Very few Londoners would consider a Thames river dinner cruise to explore our fantastic metropolis, but it is a surprisingly eye-opening experience that we should all be looking into. Recently, I went on a Citycruises London showboat cruise which sailed from Westminster Pier to the O2 and it was a remarkably enjoyable cruise seeing the ever changing city skyline along with a 4-course meal and a live performer singing classic hits from yesteryear and top musical tunes.
The decor of the showboat isn’t the most modern, but perfectly comfortable and has an air-conditioned restaurant area with a dance floor whilst the open-air space upstairs is perfect for photo opportunities. You can take in the sights as they change from the daytime into a stunning night time scenery as the historic buildings are lit up.
The 4-course meal includes a glass of sparkling wine on arrival and half of bottle of house of wine during the 3-hour cruise. There is also an extensive beverage list for purchase during the night if you need more celebratory drinks.
My expectations were low for their food offerings as you expect they are catering for tourists who would not be repeat customers. However, I was pleasantly surprised by their thoughtful menu. The Scottish smoked salmon mousse was light and fresh tasting with plenty of flavours hidden in the mustard and dill centre. There were also perfectly chilled king prawns with a lemon and mesclun salad. Whilst I wouldn’t quite consider the prawns king-sized, they were firm and had an appealing briny taste to them.
The second course was a rather basic yet well-executed tomato soup which was accentuated with roast pepper and basil.
The main course was a safe choice of roasted supreme chicken; the meat was tender if somewhat bland as it’s always impossible for the sauce to soak successfully into the core of the meat. Although the accompanying sauce was quite flavoursome as it contained mushroom with thyme and red wine sauce and they tried to add more flavours to the chicken by wrapping it with parma ham. My guest and I both agreed the best part of the dish was the creamy dauphinoise potato, which was suitably rich and indulgent.
The meal was finished off with a sublime white, dark and milk chocolate truffle cake with raspberry sauce. The cake was light and showed real finesse. The only way I could stop eating it was to move upstairs and stare at the spectacular London skyline.
Do check out the citycruises website, as they have various options whether it is just cruising or combined with afternoon teas or a sumptuous 4-course dinner.