on your way out of Paddington station.
main image: Dumphasizer
FURTHER READING: Not enough pubs for you? We've got all the pubs right here.