Hilariously there is a canal next to my offices, which usually boasts nothing more than a few broken down floaters who have seen better days, algae in the summertime (which is gross and makes it look more like someone planted some grass in the middle of our neighborhood), or the occasional rich yacht.
Sometimes though, you learn about something a little more. Like the fact that we have a corporate boat that we sometimes host parties or meetings on. Yes, you can actually book the boat for team get togethers and other special occasions. I've had the pleasure of being on this boat several times now (though still on the count of one hand...whatever, I'll take what I can get). Rather humorously (or not), this boat is bigger than my apartment. Considerably bigger. Like three or four times my apartment...with a second story. It apparently was owned by some famous record label producer or something and then we (as a company) bought it from him. I'm still confused on the details.
Anyway, this post was not supposed to be about that boat. I've already mentioned that boat before.
This post is about another boat, which is closer and doesn't move as much. And isn't owned by my company.
This one is a floating restaurant!
And it's adorable.
Clearly this is the main function of this boat as it has full signage with tables and chairs and some sort of cooking/restaurant license. My manager spotted it several months ago and had been urging me to go to it for some time. We never found the time, as we usually don't.
Lucky for us there was a special occasion for us to go there - at the conference my boss and I separately met some of our potential future colleagues. She found a gem that was better than any of my introductions - someone from the same department that we would likely be syncing up to. So, since he was in town (as he normally lives in the States and was only visiting for the conference), she invited him over to Paddington for lunch and let a select few of us at the office know so we could meet him.
And chose this lovely boat restaurant as the venue.
Hoohoo! Such a good combination of things - meeting new relevant people and a good way to try new restaurants. All of these things I like.
Anyway, as we made introductions and found out more about our potential future colleague and his way of working, office, setup, etc, we also checked out the floating eatery:
Pretty frickin' cute. Well-lit and some tables and chairs with bench seating. The quality of those tables and chairs were pretty dubious, as most of them were quite rickety and it made moving them closer together nearly impossible...but you forgive these kinds of things in super cute venues. Think about it...you do.
I had the most glorious hot chocolate. Pretty sure it's just well-steamed and foamed whole milk with Nesquik...but that's exactly how I like it. Tasted like childhood, and since this guy was from the west coast of the States, he understood all of my references. It was great.
I then ordered the housemade customized omelette. None of the meat choices looked particularly appetizing (the British love breast meat as much as the common American public, so I kind of avoid it unless I know it'll be great), so I went with veggie fillings:
Good but...strange. And kind of bland. This is certainly the fluffiest omelette I've ever had in my life. I don't know what they did with it - make it with whipped cream? It was definitely filling (I couldn't finish the whole thing and my boss felt sick later from having finished all of hers). I had tomatoes, mushrooms, and bell peppers in mine I think. I had to heavily salt and pepper it to give taste. The salad, though nice with its mix of veggies, had just olive oil and herbs on it, no salt or vinegar. Kind of...bland, like I said. Very...British.
Overall it was a lovely experience though, and some of the other items on the menu that my colleagues ordered looked better - chicken with stilton sandwiches, this sort of thing.
I ended up going again the same week with another colleague and just ordered the hot chocolate again. Sometimes enough is enough.
I'll likely come here again if I get the chance. It's cute and quaint and giving local business versus chains has become a way of life for me. I plan to keep it up.