Paddington is an area of London that is familiar to many thanks to its railway station. But Paddington is also a significant junction for the city’s canals, as well as its railway lines. Work is currently underway to regenerate land in the area that was formerly associated with these two modes of transport, as they have declined in popularity with the rise of the motorcar. The increasingly vibrant Paddington Waterside will soon be home to hundreds more flats and houses, and dozens of new offices, boutiques and public spaces.
Food and Drinks in Paddington
Praed Street, the heart of this district, is lined up with cafes and delis good enough for a quick bite, but to find the best food you will have to venture north towards Sheldon Square or further south – to the lovely Connaught Street.
Known as Connaught Village, this neighbourhood has a distinctly local feel and is home to great independent retailers, restaurants and cafes.
In the modern Sheldon Square, a modern development by the canal, you will find a few cafes and restaurants serving the workers from nearby office towers. Beany Green is an Antipodean-style coffee shop serving beans from Monmouth and The Roasting Party, delicious Aussie treats like the homemade banana bread and lamingtons, and beautiful salads. Space is big and they offer free Wi-Fi. This is a great place to have a quick catch up, some bites and coffee.
The Waterside Cafe
Directly north of Paddington is the tranquil pocket known as Little Venice. The Waterside Cafe is London’s only floating cafe and is an ideal choice to enjoy food and drinks with friends, especially on a sunny warm day. The menu features breakfasts, snacks and light lunches, with homemade specials available every day.
Health & Wellbeing
Nuffield Health & Fitness Club
This fitness club comes with two studios. There’s an abundance of choice when it comes to classes, including yoga, Les Mills and Pilates. The classes even spill over into the swimming pool, with Swim Fit sessions dedicated to improving fitness in the water. A great place to spend your lunchtimes and after work, if you are looking to improve your fitness.
Paddington Recreation Ground
Just north of Paddington, you’ll find this park covering 27 acres, within which are tennis courts, an athletics track, two artificial grass pitches and bowling greens. The site is also home to a gym offering group exercise classes, table tennis and personal training. The grounds are the ideal place to relax and unwind or let off some steam playing your favourite sports.
Marks & Spencer
Marks & Spencer is one of the UK’s best selling department stores. It has become go-to for many people for clothing, top of the range food, lingerie and household goods. M&S prides itself on quality, and service and each store have a dedicated staffing able to help you. The branch in Paddington has a wide selection across all of is departments.
For all your office supply needs, Ryman has you covered. From stationary like simple pens and paper to printer paper and shredders, you can pick up everything you need here. They sell plenty of storage options too if you’re looking for packing boxes or plastic crates, as well as a range of electrical items, digital cameras, home and office phones and headphones.
Hidden Gems of Paddington
Paddington Bear Statue
At the end of Platform 1 in Paddington Station, you can find a small bronze statue of a furry figure in a hat, sat forlornly on a suitcase. This is Paddington Bear, the creation of writer Michael Bond. In Bond’s books, Paddington earned his name from this station in which he was found by the kindly Brown family, after travelling to London.
The Rolling Bridge
Designed by Thomas Heatherwick, the creator of the cauldron that housed the Olympic Bridge and the new Routemaster buses on London’s roads, the Rolling Bridge spans a section of the Grand Union Canal at Paddington Basin. Transforming from what looks like a little Ferris wheel to a footbridge in a couple of minutes, the bridge allows workers and residents to move around the basin as well as permitting passage for boats on the canal.
Hyde Park Stables
For the equestrian in London there are precious few opportunities to practice one’s craft. Where can you find an entire stable full of horses, as well as sufficient space in which to take one out for a ride? Hyde Park Stables, however, offers just such an opportunity, for everyone from beginners to those itching to get back in the saddle.