Popular Wandsworth pub reopens its doors after extensive refurbishment


By Nathan Blades

The riverside Wandsworth restaurant The Ship reopened on Friday after a refurbishment starting in January.

The venue, which has been around since 1786 under the name Thameside Waterman’s Inn, has expanded to included a larger courtyard with a new view of the river, bigger toilets and a new menu.

As the opening fell on  a miserably overcast day, the large outside seating area went unused, something which made the inside feel even more warm and welcoming. The bar area is inside a conservatory, letting the room fill up with light, even on such a grey day.

The view into the dining area  from the bar made it appear rather small, but upon entering, it had a large expansion off to the side. The kitchen is in full view of the diners, so those who are paranoid about food preparation need not break a sweat. The décor was rather ‘antique rustic’, with wood panelling everywhere, and intentionally mismatched chairs. It all felt rather relaxed and home-made.

The full dinner menu started at 6pm (before that, there’s a small pub menu available, though the prices are similar to the dinner menu), and was rather diverse – I was expecting seafood as a speciality, given the restaurant name.

The courgette and sage soup was decently big and ideal for the weather, but I found it overly salty. Not enough to ruin it, but it drowned out the flavour of a sage a bit too much.

For the main course I had the monkfish, clam and tomato tart. The portion was sizeable, and the mix of seafood tasted great with the saffron cream sauce they used. The monkfish itself had a nice, slightly chewy texture – a must-try for those who haven’t had that type of fish before.

I was looking forward to trying one of their rich-sounding desserts, the treacle tart in particular, but the monkfish tart was so filling I had to call it quits.

While I visited on a Friday, The Ship has a history of live music on Sundays and a dedicated Irish traditional music night on Tuesdays. Most notably, Tad Sargent and George Stains perform regularly.

“The primary aim is to look after customers through the summer,” said Oisin Rodgers, manager of the establishment since 2006.

I entirely agree. Though The Ship had a successful opening (especially in the pub area), I think that come summer, The Ship will come into its own. The food is definitely at ‘special occasions’ for the post-university set like me, but I’m still looking forward to having an outdoors barbecue in the sunshine.

Information about The Ship, including menus and bookings can be found on their website

Photo courtesy of  HerryLawford, with thanks. 

Follow us @SW_Londoner

Related Articles