Review – City Cruises – Showboat Dinner – London
It is my opinion that one of the best ways to see any city is by its waterways and London is no exception. The river Thames provides a unique setting from which to see this magnificent city in all its glory.
Recently I was lucky enough to see the sights of London aboard a City Cruise’s boat. This however was not your standard tour boat but a fully-fledged floating restaurant. Departing from Westminster Pier, you are taken along the Thames towards the Thames Barrier and back again. on a cruise that lasts around 3 and a 1/2 hours. I have to say that seeing London lit up in all its splendour from the river is something I never get tired of seeing.
Upon arrival my companion and I were greeted with a glass of bubbly and taken to our table. We had a magnificent view and I highly recommend paying the little bit extra for a table by the windows. Our meal consisted of a set menu of 4 courses of which my guest had chosen the vegetarian option.
The starters were waiting for us and we tucked in to smoked salmon mousse and king prawns with a mesclun salad and lovely fresh rolls as we left the pier. Our drinks orders were taken and arrived soon after. Included in the ticket price is a 1/2 bottle of wine each. There is also a full bar available onboard. Next up we had a nice warming tomato and roast pepper soup and more of the lovely bread rolls. My main course consisted of chicken wrapped in parma ham, dauphinoise potatoes and vegetables. The vegetarian option was a lasagne of artichokes, mushrooms and goats cheese with seasonal vegetables also. Whilst my friend enjoyed her vegetarian meal I could see her eyeing up my chicken ( she’s not strictly a veggie!). As if I wasn’t full enough by now, we still had dessert to go. This was a triple chocolate truffle cake with a raspberry sauce on the side. Truly delicious!
I should point out that this was the Showboat cruise, so whilst we were merrily eating our way through the delicious courses there was also a singer, entertaining us with a repertoire of show tunes. She had one heck of a voice, I’m sure she really HAS been on the stage. Not only was she a good singer, she conversed easily with all the guests in between songs making mention too of any anniversaries, birthdays etc. We even had a guy propose to his girlfriend there (she said ‘yes’ luckily), congratulations to them both! If you feel like having a bit of a dance after dinner, there is a dance floor and a dj to close out the night as you sail back to Westminster.
Having done catering on a large scale myself in previous employments, I know how tricky it can be to get everyone their food in a timely manner. There was no problem here though. As we finished each course, our plates were cleared and the next course presented. It was all very efficient and done with a smile.
As far as nights out in London go, I reckon this is definitely one not to be missed. Great food, great entertainment plus those beautiful and world famous views of London as you serenely cruise by. With spring on its way, what are you waiting for? All aboard!
(There is also a sister ship named The Hispaniola that is permanently moored on the embankment and offering all day dining. I quite fancy checking out this one too. If I do, I’ll be sure to let you know! )
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