Fancy a guided bus tour around our capital with a delicious meal thrown in?
It’s not at all what one might expect…
On our booking confirmation we were asked to wait at a specific point on the Embankment and along came our luxury, and I mean luxury (think Orient, not National Express) coach. We were escorted on board and seated upstairs in what is, effectively, a fabulous restaurant – but one with constantly changing views of town.
Starting with a glass of champagne and some canapés, we moved on to the six-course tasting menu with wines. Courses included seared tuna, guinea fowl, a cheese course and a very good dessert. Reader, this food was seriously good, the service was excellent – amazing, considering the conditions – and we were looked after very well by our host, Victor.
We headed east to Tower Bridge and then through the City and west towards the Albert Hall. The menu cards are cleverly designed with a route map onto which were special dots, where we could place our hand-held ‘audio pens’ and receive guided tour information with interesting facts, in numerous language options. We were tourists in our very own town – and what fun it was!
We went for dinner, but one can have lunch or afternoon tea, which is less expensive. Prices and menus are on the website bustronome.com/london (it’s a French idea, and started in Paris about four years ago) and are from around £60 for tea. The tours run all year round, and the cleverly designed top deck offers 360 degree views of London in all weathers. Downstairs, there is a guest loo, cloakroom and kitchen.
It was a very sociable experience and we chatted to other diners, who were a mix of locals celebrating special occasions, and tourists.
We will definitely be suggesting a tour to any future overseas friends visiting London. Vouchers would make a fabulous present. A winter afternoon tea tour, especially in the run up to Christmas with all the festive lights, will be amazing. I can’t recommend the Bustronome highly enough, and would urge you to book soon if you plan a trip around Christmas as I am sure word will spread and tours will be booked solid.
Follow Alison on insta: @theseasonedgastronome