The Lighterman

4.1
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1389 reviews
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£26 to £40
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British
The Lighterman, a pub, dining room & bar, is open all day, every day, offering everything from a morning coffee or breakfast through to lunch, dinner and evening cocktails. Our Head Chef has created a modern British menu with European influences for breakfast, lunch, dinner & Sunday roast. The extensive drinks menu includes draught & bottled beers, craft ales and seasonal cocktails, together with a well-curated and affordable wine list. There is plenty of outdoor seating. The canal-side bar with alfresco terrace overlooks the water, the ground floor has seating directly onto Granary Square and the top floor has its own wraparound terrace, with panoramic views across the square and canal.
What 1389 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.1based on recent ratings
4.0
food
4.1
service
4.2
ambience
3.7
value
Noise · Moderate
85% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
London
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 3

Acoustics upstairs are awful. All glass means nice views but almost impossible to hear!

EM
Cambridge
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Most of the food was good. The venison dish was excellent. However, the vegetarian dish of roast squash was poor. It was very small. The amount would have been fine for a starter, but for a main dish it was extremely disappointing. Your staff were all good. Particularly appreciated being found seats in the bar by a staff member who spotted us standing up outside with our drinks - a very thoughtful touch.

TV
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were looking for a dog-friendly restaurant near King's Cross and The Lighterman were happy to oblige as they have dog-friendly tables on the ground floor. There was a temporary water stoppage in the area when we arrived so we were unable to order food but that changed after 15 mins and they were very friendly about it and offered drinks and snacks. The food was good standard, and sufficient, but not huge portions. Quality over size but we came away satified. The staff were friendly and chatty without being intrusive. We stayed for about an hour and a half and really enjoyed it. The bulldog, JP was given a bowl of water too.

l
London
8 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

No coffee available .. waiter set about it .. food good enough

O
London
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Great experience with a group of 10 people!
I would definitely come back

M
1 review
Dined on 13 October 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 4

Starters - Crispy squid, 3/5 stars: good but too small of a portion.

Flatbread - House-cured Cumberland sausage, 4/5 stars: overall good.

Roasts (sunday) - Half free range Windsor spit-roast chicken, 5/5 stars: very tender, well cooked.

Mains: Grilled 28 day dry-aged grass-fed Galloway sirloin steak, 1.5/5 star: cooked as ordered, but meat way too tough. Quality of meat disappointing.

Service (top floor restaurant/tables) - 5/5 stars: very attentive & serviable staff while discreet at the same time. I haven't witnesses such good service for a long time.

E
London
3 reviews
Dined on 13 October 2019
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 4

The environment is very nice, great location for Sunday lunch. Unfortunately, we waited far too long for our food and it wasn’t even very good. The waiters all very kind and friendly. The bill was a bit higher than expected. I was wondering if it is always like that or if they had some issues in the kitchen.

ED
London
7 reviews
Dined on 12 October 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

Probably one of the worst meals I’ve had in quite some time. Food took over an hour to arrive. The dishes lacked flavour and most were cold.

RG
Brighton
1 review
Dined on 12 October 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 4

This was a 50th birthday meal with my girlfriends. It started off well with lovely starters, however.
1) my friend has an allergy to cows milk and we asked the waiter if the fettle cheese had cows milk in. He went to ask the manager and she said she would check but neither of them returned with an answer.
2) after the initial round of drinks we were never offered anymore and the waiter just disappeared.
3) my other friend ordered salmon as a main course. It was completely undercooked, not pink, like translucent jelly. She returned it to be cooked again. We had finished our main course by the time her salmon came back. But, it was the same piece of salmon that had just been reheated and was STILL undercooked. The waiter was nowhere to be seen again.
Eventually a new waitress came over and we explained what had happened and she was very apologetic and went and got the manager again. She blamed everyone else.
Whilst we had money taken off the bill the entire evening was spoilt with the very unprofessional and unsatisfactory customer service.
We will not return or recommend

AH
1 review
Dined on 12 October 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

We dined at The Lighterman on a wet and windy afternoon and thought the area was very nice. The food was very good - service was okay. We intend to return in the summer as the views from the restaurant are very nice.

