Located to the west of Tower Bridge and opposite the Isle of Dogs, Rotherhithe is a historic riverside district. Living in Rotherhithe, you’ll benefit from picturesque views and a laidback community atmosphere, which is ideal for those seeking a bit of calm amid city life.

At the epicentre of the area is the iconic Thames Tunnel, created by Marc Isambard Brunel and celebrated at the Brunel Museum. The surrounding docklands also bathe the area in a rich history of trade and transport.

Rotherhithe is well connected to other parts of London thanks to Overground trains and the Jubilee Line. You can easily get over the river to Canary Wharf or Tower Bridge in 15 minutes.

So if you’re thinking of living in Rotherhithe, here’s our guide to the best hangouts in the area.

Best pubs and restaurants in Rotherhithe

The Mayflower Pub

Living in Rotherhithe: A Historic Riverside District | Essential Living

Tucked away along the Thames, The Mayflower is a hidden gem of a pub for those living in Rotherhithe. Named after the Mayflower ship, which originally moored just outside, the pub holds the title of the oldest London pub along the Thames.

The classic Dickensian interiors and relaxed atmosphere make this a prime place to unwind with friends over a pint. Sit in the beer garden at the back of the pub to soak up views across the river. The bar is well stocked with real ales and beers, whilst the dining menu features classic pub grub. Visit on certain nights for pub quizzes and special food and drink deals.

Address: 117 Rotherhithe Street, Rotherhithe, London SE16 4NF
Phone: 020 7237 4088
Email: [email protected]
Follow: @mayflowerpub

Midnight Apothecary

Living in Rotherhithe: A Historic Riverside District | Essential Living

Pop-up cocktail bar Midnight Apothecary is a stylish addition to the Brunel Museum. The chic cocktail garden comes to life in the summer months on the rooftop of the museum’s Grand Entrance Hall. Founded by Lottie Muir, author of numerous cocktail books, the bar celebrates seasonal ingredients and wildflowers in its cocktail list. Look out for special events, including campfire cocktails with live music.

Those who visit the exclusive cocktail bar can enjoy a free guided descent into the Thames Tunnel – Brunel’s engineering masterpiece that was the first tunnel in the world built under a navigable river.

Address: Railway Avenue, Rotherhithe, London SE16 4LF
Phone: 07917 548475
Email: [email protected]
Follow: @midnight_apothecary

Stave Hill Ecological Park

Living in Rotherhithe: A Historic Riverside District | Essential Living

The expansive 5.2 acre Stave Hill Ecological Park is an artificial hill and green parkland managed by the local community through TCV (The Conservation Volunteers). Thanks to the work of the local community, the area has been transformed into a nature reserve, attracting many different kinds of wildlife.

So if you’re looking to escape the traffic and noise of London whilst living in Rotherhithe, the park is an idyllic retreat, bringing nature to the city. The park is separated into a number of different sections including the Russia Dock Woodland, Stave Hill monument, and a few sports grounds. The open grass spaces and tracks offer an ideal location for runners and dog walkers.

Address: Timber Pond Road, Rotherhithe, London SE16 6AX
Phone: 020 7237 9175
Email: [email protected]

Canada Water Café

Living in Rotherhithe: A Historic Riverside District | Essential Living

If you’re looking for a cosy brunch spot whilst living in Rotherhithe, Canada Water Café ticks all the boxes. Firstly, the menu includes all of your brunch favourites, from full English breakfast (vegetarian and vegan options also available) to eggs any way you want. Secondly, the outdoor terrace area offers al fresco dining on sunny days, letting you catch up with friends over a coffee or cocktail with your brunch.

And finally, in the evenings, the café is transformed into a relaxed, romantic venue, serving an Italian-inspired menu of Neapolitan sourdough pizzas and light nibbles. Your meal wouldn’t be complete without trying their rich tiramisu for dessert.

Address: Canada Water, 40 Surrey Quays Road, London SE16 7DX
Phone: 020 3668 7518
Email: [email protected]
Follow: @canadawatercafe


Living in Rotherhithe: A Historic Riverside District | Essential Living

Bringing the Far East to London with a tropical Hawaiian twist, GreenZen is a go-to place for healthy foods. The poké and matcha bar serves freshly made poké bowls filled to the brim with organic veggies and sustainably sourced fish. For a detoxifying drink or health kick, try one of their matcha teas. Designed to boost energy levels and your mood, this is the perfect little pick-me-up.

Situated just outside Canada Water Station, the café is well located to grab a drink and lunch on the go during your commute to the office.

Address: Unit 2, Canada Water Station, Surrey Quays, London SE16 7ED
Phone: 075 0495 1435
Email: [email protected]
Follow: @greenzenpokebar

Leadbelly’s Bar & Kitchen

Living in Rotherhithe: A Historic Riverside District | Essential Living

A cross between industrial chic and art deco, Leadbelly’s Bar & Kitchen is a stylish haunt any time of the day. The weekday morning crowd is dominated by freelancers, thanks to the laid-back atmosphere and plentiful workspace tables.  Visit at lunchtime to sample a British-inspired menu of gastropub cuisine. The menu caters to different dietary requirements, focussing on an almost entirely gluten-free offering, making it a good place to meet up with a group of friends.

At night, the bar truly comes to life. You’ll be spoilt for choice by their long list of cocktails – the bartenders are on hand to help point you in the right direction of a drink to suit your taste buds. What's more, the bar serves a breadth of beers by local London breweries.

Address: Montreal House Deal Porter Square, Canada Water, London SE16 7AQ
Phone: 020 3805 5372
Email: [email protected]
Follow: @leadbellysbar

The Brunel Pub

Living in Rotherhithe: A Historic Riverside District | Essential Living

Formerly the Adam & Eve, The Brunel Pub was recently given a new lease of life with a nod towards the area’s heritage. Named after the famed engineer, Marc Isambard Brunel, who has an illustrious link to Rotherhithe, The Brunel Pub is now a chilled neighbourhood bar.

Grab a table in the beer garden in the sunnier months to enjoy a refreshing drink. There’s no shortage of beers on tap, wines and gins, including special serves. Or treat yourself to a cocktail or Aperol spritz. Throughout the week, the pub hosts various quiz nights and live music.

Address: 47 Swan Road, Rotherhithe, London SE16 4JN
Phone: 020 7237 6590
Email: [email protected]
Follow: @the_brunel_pub

Living in Rotherhithe

In conclusion, with its charming residential atmosphere and rich history, Rotherhithe is a gem of South-East London. Living in Rotherhithe, you’ll benefit from views across the Thames, relaxing park spaces and a vibrant social scene.

Otherwise, if you're not sure where to live in East London, read our complete guide to the best places to live.

Tilly Martin


Leading the way with the London lifestyle and interior editorial content, Tilly sources all of the most stylish hangouts, up-and-coming venues, and latest interiors trends to share with readers.