The Handbook
The Handbook

As part of the Totally Thames Festivals (where the beauty and the history of the river is celebrated), restaurant big dogs D&D have been hosting their Blackout dinners once again throughout September in their riverside restaurants.  For those who missed out last year, the dinners (which are a set menu and price) are hosted by candlelight so that diners can experience the unspoilt beauty of the Thames at night, because let’s be honest it’s much more magical at night, when the sludgy brown water becomes a sparklingly black and is lit up by the lights of the city along the bank.

Butler Wharf Chop House kicked things off and The Handbook headed down to check it out. The evening began with a flaming cocktail which looked even more spectacular in the dark restaurant, word of advice if you get a flaming cocktail don’t be overly eager and try drinking it through a straw whilst it’s still alight, no one wants a melted straw in their drink.  

Head Chef Gemma Hyjek (Ramsay, Claridge’s) created the menu which included black edged treacly trout to start served with black figs and a generous Blacked Out  Foulness Island Beef Wellington which was simply served with vegetables and potatoes. Continuing with the ‘black out’ theme to finish it was Black forest gateau trifle. It was a simple meal, yet it was perfectly executed.  

Diners had the choice of sitting outside or inside at a communal table, but I think this is an evening for dates with the low lighting and flickering candles, so if you can, get one of the seats outsides – they give you blankets when it gets cold  so need to worry there.

Following on from the Butler Wharf Chop House will be Cantina del Ponte with a Sopranos themed evening which includes pappardelle served with veal ragout and white truffle sauce which will be served until the 21st September before Blueprint Café finishes things off with their 1920’s Prohibition –era candlelight evening from the 22nd -27th September. The evening will include live music and a 3-course sharing menu including ‘Dining on Bermondsey Beach’ made with H Forman & Son smoked salmon, winkles and edible sand.

Before autumn and winter fully descend on us and London is lit up with row upon row of Christmas lights, head down to the Thames to appreciate it in all its dark glory.