OT
London
1 review
Dined on 11 October 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 2

Nice location but definitely too loud, I could even speak with my friends sitting next to me at the table.
The service was good, quick and friendly.
Me and my friend got the steak and it was very difficult to cut and eat but all the other was very happy with their supper.

EB
1 review
Dined on 11 October 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 2

If you want conversation with your meal then this is not the place for you - it’s far too noisy but it is a nice location and good for a post-work drink or two. Probably amazing in the summer too.

J
1 review
Dined on 11 October 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

We were made to feel unwelcome the moment we stepped in. We had one extra person with us and they made a huge issue out of it, making us feel as if it was a problem for them to add another chair.
We told them we were there for drinks and they sent us upstairs, gave us a table and took our orders (one of us wanted to have dinner also) only to tell us we couldn’t stay there because the whole group wasn’t eating because they needed to leave the table free to other customers. It was literally empty!
We even told them we would leave as soon as they needed the table but they told us we couldn’t stay anyway as it was ‘the policy’.

We just didn’t feel welcome and so we decided to leave. A staff member downstairs asked us if we were leaving, we said yes and explained why, and he said ok then leave.

Great service(not)! We will not be returning.

SD
London
5 reviews
Dined on 11 October 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and great service, really enjoyed my time there with friends and our babies were made to feel welcome too!

P
1 review
Dined on 10 October 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 2

The food was very nice. We had Squid, well cooked steak and a delicious crumble. However at these prices you would expect that. Staff were friendly and efficient and not overbearing. However, the tables are crammed in next to each other, and there seems to be no materials to absorb sound which bounces off every surface making it difficult to hear the person opposite and without raising ones' own voice too, in order to be heard. Pity, and therefore wouldn't rush back.

JH
Hampshire
3 reviews
Dined on 6 October 2019
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 2

Lovely canalside location, especially in fine weather for outside dining. It is children and dog friendly - though we were not given the kids' menu, so two children shared a main course. I would not recommend Sunday lunchtime, as it is frenetically busy and however friendly and helpful the staff are, they seem to have difficulty coping with such large numbers. I would return when it's quieter. Jenny

PH
Hertfordshire
1 review
Dined on 5 October 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Very good. service good considering how busy it was.
Very loud though. Added to the buzz. But difficult to hold a conversation with whole table.

CW
London
2 reviews
Dined on 5 October 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

Really noisy. Conversation only possible with shouting. But therefore a very lively atmosphere.

SE
London
1 review
Dined on 4 October 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We were served quickly and food was great.
Just a bit too much noise

OT
London
1 review
Dined on 4 October 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Brilliant evening at the Lighterman. The ambience with the brilliant view of the sunset in the top floor was perfect. The chicken Cesar salad was tasty and my friends enjoyed their food. We had attentive service without being intrusive.

PD
Bedfordshire
3 reviews
Dined on 29 September 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Met my son for an impromptu lunch on Sunday.
Lovely lively atmosphere, very friendly and helpful service, dining room bright and airy, food was good too.
Would wholeheartedly recommend 😊

OT
Thailand
1 review
Dined on 29 September 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 2

Good food great drinks

V
1 review
Dined on 29 September 2019
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 4

Sunday roast (chicken) and super grain burger were good but not the beef burger which was over cooked and the pork belly undercooked.

Pear crumble was not indulging at all the crumble felt more like cereal, would rather vanilla than cinnamon custard. Creme brûlée was ok.

Service wasn’t great, took an hour after the starters for the main dishes to come. Appreciate the restaurant offering some complimentary dishes following our complaint of services and disappointment in the burger though.

