Words & Photography by Felicity Spector
About: The Blackout Banquet is a huge, 140 seat dining table stretching more than 100 feet along the riverside terrace outside Le Pont de La Tour, Cantina del Ponte, Blueprint Café and Butler’s Wharf, which will be serving a rotating menu from the four restaurants every night during the Thames Festival between 6th and 15th September 2013. It offers a special fixed price menu, at £35 per head for three courses, including a drink to start, and coffee after the meal.
The event has been designed to highlight the experience of darkness beside the river, replacing artificial light pollution with the subtlety of candles. It echoes the festival’s aim of celebrating the history and beauty of the Thames, whose surrounding landscape has been transformed by some of London’s most challenging modern architecture.
What we didn’t like: I wasn’t sorry I had missed the vegetarian starter - it had identical ingredients to the main course, which lacked some imagination.
Verdict: We really enjoyed our culinary, candle-lit taste of the Thames Festival: London is at its best when celebrating its natural assets, and it was a real privilege to be part of such a one off experience. If you can’t get a seat at the special banquet table, the restaurants involved are all offering their own set menus throughout the festival, with other events to tie-in, from blindfold cocktail tastings to something riskily described as a fire menu.