Put together one luxury bus, 6 courses, 5 wines and more London landmarks than you can shake a selfie stick at and it will all add up to Bustronome, a tour of the capital’s highlights for gastronomes, where every table has window seats. In a glass-roofed bus myself and Fiona were treated like royalty while enjoying almost three hours of very fine cuisine and the sights of our fair city, writes Michael Holland.
Fiona had the vegetarian option, as opposed to my eat and drink anything stance, and both were excellent – in presentation and taste – but the luxury level of this culinary tour was first set as we were escorted up the stairs to our table and shown how to operate the gadget that gave information in 8 different languages about the historic buildings we would pass. As we fiddled with the controls a glass of champagne was poured and a sharing platter of tapenade laid between us. Sweet. I had a feeling that this was going to be good.
What followed was an array of dishes that hours of work had gone into. There were foams, swirls, drizzles and edible flowers to accompany puréed vegetables; there was a whisper of a carrot that I thought was the best thing I’d ever seen and devoured from the root vegetable world; thinly sliced golden beetroot, something that looked like lime-green frog spawn and roast guinea fowl that was so succulent I wished the bird was still alive so I could say thank you.
My courses were a mix of fish, game, seafood and vegetable, while Fiona’s included Artichoke and Houmous Gateau (as an alternative to my crab dish), herb risotto croquette and celeriac tournedos. Each dish was a vision of delight; each plate framed a palette of colour, each course had us discussing this exhibition of taste and texture. And each course was escorted by some exquisitely dry white or a full and fruity red – The wines arrived like gigolos to tempt and entice.
All this while journeying through the City and its history, onto the bright lights of the West End and out westward to Knightsbridge. We travelled across four bridges and went from daylight into twinkling street light when the sun set. The 360° panorama afforded by the vehicle meant we could look up above street level and take in the glorious architecture of London. Southwark looms large in the tour – As it should.
Bustronone is not just for tourists, it is also for those Londoners who want to see their hometown in style. Prices range from a £32 children’s menu up to £95 for 6 courses, or the option I enjoyed, £136 for 6 courses and 5 paired wines. Worth every penny.
Coach Bay 40B, Victoria Embankment, WC2N 6PB. 7pm – 10.15pm.
https://www.bustronome.com/ – 020 37 445 554