The Waterfront has opened on Battersea Reach just a few yards east of Wandsworth Bridge.
Battersea Reach is the developer’s name for Gargoyle Wharf which was the site of a Shell Oil Terminal and Wandsworth Distillery. In 1996 it was the scene of an eco squat and a high profile eviction followed by numerous planning rows.
So it’s a surprise to find the long expected Young’s pub on the riverside describing itself as “the new posh pub”. But this should not put off any walkers. You really can just have a drink and there are already some attractive chairs and stools on the wooden terrace ready for the summer.
The menu does not have sandwiches or crisps but this could be the place for a relaxed midday lunch before tackling the temporary inland route past McDonald’s. The Waterfront ideal for an end of a day’s walking meal since there is Wandsworth Station nearby. Food is served all day from 10.30am to 10.30pm.
We were welcomed as soon as we entered and drinks quickly arrived our table. The food was also served without too much of a delay. From the slab menu I chose a Balmoral (Â£10) which turned out to be salmon and oatmeal on a pizza-style cheese base served on a wooden board. My companion had spinach and cheese ricotta parcels with salad (Â£8.95) from the main menu.
Both were filling but it might be an idea to try sharing one of the generous slab items. You could start with a soup and rustic bread (Â£4.95) which appears, like the menu, to change daily.
A Magners cider was Â£3.95 and a Malvern water Â£1.95.
There are some improvements to the Thames Path between Battersea Railway Bridge and Wandsworth Bridge with more access to the river as redevelopment schemes are completed.
The new directions are:
“The path runs under Battersea Railway Bridge. After a short distance go right to reach a new path on Regent Wharf. At a drawbridge leading to Falcon Wharf turn left along the small dock to rejoin the main road.
“Go right and at the junction turn right. Just past the Dovercourt car showrooms, and before the candle factory shop, turn right into Bridges Court. (The road has no name plate.) Keep to the left and follow the path which bends and leads to the river.
“Pass the back of the Candlemakers development and the end of York Place to walk along Plantation Wharf. Here the riverside path continues on to the new Battersea Reach.
“At the Waterfront pub go left inland and at the far end left again to reach a roundabout. Turn right to rejoin the main road where the route is to the right.”
Follow existing instructions from McDonald’s onwards.
The path at Falcon Wharf, a new 17-storey residential development, should open shortly but there will be some delay before you can join Wandsworth Bridge from Battersea Reach riverside.
Changes at St George Wharf alongside Vauxhall Bridge mean that there is a slight improvement in the Thames Path route.
Having passed under Vauxhall Bridge from the MI6 building there is no need to go up on to the bridge approach. Traffic can be avoided for a little longer.
Walkers emerging from the tunnel should now keep ahead along the St George Wharf frontage. At the new Young’s Riverside pub turn inland to reach steps leading down to the main road. Go right past Tesco and Brunswick House (swathed in scaffolding) and follow the pavement back to the river.
It is always a pleasure to pass the 18th-century Brunswick House which is now open as a shop selling architectural salvage. But eventually, when the St George development is completed, the Thames Path will run along the entire riverside here and avoid the Vauxhall traffic.