Boisdale Canary Wharf

Exter BCW

Jazz bar, and Scottish fare for the wharfies

Boisdale Canary Wharf

Jazz bar, and Scottish fare for the wharfies

New York does jazz. Soho in London does jazz. But Canary Wharf? Pull the other one.

Actually it does, and since Boisdale transformed itself from a boisterous, relatively upmarket boozer on Bishsopsgate to a bona fide wharf bar, it does it well. Having worked at Canary Wharf for several years the idea that the wharf could host a music venue was bordering on ridiculous. In case your have never been there, the wharf does chain bars, chain restaurants, and chain shops. There are no poor, unemployed and accordingly to my wife, creative people out there. Basically the wharf is like an airport without a runway.

But every so often, something sneaks through its security barriers. Boisdale on Bishopsgate is quite a decent pub in a stretch notoriously short of such options. Boisdale in Canary Wharf is a revelation.

Cigar Humidor BCW[3]

The bar diner, complete with white tablecloths, a mile long bar and celebrity portrait adorned red walls is like Ronnie Scott’s meets Disney. Having said that, it feels big, boozy, and packed with atmosphere. So …Scottish in other words. Raucous tables of (slightly older) punters quaff whisky wine and cocktails while snappily dressed waiters run the tables.

The food menu is very British, but there were a couple of delights. The English snails in garlic were gorgeous. Perfectly cooked and nicely flavoured. The mini-roast blackface haggis would have been a main in many places, and full of punch and flavour. The calves liver main was rich and tender and very Moorish. The sirloin steak was unfortunately rather ordinary. It lacked seasoning to lift the flavour, and was a shade too medium, when I had specified medium rare. The chocolate fondant was too sweet for my taste, and the cake was a little floury, suggesting it was undercooked. But as my friend chided… if you’re going to order children’s food …

Whisky Bar BCW[3]

The entertainment was great, and the atmosphere was wonderfully non-wharf. Which as you have probably gathered, I think is a good thing. Boisdale might not necessarily satisfy the jazz geeks, but it is very good mainstream entertainment, in an area lacking in alternatives.

New York, Soho, and maybe, just maybe, the Wharf does jazz.

On a scale of * to *****

Wining and dining ***

Boozing and schmoozing ***

Serving and pouring ***


Boisdale Canary Wharf

Address: Cabot Place, London E14 4QT

Phone:020 7715 5818