There’s been an explosion of activity in Canary Wharf in recent years – a slew of eateries and bars have popped up, along with a shopping offering to rival anywhere else in London. There’s a programme of events and activities so extensive that you could do something new every day.
It’s all been part of a push to make Canary Wharf into somewhere that is as buzzing on weekends as it is during the week; head East on a Saturday or Sunday and you’ll see that the transformation is complete. The only problem you may encounter is being overwhelmed with choice, which is why we’ve compiled this guide on how to pass a day on the Wharf.
Canary Wharf is constantly adding new and exciting restaurants, shops and services to its offering – the latest arrivals include Vietnamese favourite Pho, and Fish Game, which serves the best British game and fish cooked over fire and charcoal.
Vegans and veggies will be excited to hear about the arrival of Mallow – the meat-free concept from the team behind Mildreds – and carnivores should be equally excited by charming, old-fashioned chophouse Blacklock. Also coming to Canary Wharf later this year is Padium, where you can try the wildly popular game of padel, while Platform, a gaming spot with options for Nintendo, Xbox or PS5, is open now.
On a more practical note, you can now get a full health MOT in Cabot Place at Randox Health, get your nails done at Townhouse, or pick up beauty essentials at Aesop. Plus, Canary Wharf’s fashion offering just got even better with the arrival of Russell & Bromley, Boggi Milano and Circle Collective – a social enterprise that helps young Londoners get into employment.
Canary Wharf’s summer programme is jam-packed. Get the festival experience without leaving London at Festival14, which runs from 26-30 July (Glastonbury what?). Also make sure not to miss the super-fun Yinka Ilori-designed basketball court at Bank Street Park, or the equally Instagrammable minigolf course designed by artists Craig Redman and Karl Maier.
You know the feeling of wanting to watch a summer sport fixture, but not wanting to be holed up in a dingy pub? Canary Wharf has found the answer: the Summer Screens have been set up in Canada Square Park and Cabot Square and will be showing the Test Cricket, Formula 1 and Wimbledon Championships, plus a Family Film Club. There will also be Movie Nights during August – possibly the perfect date spot?
One of the things that really sets Canary Wharf apart is its art collection. On top of the permanent public pieces, there will be a Pride focus this summer, including a must-see installation by Adam Nathaniel Furman. Break up your visit with a trip to the Lunch Market, where you can sample cuisine from around the world.
See and Do
We’ve really only scratched the surface so far. Entertainment-wise, there’s go-karting at Capital Karts, fairground games (yes, you read that right) at Fairgame, and shuffleboard at Electric Shuffle. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more eclectic offering.
On those extra-nice days, enjoy the great outdoors in Harbour Quay Gardens, Jubilee Park or Crossrail Place Roof Garden – if you’re feeling adventurous (or just really, really hot), try open water swimming in Middle Dock! If you’re not ready to take the plunge, however, stick to a GoBoat – these self-drive boats are one of the best ways to spend a summer day, in our opinion.
If you’re staying over, TRIBE Canary Wharf is a no-brainer – a stylish hotel with a 24/7 lounge area and Grab&Go coffee and food counter.
Start your day with a Londoners’ favourite activity: brunch. We love California-inspired Feels Like June; there’s also Caravan and – yes – Dishoom has arrived in Canary Wharf! Elsewhere, a terrace in summer is hot property; make the most of the weather and dine alfresco at Emilia’s Crafted Pasta, La Terraza and The Ivy in the Park.
Foodies won’t be left wanting at Canary Wharf. The themed menus at Six by Nico continue to delight diners, while lovers of Japanese cuisine will be in heaven at ROKA or Sticks’n’Sushi. And, of course, sustainability is an ever-growing concern for restaurant-goers, which is why the likes of M Restaurants, MMy Wood Wharf and Hawksmoor are throwing themselves into ethical ethoses.
As the long evenings draw in, so does the hour for music and dancing. Boisdale offers a schedule of fantastic acts and bands, and both No. 35 Mackenzie Walk and Pergola host DJs on certain days.
You can get just about anything in Canary Wharf. Fashion? Check – there’s Mango, Reiss, COS, Maje, Sandro, Zara, Bimba y Lola (we could go on) for women, plus the like of Levi’s, Calvin Klein, BOSS, Paul Smith, Hackett and Charles Tyrwhitt for men. Athleisure is having a moment, and champions of workout wear lululemon, Sweaty Betty and ASICS are here, too.
Visit Bobbi Brown and MAC for make-up; Malin+Goetz, Kiehl’s or SpaceNK for skincare; and Penhaligon’s or Jo Malone for scents. There are adorable accessories at Coach and Kate Spade New York, and new collections at LK Bennett and Dune collections consist of summer-ready sandals and sneakers. Finally, Monica Vinader, Pandora and David M Robinson are go-tos for jewellery, just as Omega, Breitling and Bremont are for timepieces. That’s a whole new summer wardrobe without leaving the Wharf!
Canary Wharf now offers childcare in the form of Wood Wharf Kindergarten. There are numerous supermarkets on the Wharf, from Waitrose to Amazon Fresh and Asian supermarket Tian Tian, as well homeware outlets like John Lewis & Partners and The White Company. Get your eyebrows done at Blink Brow Bar, nails at London Grace, tanning at Browns Tanning, a facial at Weather and Palette, and a haircut at TONI&GUY. You can even finally book that eye test with David Clulow, Ollie Quinn or Tom Davies.
You don’t have to go far afield for health and wellness, either; take a class at Barry’s or SWEAT by BXR; visit sports centre In2Sports; or try squash and swimming at Nuffield Health. Follow up with a Stretch Inc. or Third Space session, and end with a vitamin infusion at Get A Drip.