The GOTiLo team stumbled across a hidden waterside gem last week. Waterhouse Restaurant might be overlooking a prime part of the Regent’s canal, but it’s easy to miss… the entrance is hidden away down a Shoreditch side street surrounded by industrial units. Don’t let that dissuade you, though, as this place is definitely worth the slight diversion off the beaten towpath.
So let’s start with the restaurant bit. The space itself is great with the ample terrace the star attraction: being on the “wrong” side of the canal (and opposite Proud East) makes it an ideal spot for some hipster watching. And you can’t go wrong with the Modern British lunch menu… not at these prices. Main meals are £7.50 max and that’ll get you anything from a choice of three tasty burgers to a healthy portion of grilled sea bream (beautifully presented). There’s no scrimping on the sides either, which are all included. Waterhouse also has a great looking breakfast menu, but we’ll have to give that a try on our next visit.
But as with all great social enterprises, it’s the people and their mission which make this place great. Waterhouse hosts the Blue Marble Training Programme dedicated to helping 16-25 year olds who are experiencing challenging circumstances turn their lives around. The programme was developed by local charity The Shoreditch Trust and provides hands-on chef skills training, fully supported by a specialist team of facilitators and mentors. Outside of the restaurant, trainees also get one to one leadership coaching, counselling, group physical fitness sessions and support around diet and nutrition. All profits from the restaurant go towards supporting this worthy cause.
This really does add to the atmosphere of the place. We were fortunate to be at the restaurant when one of the trainees was celebrating his 18th birthday and saw the first class attitude of the staff and their camaraderie with the young people they support.
There is one downside, though. Waterhouse is only open for general bookings on weekdays and until 3pm, but they do take large parties in the evenings. And this would be an excellent place for a special birthday or celebration.