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31 July 2014

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Where to watch the boat race this weekend

(menu)

boat-2.jpgThis Sunday at 5.55pm, the 160th annual boat race between Oxford and Cambridge universities kicks off on the Thames near Putney Bridge and runs past Hammersmith and Barnes riversides to the finish line at Mortlake. Here’s our pick of the best pubs along the route: get there early to grab a prime position.

boat-race-crowd.jpgCLOSE TO THE START LINE: PUTNEY BRIDGE

The Star and Garter
Simple gastropub food, an extensive wine list and a wide range of beers and gins makes this waterfront bar a good all-rounder. If you can get a spot on the terrace, you’ll be just metres from the starting line.
Read our full review of The Star and Garter

The Duke’s Head
This proper pub’s glass-fronted dining room may have been created for serene river views, but it really comes into its own this weekend. View all the starting line action from the comfort of your seat, while enjoying real ales, wines and decent gastropub grub... so long as you get there early. 
Read our full review of The Duke’s Head

the-dove.jpgALONG THE MAIN STRETCH: PUTNEY, HAMMERSMITH, BARNES

The Crabtree
This well-kept Hammersmith pub boasts one of London’s very best Thames-side beer gardens. It's made the most of on sunny days with an outdoor bar and barbecues, which will be out in force this weekend. It’s located a short distance from the start line, with perfect views of the early stages of the race.
Read our full review of The Crabtree

The Dove
Random fact for you: this pub claims to have the smallest bar in England. But what it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in 17th-century charm. Set right on a bend in the river, the outside area is an understandably popular halfway vantage point. Well-kept real ales are the way to go here, though a short wine list and some simple pub food ensure all bases are covered.
Read our full review of The Dove

old-ship.jpgThe Old Ship
The upstairs terrace at this otherwise fairly average Young’s pub is among the most coveted spots on the river come boat-race weekend. If you get there early enough to grab a place then you’ll be duly rewarded with a prime view, but standing room on the riverbank isn’t too shabby a consolation prize.
Read our full review of The Old Ship

The Bull’s Head
Now part of the Geronimo Inns pub group, this Barnes drinking spot has been a big-hitting jazz venue since opening in 1959. The music room is still in regular use, but it’s the riverfront location, combined with a menu of gastro nibbles such as scotch eggs and sausage rolls, and decent ranges of both wine and beer that make it an ideal boat race pit-stop right on the riverfront.
Read our full review of The Bull’s Head

ye-white-hart.jpgBY THE FINISH LINE: MORTLAKE

Ye White Hart
As the name suggests, this Barnes pub has a fair bit of history behind it. Three hundred years of history, to be precise. While an open fire charms in the colder months, it’s the river-facing balcony looking over the final stretch of the race route which is its main draw this weekend. Once again, expect spaces to fill up early.
Read our full review of Ye White Hart

Published 4 April 2014

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