On Sunday April 6th 2014, the 160th Boat Race between the universities of Oxford and Cambridge will take place on London's River Thames. Hundreds of spectators will line the banks of the river between Putney and Mortlake to watch the rowers race past.
Barnes, in South-West London, is an ideal part of the route to enjoy the race from, with a long stretch of unobstructed riverfront. It also has several good pubs to retreat to. Here are five of the best:
In the heart of Barnes, opposite the picturesque duck pond, the Sun Inn is a lovely friendly village pub. It is a stone's throw from the river, just along the High Street, so it is really easy to walk to once the race is over. It's a popular choice for locals and visitors alike.
Fresh from a major refurb, this pub is slap-bang on the river front and therefore in an ideal spot for soaking up the atmosphere of the annual boat race. It will inevitably get busy, so get there early if you want to bag a table, or expect to stand.
Also fresh from a major refurb, and also slap-bang on the river front, The White Hart is another great contender if you want to be in the thick of the event. There is a terrace with fantastic river views, but again it's highly likely to be bustling.
A little further from the river, and tucked down a secluded alley-way, The Idle Hour is a real hidden gem in the middle of Barnes. You have to know it's there, unless you're prone to strolling off the beaten track, so it's unlikely to be as full of passers-by as some of the more prominently placed pubs (maybe).
The Tree House is a little more 'gastro' than the previous four choices, but it is a great pub none-the-less and serves tasty food. Located on trendy White Hart Lane in Barnes, it is only a couple of minutes walk from the river and has a lovely outdoor area (April showers permitting).