As part of London Restaurant Festival, my best friend and I were invited to hop aboard the free-flowing prosecco boat. Couldn’t imagine a better way to soak up the last of summer than looking over the Thames at the London Eye, enjoying a 3-course British menu, and all the prosecco… on a boat! I arrived early and the host and restaurant manager could not have been more welcoming. They’d set up a seat right by the window, and what an incredible view it was. I was transported from my busy office to a relaxed boating retreat, within a matter of minutes. I soaked up the atmosphere – the interior is somewhat extravagant, decked out in black velvet, illuminated with orange lighting up to the “upper deck”. As the post-work drinks groups started to depart, the room quickly filled with buzzing first dates.
The warm bread and butter arrived, and we knew we were in for a treat, as this is often my favourite part of a meal, and a tell-tale sign of what’s to come. The bread was fresh from the oven with olives baked inside, plus a big dollop of butter on the side. We were going to need this as the free-flowing had already started, and we were in the mood to make sure we made the most of the deal.
For the first course, I had the chicken liver & brandy parfait. This came with red onion marmalade on the side, and served with a crispy sourdough toast. The parfait was rich and creamy and the flavours complemented each other perfectly, plus the sweetness from the marmalade.
My dining partner chose the feta & orange salad, which woke the palate with crunchy almonds, and the citrus zing from the oranges. As the sun started setting on the London Eye, we were ready for the next course.
I had the “Nicoise” Scottish seared salmon. It was simple but that’s all this dish needed to be: the salmon was cooked to perfection, sat on top of a Mediterranean salad of French beans, tomatoes, potatoes, and olives. These are some of my favourite ingredients, and although I didn’t ‘push the boat out’ I was happy to enjoy a simple and fresh dish which highlighted natural flavours and great ingredients.
My friend is a vegetarian, and jumped on the grilled vegetable skewers: it was like an invite for 1 to the last summer bbq. Her plate was filled with all colours of peppers, corn on the cob and aubergines, paired with couscous and a rich tomato sauce.
For dessert, I chose to go for the apple & cinnamon cake with vanilla ice cream on the side, and my friend had the Eton mess. These were visually appealing and satisfied the sweet tooth: the perfect way to end the evening.
The host came around and topped up our last glasses of prosecco (not that we needed it, but it was certainly appreciated!), and the chef came out to thank us for our visit. He recently took over after having worked in some top hotels in London, and was looking forward to his new setting on the water: bringing a new spin to classically loved British dishes. We thanked the chef and team for a lovely evening and got up to shake off our sea (prosecco) legs, and took a few last selfies overlooking the London Eye at night. The combination of friendly service, delicious hearty food, and one of the best views in London made for an evening I can’t wait to do again soon.
River Thames, Victoria Embankment, London, WC2N 5DJ