Ranjit Recommends: Bateaux-licious London
On a typically busy but atmospheric Embankment pier in London lies the Bateaux London Cruise liner. Indeed, all passengers were looking slick and resembled the latest fashion line as they eagerly waited in the reception area ahead of boarding time for the dinner cruise. No matter which cruise package you choose you will be made to feel a premier customer as the delightful staff are born pleasers.
Come 7:30pm it was time to be ushered towards the entrance of the boat. The crew staff stood wearing half sleeve shirts as they welcomed us on board. This created an informal and relaxing atmosphere, and suddenly the cold chill from the outside temperature was no longer felt. One of the waiters Darco bought an instant and synchronised flowing smile to many diners when announcing that the wine was unlimited throughout the cruise. Thereafter the wine glasses were being filled up as though there was a contest as to who could polish off the most bottles before the end of the evening!
The menu had the most culturally infused dishes such as falafel and feta cheese. The main courses were classic gourmet style and generous portions too, such as the chicken supreme. Whilst waiting for the starters there were plates of cute mini ciabattas bought to the tables to get stuck into and they were so sumptuous that it didn’t even require the usual butter condiments. The red carpet treatment all took place whilst the night scenery of the River Thames became a focal point of the surroundings. Highlights included passing by MI6 headquarters which our waiter fittingly described as James Bond’s house. Overall, there was a pleasant sensation whilst the boat was in motion where you could always feel you were moving but never felt the turbulence of the waters.
London’s bridges were also a key theme of the cruise as it passed through Tower, Westminster and Waterloo bridges to name a few, and even Londoners would have embraced the majestic views. The live band on board included a saxophonist who played at a mellow pace whilst diners keenly watched on. The singer did a couple of renditions of old jazz songs to enhance the mood. Petit Fours and homemade tea & coffee had to wait till last as there was the explosive flavours of the desserts on offer, such as treacle tart. Suffice to say that if there wasn’t so much wine to get through, diners would have been wanting second portions of desserts!
As the boat began it’s docking back at the Embankment pier, there was certainly no anti climatic feeling as all on board soaked up the atmosphere and ambience of the cruise one final time. Furthermore the fun wasn’t over even after disembarking the boat. The waiter’s attempts to open the gates to the street exit point were met with light hearted laughter as he tried multiple keys to the extent that there were calls for the locksmith to pay a visit! Indeed, the waiter finally found the matching key, and overall it was reminiscent of a scene from the Escape Room game. For all we know he might have been trying to call our bluff as most passengers were still feeling the effects of the wine.
In summary, you truly do get what you may for on board Bateaux London. There is nothing pretentious about the cruise and everyone felt completely at ease and this led to a Bateaux-licious evening.
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