After a short-lived and dampened festive season last year, 2021 was the year to make up for lost time, and it has certainly been an eventful one. I’ve had a smooth run of festive afternoon teas in the countdown to Christmas, and what better way to wrap up the festive season in style than with a luxurious dinner cruise along the River Thames.
Docked at Embankment Pier, the Bateaux London river cruise route showcases some of the most stunning scenery that London has to offer. We arrived at 6pm, and as part of our Festive Platinum Dinner experience, we were seated at the front of the boat where we enjoyed front row views of the magical city lights as we cruised along the river.
We were attended to by our lovely waitress, Angie, who welcomed us with a festive aperitif and an amuse bouche which was a parsnip velouté with truffle, topped with a parmesan crisp. Free-flowing wine was also included in our experience; we went for their selection of red wines, starting with a Cabernet Sauvignon before moving onto a Malbec. A basket of warm bread rolls helped to curb our hunger prior to us setting sail at 7.30pm, travelling up river, past the London Eye and beneath the Golden Jubilee and Hungerford bridges, past the Houses of Parliament before we then turned around to continue our journey down river.
Our starters arrived just as we were approaching Tower Bridge, a flurry of birds adding a bit of drama to the atmosphere. I went for the beetroot cured salmon served with blini & a dill crème fraiche, whilst my dining partner went for the vegetable terrine with Christmas chutney & focaccia shards.
For our mains, we both went for the turkey, which seemed to be the most popular option that evening – ’tis the season after all. Fancier than your average slices of turkey, was a hearty turkey, chestnut and cranberry ballotine with all the trimmings; maple glazed carrots and parsnips, brussels sprouts, roast potatoes, pigs in blankets, cranberry sauce and extra lashings of jus. There was also a live musician playing in the background that elevated the mood as we marvelled at the glistening night lights, spotting some iconic landmarks along the way, such as the Tate Modern, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and one of my favourite skyscrapers, The Shard.
Always a fan of sweet desserts, we shared the pecan pie with whipped cream and the toffee pudding with caramel sauce, followed by a tantalizing savoury cheeseboard and mini mince pies, finishing just in time before we arrived back at the Bateaux dock at a quarter past ten.
A special word of thanks to Bateaux London for a wonderful and memorable experience – if you would like to experience this for yourself (which I would highly recommend), click on their website here where you can explore a range of dining options to suit your tastes.
- My Festive Platinum Dinner experience at Bateaux London was complimentary – views and photos are my own.