Welcome to barking's hidden gem

We are a bar located on the river Roding.

We make lots of fancy cocktails which are awesome!


Check out or leave us a review!

Our story


Derrick & Alison

Derrick who is a trained carpenter, as a youngster, was a member of Leyton & District Boxing Club which Alison’s dad managed and ran. They both met as teenagers and always had a soft spot for each other. Alison went to as many of Derrick’s fights as she could and she was his biggest fan!

Life took over and they both, with reluctance, went their separate ways. Derrick carried on working in construction as a site manager and Alison also followed the same industry as a H&S Officer. 

Derrick went off and lived in Denmark for 12 years, working as a barman and he also trained as a cocktail barman. Alison married, had two children and then divorced many years later. Throughout this time they still always kept in touch.

After all the years apart, both became an item once more. Derrick was unhappy working in construction and yearned to work in the hospitality business again.

Alison had moved to Barking and whilst out dog walking, she stumbled upon The Boathouse Studios and saw that the cafe area was closed. In the course of her work, she met Steve Drury from Rooff and asked if the venue was available to rent and Steve told her that they were looking for a tenant.


The Boathouse Cafe and Bar - 2016

Meetings took place between Steve and Derrick and agreements were signed.

Derrick resigned from his job and set to work rebuilding the interior of the Boathouse Cafe and Bar. As their finances were limited (Coffee machines are so expensive!) Derrick and Alison decided to use scaffold boards and pallets for the inside and cable reels for the outside terrace tables. The chairs and sofas were bought from local reuse centres - their mission was to furnish the space as environmentally friendly as they could, whilst retaining a charm and character to fit in with the surrounding area. 

Just prior to opening on 22nd October, Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London made a surprise visit.

The Story Continues - 2017

In July The Boathouse Cafe and Bar won the Chamber of Commerce Business and Social Responsibility Award and in October it won the Thames Gateway Business Award for Community Commitment.

There have been visits from David Bailey CBE, Damien Hurst and Brian Clarke.


Local Community Commitment

It is important to Derrick and Alison to support their local community in whatever way they can - by offering the area as a platform for local emerging performing artists or for local artists to display their work. They fundraise for local charities and buy all their stock from local suppliers. Local businesses are encouraged to promote and display their leaflets in the venue.

Lastly…Our Thanks

No new business can function without support and, in no particular order (as you’re all special!), special thanks goes to:

Rooff Limited

The Boathouse Creative Studios

London Borough of Barking & Dagenham

Barking Enterprise Centre

Studio 3 Arts

Jimmy Lee Photography

Donovan Love

Mark Edmonds

Our excellent bar staff

Our Mothers

And our customers!


RIP to Jamie, a dear life long friend who helped us build the bar, he sadly left us in 2018. We both miss you, J. x



The bar

The Boathouse Cafe and Bar

Situated on the banks of the River Roding

Feature 1

We love our lights! Every one is different and we've bought them from all over Europe during holidays together!

Feature 2

We love our unusual and quirky interior design, completed with features that aim to create conversations with each other.

Feature 3

Derrick has become a bit of a celebratory in the area by supplying us all with his delicious cocktails.


We also have a wide range of craft beers, spirits, soft and hot drinks available 


Food freshly made to order


where we are

The Boathouse Cafe & Bar
The Old Ice House, 80 Abbey Road, Barking, IG11 7BT

How to find us

We are located a 8 minute walk from Barking Station. Click here to open Google Maps and plan your journey here! Look out for The Boathouse Cafe and Bar sign as we are tucked away behind the art galleries.


Contact Us


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