London restaurant festival

3 Hours of Childfree Lunching

It was meant to be a stormy day down on the Pontoon. Would the London Restaurant Festival still go ahead? The forecast looked bleak but my previous visit to the Avalon by Melusine had been so delicious we decided to brave it. If you’ve never been to St. Kats docks, it’s worth a visit. So many great restaurants to suit pretty much whatever you are in the mood for and probably the prettiest pub in all of London, The Dickens. All hidden away in a marina you probably wouldn’t notice was there unless you had a reason to go.

The London Restaurant Festival is certainly one such reason. With 5 courses to try from local restaurants showing off some of what they do best, it was no wonder it had sold out. We felt very fortunate firstly, to be invited and secondly, for the clouds to part and give us a beautiful Indian summer afternoon! So we relaxed on the pontoon and enjoyed a refreshing glass of their Craggy Range Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Just myself and another mum, without kids. Things could only get better from here.

Kilikya was the first restaurant to feature with freshly baked Turkish bread and plump Zeytin olives. Next came the Oysters from The Melusine. The Melusine buys their fish directly from fishermen so absolutely popping with fresh from the sea flavour. My brave companion tried her very first oyster and luckily wasn’t a fan. ALL THE MORE FOR ME.

Now at this point, I’ve neglected to mention we had both been on low carb Keto diets. You can imagine how naughty we felt as we tucked into artisanal pasta smothered in a creamy homemade basil pesto by Emilia’s Crafted Pasta. It was so good to be bad.

We decided to try the red for the next course, a Rhone Valley spicy red with hints of cherry, St Cosme Little James Basket Press Red. The perfect accompaniment to The Melusine‘s grilled monkfish and lamb cutlet served with a smokey borlotti bean casserole.

Feeling a wee bit tipsy by this point as we admired the view and chatted about how crazy the months of lockdown had been. How much things had changed and how we were adapting to the “new normal”. It was so good to have an afternoon of unbroken conversation with lashings of wine!

And then, my favourite dish. Maybe it was being deprived of sugar for the previous 3 weeks as I followed my diet to the letter, perhaps it was not having to share with a greedy 5 year old… But breaking into the crunchy creme brulee – like Torrija from Bravas Tapas mingled with homemade passionfruit sorbet was paradise delivered on a spoon.

We ended what was a heavenly 3 hours on St Kats docks thinking we need to do this more often. When was the last time you met a friend for a long leisurely lunch without the kids?

St Kats Docks for Kids

St Kats Docks has some great family friendly options in the more likely event they are coming along. Why not tie lunch in the marina with a visit to Tower Bridge’s new exhibit? A trip on the Thames Clippers from Canary Wharf makes for a great day out. There is so much for families to do in the area even in these strange times.

The London Restaurant Festival

Finally, there is one more date in the calendar left of the London Restaurant Festival but I would book quickly to avoid disappointment. 

A four-course tasting menu at The Melusine, with paired wines. Showcasing fresh sustainable seafood from across the British Isles, hosted by chef and owner Theodore Kyriakou.

50 St Katharine’s Way, St Katharine’s & Wapping, London E1W 1LA