You can say anything in French, and it instantly becomes classier. ‘Coup d’etat’ for example, sounds a million times more civilised than ‘overthrowing the government’, ‘liaison’ better than ‘shag’, and ‘déjà vu’ nicer than ‘feels like I’ve seen it before, mate’. For this reason alone, I was a little dubious of Le Pont De La Tour’s latest winter pop-up, which, while looking suspiciously like a refashioned garden shed, was also serving Champagne and a truffle-infused menu - I holed up in it pour le soir.
There’s no escaping the fact that Le Lodge D’Hiver (winter hut to you and me) does look a little garden shed-y from the outside, but when I say shed, I mean on the luxury end of the spectrum - more Buckingham Palace than my beige-ified flat in Bethnal Green. With glass doors overlooking the Thames and Tower Bridge, the pop-up has got some of the finest views in the city. It’s also cosy AF, with twinkling lights strung up outside, and inside a small table is surrounded by fir tree branches, fluffy blankets are ready to be thrown over shoulders, and there’s even a sprig of mistletoe pinned to the ceiling. Even though I'm well aware my dining partner isn't batting for my team, I'm tempted to play footsie under the table.
As part of the experience, there’s a five-course meal, which in the past has ranged from completely truffle-d through to a vat of fondue. We start with a miniature baked potato, cooked until scoopable, with a bite of herb creme fraiche and Aquitaine caviar. The rest of the menu is similarly as decadent, from a smoky terrine of duck liver through to poached monkfish tail with sea herbs and shaved truffle. And to wash it all down? A bottle of Moët & Chandon.
Le Lodge D’Hiver is one of the cutest pop-ups in London right now - if you’ve not got Valentine’s Day plans, if you want to shake off the January blues, or you just want to stuff yourself while looking over Tower Bridge, then this is the place to do it. Lovers, besties, families; hole up in this hut for an unforgettable night of fine-dining and bubbles.
Le Lodge D’Hiver can be found at Le Pont De La Tour, 36D Shad Thames, London SE1 2YE. The dining experience costs £200 for two people and includes a five-course meal and bottle of Moët & Chandon.