One of London’s biggest financial and commercial hubs, Canary Wharf is the centre of the Docklands. Previously known for being a fast-paced, hive of activity during the week but somewhat quieter at weekends, this area is rapidly changing and becoming an increasingly popular residential destination that buzzes all week through.
A manicured island on the banks of the Thames, Canary Wharf is a mix of futuristic architecture intertwined with carefully sculpted green spaces and waterways. Once notorious for its absence of amenities, in 1993 Canary Wharf had just six shops. Just 10 years later, that figure rocketed to 200 and today it has over 300 shops, bars and restaurants in the main complex that incorporates four malls: Cabot Place, Canada Place, Churchill Place and Jubilee Place.
The recent opening of Crossrail Place represents the first public realm to benefit from the Crossrail network, which will start running in 2018. This distinctive seven-storey structure inspired by Canary Wharf’s maritime heritage boasts a large roof garden, cinema, restaurants and fitness facilities.
The malls host an abundance of high-end shops and boutiques including Aquascutum, Hobbs and Space NK, as well as well-known high street brands such as Reiss, Topshop and Kiehls. Canary Wharf’s first and largest store is in fact a Waitrose. The largest in the country, it houses a wide array of services including fresh meat and fish counters, a bakery and deli, as well as an award-winning wine department with a temperature-controlled wine room, wine bar, café, plus a steak and oyster bar. John Lewis upstairs boasts an impressive range of homeware, toys, fashion, beauty, electronics and sportswear.
A diverse range of bars and restaurants exist to cater for residents and visitors alike, as Canary Wharf becomes a social destination in its own right. Diners have a wide choice from the hip Breakfast Club, to The Big Easy, or Gaucho as well as Tom’s Kitchen and Wagamama. Japanese hotspot Roka has recently opened its doors after West End counterparts garnered a loyal following, and The Gun and The Narrow are long-standing gastropubs serving great traditional British food. Alternatively, Boisdale is a lively Scottish restaurant that has its very own cigar library and terrace.
For after dinner (or work) entertainment there’s no shortage of pubs, wine and cocktail bars. Manhattan Grill G&Tea Bar and Smollenskys are both bars with a relaxed mood by day and a vibrant air by night; whilst The Fine Line, a lively riverside pub, serves acclaimed ales and fresh cocktails. Alternatively, upmarket One Canada Square is adorned with Art Deco chandeliers and serves fine wines and the world’s best liqueurs, whilst Nicolas Wine Bar serves over 300 different wines and The Parlour’s timber-panelled cocktail lounge has a class where you can design your own cocktails.
Being situated right on the water makes for great scenic walks, runs, cycling trips and watersports. The Docklands Sailing and Watersports Centre is an award-winning facility and a Royal Yachting Association recognised training centre, delivering courses in sailing, windsurfing, powerboating and paddlesports. Canary Wharf is also home to big‐name fitness centre, Reebok Sports Club (one of the largest in Europe), whilst Bupa has a new £2.9m super clinic located in Crossrail Place.
The Club Maine complex within the new Harbour Central residential development will be an impressive six-storey building, providing an exclusive array of leisure and lifestyle facilities to include a lounge reception with a concierge service, a private library, health spa, plus a fully-equipped gymnasium and Pilates studio. Additionally, guests can make use of a private boardroom and screening theatre or enjoy a drink at the champagne and cocktail bar.
Nestled on the west bank of the River Lea, Orchard Wharf will offer luxury, waterside living right by the Docklands’ most extensive regeneration projects in Leamouth Peninsula and the Royal Docks. With its impressive architectural design, demonstrating a ‘cascading effect’, residents of the luxury apartments will enjoy panoramic views of Canary Wharf from the upper levels, and access to the rooftop terraces sitting at the peak of each of the lower-level towers.