You can’t really miss this place. It, and it’s attached sister the May Green, are garishly painted canal barges moored in the basin at Paddington Railway Station. It reminds me a bit of the paintjob on the MV Snowdrop a sight familiar to many a Scouser as they try not to hurl into the Mersey after a few bevvies. The exterior of this vessel does nothing to ease the guts either and as it’s designed by the pop artist Sir Peter Blake, it’s him you need to blame for your pavement art.
So I was admitted onboard and climbed up top. I was a little surprised to be given the nod not being an under 25 female with model potential (i.e. thick and thin). The yap of young clam and their Instagram lives filled my ears before I’d even parked my bott. Still there was a nice breeze and I enjoyed being in an Olympian position able to look down on passing commuters or meanderers off to Little Venice.
My eyes were again affronted this time by decks covered in brightly coloured flowers – not sure if it was some sort of Thai decoration, a sort of Mardi-Gras thing or a garland but my sunglasses were welcome in any direction.
Once I was settled I found that there is not much on the boat itself to gorp at unless you are having an oggle. There was artificial grass on the floor and blue striped wicker chairs. Wooden surrounds that had seen better days supported glasses containing mustard and ketchup. And that’s was mainly it.
The menu was a bit more interesting with overpriced dishes like skewered Monkfish but most punters seemed too foxed on champers to give a tupenny toss. I had a green detox drink thing at £5.30 but before I winge I had seen juices at £7 in the last few days and that was to takeaway! London prices I suppose. The taste was more punishment than nourishment as slurping it was skin to being force-fed a privet hedge. Maybe the clientele prefer salad/liquid diets anyway just in case they gain an once and one of their ribs gets hidden from view.
I was seated far too close to four wannabes that luckily were just finishing-up. Unfortunately I had to listen to the them spout ‘babes’ fifty times before downing their prosecco and running for a train (in heels) they were bound to miss. They left their receipt behind revealing they had spaffed £133 but I saw no evidence they had eaten anything at all (baring one sad olive). I reflect they let me onto this barge because they thought I was likely not only to eat, but to scoff a colossal amount and/or that I was some sort of booze-hound. No tip for them then!
It got a bit breezy and the skirts were blowing up in all directions, the meteorological conditions much pleasing the few men present. One beardy was a bit too obvious displaying his pleasure (head turning and salivating) and his lady friend was none too pleased at his distraction. She should have given him my drink…
Two more vapid stunners sat behind me and gabbed about some snowflake issues before ordering a vegan-burger, natch. Presumably they will get easily offended by something on social-media later before throwing up over their i-Phones. So this cafe had something in common with these girls. A lot going on the outside but very little upstairs.
Good: The novelty, outside.
Bad: Vacuous punters, prices, the yawny inside.