Mina Holland

Bert’s Barge

  • Where:London, England
  • Why:Staycation
  • When:July 2016
  • Who:Me, my beau and our accident prone hound.
Get a

The Bert and May showroom, which leads out onto the barge.

The barge, from the other side of the canal.

The living area, complete with table jam-packed with edible goodies.

Prepping for the picnic.

Roofdeck gathering.

Our picnic spread on the roof.

The bed, and an intruder.

The roofdeck – spot the ceramic BBQ in the foreground.

Highs & Lows

  • Tiles, tiles everywhere - on the top deck, in the wet room, the cube-shaped barbecues are even made from them. Heaven if, like me, you love a bit of #TILESPIRATION.

  • A view like no other. You wake up to a view of the water, almost at eye level, through the porthole at the head of the bed.

  • A surprisingly luxurious bed with great linens.

  • It hardly needs stating that having dinner and drinks with friends on the roof of a barge overlooking Victoria Park feels pretty bloody special.

  • They could have sourced the hamper ('mini bar') with produce sourced more locally. There are so many fantastic producers - bakers, cheesemakers, brewers and more nearby, this would have been a nice touch.

The Barometer

  • Design

  • Website

  • Environmental Consciousness

  • Night's Sleep

  • Service

  • Amenities

  • Takeable Treats

  • Refer a Friend

  • Overall Value

  • Life Changing

Total: 42/50

Important Bits

  • Type

    Boutique hotel with a difference...Bert and May is a company that sells hand-painted ceramic tiles based on Vyner Street in East London. Bert's Barges are a sideline that are kitted out with B&M's signature tiles and interior design.

  • Vibe

    Industrial luxury meets a simpler way of being in the city. Living on the water, looking out onto streets while other barges slowly chug past and people walk along the canal makes your experience of this otherwise frenetic, very urban pocket of London instantly serene.

  • Location

    On Regent's Canal in Bethanl Green, East London. The approach to the barge feels rather incongruous with its boutique vibe. You walk down Vyner Street, all industrial looking warehouses and artists' studios, before reaching The Bert and May Showroom. You enter a room full of lust-worthy tiles and ceramics before stepping onto the boardwalk by the canal, which leads to the barge.

  • Rooms

    Just the one.

  • Music

    The gentle sound of passing barges and the occasional 'woof' from Victoria Park, on the other side of the canal.

  • Year Opened


  • Designed By

    Bert and May themselves.

  • Pool/Gym

    Not unless you count the canal which the barge is on.

  • Restaurant

    No, but lots of good ones nearby in East London.

  • Bar

    No, as above.

  • Minibar

    Yes, and it's all free. Bert and May supply you with a picnic of organic bread, cheese, meat, beer and the wherewithal for a breakfast of toast, jam, granola and coffee on the top deck.

  • Children

    You could bring them, but it's better as a retreat for two. We brought our dog for the daytime. He promptly fell into the canal.

  • Price

    Chic novelty.

An olympic-sized outdoor pool is right on your doorstep.


London Fields West Side, London E8 3EU, UK

An olympic-sized outdoor pool is right on your doorstep.

Raw duck for dinner and drinks.


197 Richmond Rd, London E8 3NJ, UK

Raw duck for dinner and drinks.

A natural wine shop, for a bottle of something surprising and utterly delicious for the roof deck.


27 Broadway Market, London E8 4PH, UK

A natural wine shop, for a bottle of something surprising and utterly delicious for the roof deck.

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