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.
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.
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.
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..!
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.
gainborough wharf, wiltshire row, london n1