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STAY: down on the canal

STAY: down on the canal

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despite having lived in london my whole life, it wasn’t until this summer that i truly discovered the charming delights of regent’s canal; a nine mile waterway that winds its way quietly through the capital, from the river thames at limehouse  all the way to warwick avenue.

my newfound awareness came courtesy of my friend calypso, founder of the brilliant indytute, who invited me to spend a night aboard her latest venture, a simply stunning houseboat moored at gainsborough wharf in haggerston, named osbert.

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L I F E   A F L O A T

the 55ft x 10ft wide beam canal boat has been beautifully designed as one open area with a king-size bed at the far end and a wet room bathroom, stocked with luxurious toiletries. the look is eclectic bohemian chic, with natural wood floor and an array of retro vintage finds. the open-plan layout prevents the narrow boat from feeling cramped, with tactile sheepskins, cowhides and textiles layered up to create a warm cosiness centred around the wood-burning stove in the centre.

available for hire throughout the year, the osbert is a perfect place for a weekend staycation, or a base for travellers seeking an insiders perspective on the east end of town. ideally situated ten minutes from the bustling hubs of both islington and shoreditch, there’s plenty to appreciate both on and off the boat during your stay.

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inside, the kitchen is fully equipped with everything you need to prepare a decadent meal on-board, and you’ll find delicious craft beers and champagne, among other treats, for sale in the fridge.

there are several places to pick up ingredients for a gourmet supper locally, from hill & szrok butchers on broadway market to steve hyatt fishmongers in islington – or there’s always deliveroo if you’re feeling especially lazy!

a breakfast hamper can also be requested for your arrival – including yoghurt, granola, juice, sourdough, jams, bacon and eggs from nearby de beauvoir deli – so you have everything you need to prepare a blissful breakfast without leaving the boat. you could choose to yours enjoy curled up in bed or out on the deck, watching the early morning joggers and cyclists pass by – both are equally lovely options.


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while there’s plenty to explore outside the boat, it’s mooring on a peaceful and secure wharf will make you feel a million miles away from the hustle and bustle, and there is plenty to keep you entertained on-board in your own private world.

a collaboration with late night tales, who ask the world’s best artists to delve deep into their music collections to create the ultimate “late night” selection on vinyl, will have you gathering around the record player into the wee hours of the morning, snuggled up on the sofa and basking in the warmth of the log burning fire, if the season calls for it.

you could also ask for the projector to be set up in the bedroom and spend the night in bed watching an array of classic movies from the on-board dvd collection. i gave a little squeal of delight when i spotted a couple of x file episodes lurking amongst the selection..!

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once you’ve exhausted the delights of the boat, it’s time to venture out and explore!

you’ll find a cute little illustrated neighbourhood guide aboard, providing personal recommendations from the gainsborough crew to help you navigate the wealth of food, markets and architecture on your doorstep, including broadway market, london fields, angel, shoreditch and columbia road.


inspired to book a stay on regent’s canal? you can find further details on gainborough wharf’s two luxury boatels here.


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  1. Stacey Sheppard

    11 September

    This looks so lovely. And with all those cosy sheepskins it would make a perfect winter getaway. Especially with all your recommendations Kate, you’ve done all the hard work for us.

  2. Geraldine

    12 September

    Looks amazing. The whole thing has been so well thought out. Will definitely recommend it to friends. x

  3. Karen

    12 September

    Absolutely beautiful photos Kate!
    The boat looks amazing too! Can’t believe how spacious it looks in there, and up to date too. My hubby really wants to go on one of these – I’ll have to take a look! x

  4. karen jones

    12 September

    You photography is divine ! and this truly looks like heaven on Earth. They have thought of absolutely EVERYTHING for the perfect break away . I think my hubby would love this for his birthday x

  5. Lucy

    12 September

    This looks like an amazing place to stay. My kind of perfect break. Love the photos X

  6. Sue

    12 September

    Brilliant post, there’s a big chunck of London I’ve never explored here. The boat looks massive inside too, I’d love to stay onboard

    • kate

      13 September

      Yep, loads of space on board Sus – you’d love it!

  7. The interior looks lovely, they’ve done a fantastic job. What a fab place to go and stay for a weekend. It’s so nice to discover new parts of familiar places to explore in more depth.

    • kate

      13 September

      So nice – its always surprising how much of London there is still left to explore! So vast and constantly changing, you really could never get bored!

  8. Maxine Brady

    13 September

    I love all the vintage 1950s furniture – especially that chair with the sheepskin throw. Inow want my home to look like a boat…is that odd? I stayed in a boat in Oslo and it was so cool looking out at the river in the morning. Must do it again.

    • kate

      13 September

      Haha! No, not odd at all – I want mine too as well :)

  9. Cate

    13 September

    I always enjoy your travel posts and this one looks like a real treat. I can imagine a cosy night on board with the fire burning and the records playing, lovely!

    • kate

      13 September

      Yeah, I really must book another stay to enjoy hanging out on board more – the weather was really nice so we were up on deck most of the time :)

  10. Julia

    13 September

    Always wonder how is life on a boat! Love the photos!

  11. Will

    28 September

    Who knew houseboats could be so freakin’ stylish?! Obsessed!

  12. Carolin

    7 October

    Such a pretty houseboat and spacious as well! I’ve discovered the regent’s canal too this summer, it is incredible to find some peace and quietness in a busy city such as London.

    Caz | Style Lingua

  13. Madison

    11 October

    never though a boat-house can be so beautifully designed. Interior is just the perfection and the nearby Shoreditch neighbourhood makes it even better.

  14. Rishika Ahluwalia

    28 November

    Seems a great thing to experience. A houseboat with all the modern luxuries. Looks like a perfect place to spend weekend away from all hustle and bustle of city.

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