Just when you thought summer was a distant memory and outside activities were no longer on the agenda, along comes GoBoat with their scandi on-board hampers from Swedish eatery KuPP.
We rounded up the gang (each boat can sit a maximum of eight people, with kids and/or dogs welcome) and met them on a gloriously sunny Sunday at Paddington Basin. If you haven’t been to this neck of the woods for a while, be prepared for a surprise. It’s like if America made canals, with brand new high-rises containing the HQ for companies like M&S, and glass-fronted (largely chain) restaurants. But it’s here you’ll find the GoBoat kiosk where the friendly team will show you the ropes, take you out for a test spin and then leave you too it for the next hour or so. You can book by the hour, but we think two hours is perfect – this will give you enough time to take you up to Little Venice, through the odd tunnel, all the way up to Camden and back again.
If it’s your first time getting to grip with the boats engine, fear not, it only goes a max 4 mph and we didn’t manage any serious collisions. In fact the slower the pace the more enjoyable. This will give you the chance to crush on the MEGA houses along the bank and try to see some exotic animals when you pass the London Zoo enclosures, saving you the £25 entry fee.
We were boating over lunchtime, so delved into pots of mackerel and smoked salmon which we piled onto slices of rye bread and butter. There was slices of smoked ham and cheese, alongside pickled veg and garnishes and potato salad with slices of red onion and baby gem lettuce. It’s all made fresh and handed over just before you jet off. Paper plates and cutlery are included so all you need to remember is the booze.
Picnics are £35 for two people from Swedish eatery KuPP but homemade packed lunches are welcome on board as well.
GoBoat is open seven days a week from 9am until dusk. Advance bookings can be made on the GoBoat London website until late October.
Other items available to order via GoBoat include the hire of a Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera with 10 shots of film (£15), and of course the classic Captain’s Hat (£7.50) to pose in for photos.