Just a 5/10 minute walk along the river from both Embankment and Temple lies a unique restaurant, bar and event space. Moored on a luxury yacht, many might think this is a prime, touristy dining spot, but don’t be fooled. The Yacht’s fine dining menu and exclusive landmark views are stellar, but I went down to see what really keeps this place afloat.
The Venue and Atmosphere
Given the name, I should have put the pieces together a little earlier to realise that I’d be dining on the Thames - but only as I got to the entrance, did it dawn on me that I may be prone to sea sickness. Fear not, I had my sea legs on, a glass of bubbly in hand and all was forgotten. Of course, being moored on the Thames means that there is a little rocking from time to time, but when you’re in deep conversation and chowing down, it’s easy to forget you are actually on the water until you look out onto the views across the river.
Built in the 1920s, The Yacht has been beautifully restored with a touch of modern elegance and plenty of natural light from the panoramic windows on the middle deck. If you’re lucky enough to get a table by the south facing windows overlooking the river, you can catch a brilliant view of The Shard or London Eye, as well as other well known landmarks. Matching the stunning city views were the staff, who could not have been any more accommodating. To top the night off, our chef for the evening even popped up to the restaurant to see how our meals were going and to have a little chinwag before being called to the confines of the kitchen. How his head fit through the narrow corridors after all the compliments he received, I don’t know.
The Food and Drink
We started off the evening with a glass of Durello Spumante Brut (£6.9/£28) - a surprisingly refreshing alternative to Prosecco. They also have a sophisticated wine list, and paired wines are available if you talk to your waiter, who’ll expertly guide you through some options.
Choosing off of the refined, a la carte menu, warm and comforting food was hot on the agenda with a Warm Ham Hock Terrine with Honey, Mustard & Pink Peppercorns Served with Apple & Shallot Puree, Port Wine Reduction £8. While the need to satisfy my carnivorous side was rife, my partner in crime opted for the Goats Cheese Bon Bons with Apricots, Spring Onions, Fresh Garden Herbs, Served with Beetroot Butter & Caramelised Peppers (v) £9 and together, we were a match made in foodie heaven. I had no qualms with demolishing this ham hock as the sweetness of the honey and apple ripped through each bite of the well seasoned and balanced terrine.
Preparing for another meat dish, we ordered a bottle El Viejo del Valle Pinot Noir at £26 to pair with the Slow Cooked Lamb Shank in Mustard, Mint, Honey, Pink Peppercorns & Fresh Herbs Served with Smoked Garlic Mash Potato, Caramelised Parsnips, Baby Carrots, Garden Greens & Dark Cherry Jus £25. This was a dish that with each bite, made you feel enriched. It was full of the sweetness from the cherries, had a subtle garlic to the mash and the rich lamb meat was falling apart from the bone. If able to leave a little room for pudding, I’d recommend the creamy and sweet Modern Apple Crumble Brûlée, Clotted Cream Ice Cream £8.50.
The calm of the river really elevated the delicacy of the dishes and made for a welcome, and relaxed atmosphere. I would definitely pick The Yacht as a romantic dinner setting; if people are wanting to impress loved ones with a nice meal, city views, friendly hosts and the luxury of a 130ft yacht, this is sure to be the perfect setting.