On Friday night Miss P and I were invited to the opening night of the The Blackout Banquet, hosted by D&D London who own the stretch of famous restaurants on Shad Thames (Le Pont de La Tour, Cantina del Ponte, Blueprint Café and Butler’s Wharf Chophouse), to celebrate the Dark River for the Thames Festival, which runs from 6th — 15th September 2013.
They are literally ‘blacking out’ electricity in all four restaurants from 8.30pm every evening throughout the ten days of the festival. Free from the light pollution of modern London, it’s a lovely experience, which allowed us to look across the Thames to experience the river by darkness and candlelight.
I had a wonderful walk from London Bridge station, along the Thames Path to Shad Thames, just beyond Tower Bridge, where the dinner was taking place on Butler’s Wharf overlooking the Thames.
As you come off Tooley Street and cut through to the Path, this is the first view across the river
before you turn to the right, and see the always astonishing sight of HMS Belfast, now a museum.
Here’s Tower Bridge, and Norman Foster’s City Hall to the left.
Once I arrived onButler’s Wharf for the dinner, I was tickled by the aperitifs on arrival: Tanquerey Swim & Tonics: a plastic bag of gin & tonic, with ice and a plastic fishy.
Provision had been made for rain:
It was pretty enough when we arrived at 1930hrs when it was still light
but even more lovely when the sun had set
The Blackout Banquet will serve a different rotating menu from each of Le Pont de La Tour, Cantina del Ponte, Blueprint Café and Butler’s Wharf Chophouse every night over the ten days. The following menu was served to us on the launch night (Friday 6th September).
Amuse: BLACK LENTILS, soured cream, sweet tamarind, dock spices (courtesy of Blueprint Café)
Starter: TERRINE OF SKATE WING, purple potato, squid ink dressing (courtesy of Le Pont de la Tour)
(Vegetarian starter: Mushroom Consommé, black truffle royale, trompette de la mort)
Main: ROAST THAMES VALLEY WOOD PIGEON with black pudding, braised beetroot and turnips (courtesy of Butlers Wharf Chophouse)
(Vegetarian main: Wild Mushroom Neal’s Yard Free Range Scotch Egg, English black truffle & heritage potato)
Dessert: PANNACOTTA FRUTTI DI BOSCO, pannacotta with wild berry compote (courtesy of Cantina del Ponte)
We rounded off the evening at one of the outside bars, drinking Tanqueray Rhubarb, Apple & Aperol fruit punch. A splendid end to the week.
The Butler’s Wharf Blackout and the Blackout Banquet runs from Friday, 6 September 2013 to Sunday, 15 September 2013 www.bwblackout.com
Meals at the ‘Blackout Banquet’ banqueting table are priced at £35 per head for three courses including an arrival drink and coffee. Reservations can be made via 0207 940 1833.