Wednesday, 25 March 2015
Blue Boat, Hammersmith
I despise the profit-driven developers that are wrecking London's riverside with their gauche gulags. St. George, patron saint of postmodernist pony and trap architecture was the company responsible for throwing up, inter alia, the hideous high-rise hive (pictured below) whose grotesque bulk, looming like the gates to Hades on the southwest side of Vauxhall Bridge, still makes me gasp, appalled and incredulous. Too bad the bloody dragon didn't burn old George to a crisp. The holy sainted builder's latest designer dwellings/ aspirational bollocks - at Fulham Reach - are, by comparison, relatively innocuous. At the brand new Fuller's pub and dining rooms that sits at Fulham Reach's cynical new-build heart, mollified by a bottle of house white (£19), by the misty moonlight of a spring evening by the Thames, pastiche Victorian warehouse - all luxe loft living upholstered chez Roche Bobois and Smegs stashed with Waitrose tiramisu and Taittinger - almost begins to look like an attractive lifestyle option. Its name inspired by the annual varsity waterborne grudge match that will presently flash by, in a blink, en route from Putney Bridge to its Mortlake conclusion. The Blue Boat is sure to prove popular then and, especially, come summer. For that's when its vast sun-trap belvedere terrace, far-removed from all traffic, will be chocca with Chukka Umunna and James Cracknell lookalikes who can well afford pads priced up to £2 million+. Indoors, Oxbridge circa Brideshead Revisited, all natty nautical styling, sets the not unappealing scene for an all-day menu of decent modern Brit-Med pub grub. Jerusalem artichoke soup and cod loin, chorizo and tomato stew will do nicely at £22 for both. All told, with local brewer Fuller's ales, Frontier, ESB and London Pride on tap, there's much to put a smile on my boat race here. But not a word to George!
Distillery Road, W6 9RU 3092 2090 www.theblueboat.co.uk