Eating out is one of my all-time favourite things to do – you may even call it a hobby. So when Virgin Experience Days got in touch to let me know that Scarlett from Scarlett London had invited myself and blogger Brogan for lunch on the Thames, as a treat on them, I wrote it straight in my diary!
I already had plans to visit London last weekend so the lunch tied in perfectly – plus I needed a bit of peace and tranquility away from the bustling streets, as crowds swarmed the city with bags full of Christmas shopping!
Unfortunately that morning I received a message from Scarlett saying she was unwell and couldn’t make the lunch so it was just Brogan and I for a romantic meal for two. I had never met Brogan before, despite us both moving in the same circles in Bournemouth, but we both knew of each other so it was lovely to finally meet her in person!
We took our seats at the window and a lovely waitress offered us a bottle of wine and made us feel really welcome. I was worried that I may feel a bit sea sick but once the boat cast off from Embankment pier it was smooth sailing all the way.
First course was Smoked and Poached Salmon Roulade with Pickled Cucumber. The presentation was beautiful but I would have liked the bread to be a little fresher. Main course was Chicken En Croute with Duchess Potatoes, French Beans and Thyme Jus (don’t you love the posh names!). There was no waiting around and the service was so efficient giving us just the right amount of time between courses to take in the views. Personally the chicken wasn’t to my taste buds but the potato was scrummy and again the presentation was faultless. We tucked into Vanilla Pannacotta with an Almond Macaroon Biscuit and Rapsberry Coulis for dessert, followed by tea and coffee.
The highlight of the river cruise was the spectacular London views. Travelling down the Thames is definitely a great way of seeing the city. Having spent 6 years previously living in the capital, I saw sights I’d seen a million times before from a completely different perspective, and the weather was perfect for taking some snaps. The cruise lasted two hours and took us all the way to the O2 Arena and back, passing Big Ben, The Tower of London, London Bridge and Canary Wharf.
I’d definitely recommend Bateaux London if you are planning a day out or weekend away in London. We were treated to a premier lunch on board the ship Harmony but priced at £45 a head it’s a total bargain if you want to do something a little special and experience London from the river. Virgin Experience Days offer a package with a trip on the London Eye included which would make a great gift this Christmas. They also offer evening cruises if you want something a bit more romantic!