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If you’re feeling patriotic this Sunday, raise a glass to HRH Queen Elizabeth to celebrate her 60-year reign. The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant will see more than 1,000 boats take to the water in a 14-mile river procession that starts from Hammersmith Bridge and finishes at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich. Even if you’re not a royalist, the flotilla will be worth watching – it’s reported to be the largest procession since Tudor times. Square Meal picks some of the best bars and pubs along the river route – plus a few restaurants for refreshment.
The Crabtree: A ‘true gem of a local’ according to our readers, with a back garden overlooking the river. Expect barbecues, chilled beer from the outside bar, and good food.
The Dove: This charming, sprawling pub compensates for its tiny public bar (England’s smallest) with a huge riverside terrace.
Riverside Studios Restaurant & Bar: The secret garden and waterside terrace at this restaurant, located in Riverside Studios arts and media centre, look out onto Hammersmith Bridge.
Ye White Hart: Steeped in literary history, this pub’s wooden balcony (pictured, right) is a great spot – get there early to bag a good seat.
The Royal Barge, the Spirit of Chartwell, will join the flotilla at Cadogan Pier (next to Albert Bridge); the Queen and Prince Phillip will disembark at HMS President, just beyond Tower Bridge.
The Riverside: One of – admittedly few – contenders for Vauxhall’s most glamorous bar, The Riverside’s ample terrace is perfect for watching the Jubilee boats sail past in all their finery. The kitchen knocks out some decent pub-grub options, too. Collect 100 points through Square Meal Rewards when you book this restaurant online. Please check availability at the restaurant before arriving.
Altitude 360: Start your Jubilee Sunday the right way with a top-notch Champagne breakfast at Altitude 360. The venue has unbeatable views (pictured, left) of a huge stretch of the Thames. Please note: bookings must be made in advance and a premium is paid for window seats.
Skylon: Request a window seat at this premier Southbank venue to get full panoramas of the Jubilee flotilla. The Restaurant and the Grill are both offering special three-course menus to celebrate the Jubilee (£60 and £50 respectively). Collect 100 points through Square Meal Rewards when you book this restaurant online. Please check availability at the restaurant before arriving.
Oxo Tower Brasserie: Another no-brainer for the Jubilee, this glossy vantage point has it all – swish drinks, contemporary summer dishes, and sweeping views. Please check availability at the restaurant before arriving.
Le Pont de la Tour: Twenty years since its launch, this French seafood specialist (pictured, right) is still going strong. Diners can get in on the Jubilee action with head-on views of Tower Bridge. Collect 100 points through Square Meal Rewards when you book this restaurant online.
Blueprint Café: Fresh, simple dishes and binoculars on all the tables are two big draws at this riverside haunt. Collect 100 points through Square Meal Rewards when you book this restaurant online. Please check availability at the restaurant before arriving.
The Narrow: The original Gordon Ramsay gastropub, The Narrow offers stunning river views, draft beers and cheffy plates, plus board games for those who tire of the pageantry. Collect 100 points through Square Meal Rewards when you book this restaurant online.
The Grapes: This real-life olde-worlde pub harks back to Dickens’ era. Settle on the terrace for a glass of chilled wine or an old-school bar meal – we can guarantee you’ll be asking for more. Note: no children.
The Old Brewery bar: With 60 beers on tap and a courtyard garden, an afternoon at this stylish café-bar just about add up to a perfect Sunday.
The Trafalgar Tavern: Sitting in the bay windows of this historic Greenwich boozer, drinkers feel like they’re practically on the water. Another former haunt of Dickens, these days it offers guest ales and quality – though pricey – fish specials. Collect 100 points through Square Meal Rewards when you book this restaurant online.
The Gun: Polished, pretty and boasting stunning views of the O2, the Martin brothers’ gastropub offers fantastic drinking and dining opportunities. See the flotilla disperse from the sunny decked terrace (pictured, left). Collect 100 points through Square Meal Rewards when you book this restaurant online.