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Lover: Butler's Wharf Blackout Dinner

Is there anything more romantic in the world than sitting on Butler's Wharf, overlooking the river Thames and Tower Bridge, when all the lights and chatter of the surrounding restaurants and tourist institutions have been dimmed and muted, sharing a table lit only by candlelight with your lover... oh and 40 other people?


But as experiences go, the Butler's Wharf Blackout, which visits London once a year for the Thames Festival is a pretty unique one, with 4 of the big normally competing restaurants on Butler's Wharf - Le Pont de la Tour, The Butler's Wharf Chophouse, Blueprint Cafe and Cantina del Ponte - joining forces to create an event that's a little bit different and turning all their lights out, giving you a view of the river unlike one you've seen before.

I went last year, when the set up was one massive banquet table underneath a transparent marquee (as it was raining - pfff typical London) on the terrace overlooking the Thames and Tower Bridge. We paid £37.50 and got a 3 course meal and a gin and tonic in a little sandwich bag. The gin and tonic in the bag, not the 3 course meal.  Quirky. 

Did take these photos however - from light....

To dark....

Last year the menu changed every day, but every day used ingredients sourced from the Thames. I get the thought pattern - it's Thames Festival and all, let’s eat food from the Thames by the Thames - but actually in practice looking down at a floating dead seagull, a pile of rubbish and some weird bubbly crap in the Thames below you and knowing that your food came from somewhere connected to that  same water where all that grossness floats ruins your appetite a bit. Someone somewhere must have thought the same, as this year they are scrapping the big banquet table in front of the 4 restaurants and each are taking it in turn to host the blackout for one week in September. So now you can pick your blackout venue based on the food you fancy – steak, Italian, French – whatever you want (well bar any cuisine not based in Europe, so not anything precisely) and no dead seagull infested food in sight. Excellent. Book here: 

Don't have a lover atm or have a boyfriend who complains his fries don’t taste as good if there is not enough lighting to tell they are the skin on ones? That sentence sounded dodgier than intended, sorry. Anyhoo, the point is however fussy your fella, or if you don't have one, I think this would be lovely to do with a friend or group of friends too.

Other things I’d quite like to check out at the Thames Festival this year:1.     Fire Garden by Carabosse – 5th and 6th September, 6:30 – 10pm
Again not my photo - haven't been yet copyright Angella.

I was not speedy enough on Time Out to get a ticket, but depending on how hungover I am feeling Saturday, I might try my luck at the one in one out system it is going to adopt on the night. Being surrounded by fire is going to make a great instagram pic no? And hopefully not bring back any terrifying flashbacks of when this happened to me…(and when I say happened to me, I mean when I got pissed on a beach in Thailand and made dangerous decisions)

Note to self: don't go through a flaming slide if you have naturally wide hips. Makes it even more terrifying as you might get stuck.

2.    More London Film Festival starts with Raiders of the Lost Ark on Wednesday 3rd,  on every day until Ferris Bueller’s Day Off on Friday September 26th.
Like all those other amazing outdoor festival that fabulously pop all over London, but free. And showing ET. But get there early because you can’t book seats.

3.    ImperialWharf Jazz Festival - 12th and 13th September, 7pm - 10pm and 1pm -10pm.
A bit of easy listening which doesn’t hurt your bank balance, cos it is absolutely free.

Browse the whole calendar of events here.

So how much will it realistically cost for 2 people to dine out during the blackout this year? It depends on which restaurant you go to, but as today is my first day back on My Fitness Pal and therefore I am craving cheesy creamy carbs I would go with Cantina del Ponte where it is £35 per person for 3 courses and a drink. The most expensive is Le Pont de la Tour, where this same deal will cost you £45. 

Vicky x


The copyright of the top photo is Thames Festival. 

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