Forget Chiltern Firehouse. When it comes to chic restaurants, look no further than Le Pont de la Tour.
Push open the doors to Le Pont de la Tour – formerly Sir Terrence Conran’s flagship dining destination – and you’ll find an elegant, elongated dining room and adjoining terrace that’s been serving up stunning views of the River Thames and Tower Bridge for more than 20 years. Make no mistake: Le Pont’s setting certainly has plenty of wow factor.
Given the postcard perfect backdrop (you’ll want to ready your Instagram filter) Haute Time half expected the food to fizzle. Happily we were wrong: the beautifully presented and carefully prepared French cuisine, overseen by executive chef Tom Cook, is consistently excellent.
Start your French feast with the Slow braised pork belly or the dazzling fresh salad of Beetroot, endive, cobnuts, goats cheese and olive mousse, before moving onto mains. If you’re a fan of fish, you’ll find some of the freshest fish you’ll ever eat on the menu. My dining companion’s Grilled cod fillet, red wine risotto, braised snails, garlic veloute and parsley had her purring with pleasure while Stuffed piquilio pepper with tomato cous cous, fried courgette and sauce verte was – for a vegetarian dish, in a formal French restaurant – vibrant and creative and proof that Cook takes his job very seriously.
Good tasting, although unnecessary, side options include French beans and buttered broccoli. The likelihood is that dessert will defeat you – food is rich and complaints are rare – but if you can manage it, the Raspberry creme brûlée with pistachio sable makes for a flawless finish.
Drinks are just as on point. There’s a first rate wine list – helpfully arranged – that will appeal to both the connoisseur and casual wine enthusiast alike.
There’s also a bar and grill area that, on a Saturday night, was packed with punters listening to the pianist tinkling the ivories of the striking black piano but in my mind it lacks a little of the magic that you’ll find in the more formal dining room.
Yes the bill can be as memorable as the views but the restaurant certainly ranks as one of the best in the city. For fabulous French fare in an extraordinary setting, head to this Thames side treat.