A MOVING EXPERIENCE
I’ll admit I was sceptical. Dinner on a bus on a rainy night in March?
Bustronome Voyage Gourmand is a dining experience that has been running for a few years in Paris and landed in London last year. The bus stop is on Victoria Embankment; we parked the car outside the Savoy and I found myself wishing we were going in there for dinner instead. ‘Where’s the fun in that?’ said my ever-up-for-an-adventure husband. So we walked around the corner to our destination, a smart black double-decker bus with gold livery. The doors opened and we were warmly greeted: ‘Welcome on board’. To my right, the back half of the lower deck was an open prep kitchen where I spotted our starters being artistically put together. To my left, the wine store with champagne, whites and reds on display… things were looking up.
We climbed up to the top deck where, oh my, a bona fide restaurant complete with leathere(ette) seating and wood (effect) tables, a panoramic glass roof and windows, sparkling glassware (more of that later) and strangely dull-looking cutlery atop a smart black placemat. Further investigation revealed the mat to be a magnet and the cutlery to be magnetic. Clever!
Back to the glassware. The tables are fitted with an ingenious perspex construction with slots for wine glass stems and holes for bottles, keeping everything in place. It’s all part of the fun putting everything back into place, especially after a few drinks!
Service is a challenge on a moving vehicle, but it’s done discretely and with a smile. We soon learned to wait for the red traffic lights for our glasses to be refilled. The menu card opens out into a route map with points of interest marked on it. Each place-setting has a fat stylus pen with volume buttons. Our waiter explained that as we approached a monument, we should tap the pen to the relevant spot on the map and hold it to our ear to hear some information (available in nine languages). I’ve lived in London all my life and I know the city well, but there is something magical about being driven slowly past London landmarks with delicious food, wonderful wines and a personal virtual tour guide to hand.
The champagne was poured, a little tray of tapenade crostini was placed in front of us and we were off. By the time we reached the Royal Courts of Justice, we were feasting on creamy burrata with different varieties of cabbage and drinking crisp Sauvignon Blanc. A beautifully fresh haddock tartar was then followed by (my favourite dish) scallops with leeks and peas. As we glided past St Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London, The Shard and Big Ben, we moved on to a Pinot Noir to accompany the hearty Irish Stew that was the main course. London was lit up in all its glory – the coloured lights of the London Eye winking at us, the hi-tech bright lights of Piccadilly Circus screaming at us, the romantic yellow bulbs of Harrods glowing at us. And still the dishes kept coming – a Cornish cheese course and then a tangy mango and passion fruit tart for dessert. Tea, coffee and more of the beautiful city of London and then return to base.
Bustronome is a tourist attraction for sure, but why should only tourists enjoy all the best bits of our magical city?
Bustronome is open for lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. Food intolerances/allergies/veggie preferences can be catered for if arranged in advance. Prices start from £60 per head. Restaurant Club cardholders get 15% off at certain times. CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS
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