SG
1 review
Dined on 28 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The service was great, a friend of our was running late and the team were really accommodating and letting us order and then holding food till she arrived. Food was great too. Lovely setting by the canal and even on a wet dark night it was still good. Thank you

AT
London
1 review
Dined on 28 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a great place to meet and eat
Staff were amazing as usual
Food was delicious

RE
London
1 review
Dined on 28 September 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 2

Staff were quite moody - not overly friendly. Noise level was immense and ended up having to shout at each other. Disappointed with the number of gluten free options - only 1 main and the waiting staff were unaware of the content of the food and had to seek further advice. Food was ok but overpriced for what it was.

AH
1 review
Dined on 28 September 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Lovely views and attentive staff. We were made to feel very welcome. Good food. Wine expensive but good quality. Rather loud and echoing so next time we’ll go when the weather is warm and we can sit outside

OT
4 reviews
Dined on 28 September 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

We had a relaxing time, the food and cocktails were brought out in good time. I had steak and chips, which were cooked excellently and were portioned well. The Eton mess I shared with my partner was incredible and I would return for that alone.

We had coffees afterwards while relaxing and while they weren’t spectacular coffees, they were nice.

The atmosphere is gorgeous and the views relaxing but not distracting. We were on the first floor.

This is a delightful place for a relaxed chat, with reliably tasty food and friendly service.

SA
London
2 reviews
Dined on 26 September 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

The noise level was very annoying

DM
Hertfordshire
18 reviews
Dined on 26 September 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 2

I appreciate that the nature of the building does not help to deaden the noise levels but it was such that it became uncomfortable and ruined our evening. Having two long tables down the centre of the upper level also means that those unfortunate enough to be sitting behind or alongside those tables have little hope of having to converse at a normal level.

S
London
21 reviews
Dined on 26 September 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Great restaurant and venue. Really nice atmosphere and service. Only downside is that is on the slightly more expensive side therefore probably don’t visit as much as I would like too

HL
London
1 review
Dined on 23 September 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 5

Nice view from the restaurant. Food is good. Waiters have a nice attitude but a little bit disorganised.

J
London
1 review
Dined on 21 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing place and atmosphere. I had dinner at the first floor and I was served by Dimitri, an Italian waiter, who took care of us. Everything was perfect. Thank you and see you soon

P
London
2 reviews
Dined on 21 September 2019
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 3

Service was pretty poor. They started bringing out our main before our starters were cleared and then got annoyed that they couldn’t put our mains down as no room. Food was ok but definitely over priced. The Tuna was over cooked and side salads were tiny - like 3 mouthfuls maximum.

JH
London
1 review
Dined on 21 September 2019
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 4

Requested outdoor space when booking then called to confirm. Got to restaurant on day and told they don’t reserve outdoors. 45mins for someone to come serve us after we had to track them down (it was v busy). One of our meal (pork chop) was served raw, it was deducted from bill but overall not a great experience. Food was very average.

S
1 review
Dined on 21 September 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Worst experience ever. It was very crowded and only one waiter was looking for 30 people! It was like a joke. Waiter forgot some of our food and delivered others very late. You need to get your menu yourself and chase a waiter to order. Food is not good at all. I will never ever go to that place.

L
London
2 reviews
Dined on 21 September 2019
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 5

I met 3 former college friends for a 40+ reunion at lunch and we had a fantastic time. Fortunately I made a reservation as it was an unusually warm Saturday and it was very busy. The staff were very accommodating on hearing of our reunion and let us keep our table overlooking the canal for as long as we needed. The food was good, as was the rose wine. You can’t beat the location right next to the canal. We were indoors but the noise level was not too bad considering how busy the restaurant was. Ambience and service were excellent.

MN
London
4 reviews
Dined on 20 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place with wonderful service. Thoroughly recommend.

SH
1 review
Dined on 20 September 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Our table was on the terrace in the fading evening sun - nice touch with the rugs for after the sun had gone - so noise level rating may not represent the main restaurant. Food was good, if not particularly large portions and not the cheapest. Service was good.

OT
Cincinnati
3 reviews
Dined on 20 September 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 5

Food was just OK for the price, and we didn’t get what we ordered, but the location was great.

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