A Candlelight Banquet on the Banks of the Thames:
I love dining al fresco. And I love dining by candlelight. And of course, I love dining looking out over the River Thames. Combine all three and surely there’s a winning formula?
The restaurants on the South side of the Thames by Tower Bridge are all owned and operated by D&D, a boutique hospitality group that specialises in up-market dining. The Angler is one of their restaurants in the city, as is New Street Grill. Along Butler’s Wharf you’ll find the Chophouse, the Blueprint Cafe, Le Pont de La Tour and Cantina del Ponte, all offering a different dining experience, from romantic, modern French cuisine at Le Pont de La Tour, through to traditional British dishes at the Butler’s Wharf Chophouse. And, for this occasion, they are all working together.
On the launch of the festival, diners will have a wonderful chance to enjoy an unspoilt view of the Thames, with electricity blacked out from 8.30pm and the 140 seat banqueting table lit only by candlelight. Although the event is outside, the banqueting table will be covered by a clear ‘roof’ so diners can enjoy the experience whatever the weather. And the food will be a showcase from each of the restaurants along Butler’s Wharf!
Now, I hadn’t realised until I started writing up this preview, that Butler’s Wharf Blackout is part of Thames Fest, a 10 day extravaganza along the banks of the River. I first went along to Thames Fest around eight years ago…and since then it has grown from a two day festival to something that lasts for over a week.
There’s a lot to do for free, check out the Thames Festival website for more information. On Saturday 7th for instance there’s a boat race up the Thames starting in Docklands and, 21 miles later, ending in Ham, Surrey. More than 300 crews (dress code varies from the serious to the sublimely silly) from all over the world compete to complete the course in the fastest time. And there are special exhibitions and even an opera!
Of course the restaurants are getting involved in that too, I’m curious about the planned neon food fight outside the Blue Print Cafe on the 6th of September for instance, and the Blind Wine Tasting on the 14th with specially blacked out glasses! If you’d like to come along, The Blackout Banquet will serve dinner at 7pm every evening between Friday 6th September – Sunday 15th September, plus lunchtimes at 12:30pm on Saturday 7th, Sunday 8th, Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th.
Meals at the ‘Blackout Banquet’ banqueting table are £35pp for three courses including an arrival drink and coffee. Please call 0207 940 1833 to book.