I’ve had lots of unusual dining experiences but eating a gourmet meal on a purposely built double-decker bus whilst touring London and marvelling at her beauty as she’s all lit up and twinkling at night was a first for me! The bus is decked out with luxurious touches and the kitchen is quite impressive, having walked past it and the chef on our way upstairs. The bonus is the panoramic views of London that you get whilst dining!
Bustronome, which is a play on Bus and Gastronomy, is established in Paris and has now just arrived on the streets of London. At the helm of the kitchen on the bus is Chef Pascal Even and the concept is by the team behind Gazette.
Our journey started at Victoria Embankment where we boarded the bus and enjoyed a glass of champagne sat upstairs whilst we waited to depart on the tour. The sun hadn’t set yet and so I was excited to see the sky transform whilst we were on the bus.
Our waiter for the evening explained how the evening would work and also explained how we could find out more about each landmark that we were passing. On our table we had a map of London and an electronic pen. We had to dab the pen on a landmark from your map and place the pen against our ear, and it would then tell you more. I can see why this is used as its discreet, however, I would have much preferred if it was a general announcement and a fun fact as we passed each place of interest as I would be conscious of being anti social if you are with someone else.
Our food started to arrive whilst we gazed out of the transparent roof (perfect for all seasons) at the night sky as we whizzed around London. First up were delicious canapés which was aubergine caviar on toasted bruschetta slices. I absolutely loved these!
Next was a rich and thick mushroom soup aromatic with truffle. It was really tasty but was served gazpacho style. I loved the earthy flavours and I am a massive truffle fan so I did enjoy this very much.
The next dish was a scallops carpaccio with spinach shoot vinaigrette, fennel and pomegranate salad for my guest whilst I had a vegetarian version with asparagus. It’s a great summer salad but I do wish the vegetarian version had a bit more oomph as it could have done with a little bit more of the chunky veg.
Unfortunately when my guest’s lemon sole fish & chips arrived it was cold but we did feed it back to our waiter and it was edible. My dish of the evening was a quinoa dish which was really lovely and I rather enjoyed trying the vegetarian options.
The roast lamb fillet with a mint jus, buttery parsnip purée and beurre noisette was probably my guest’s favourite course of the evening whilst mine was sweet potato and potato. I especially liked the crispiness of the potatoes and this was a great comfort dish.
I always love a cheese course and this one was Stilton with apricots and port reduction. It was really delicious and the stilton was creamy and dreamy!
After the cheese course our dessert arrived and it was Apple confit with a hazelnut crumble and Granny Smith sorbet. I loved the crumble and confit but found the sorbet too sweet for my taste buds but overall it was lovely.
Our time onboard Bustronome was lovely and it works well in terms of the concept however I would have loved to hear key facts being announced on the main sound system whilst being whisked around all of London’s beautiful landmarks as it would have more of a romantic touch, especially if its a tourist dining on the bus.
I adored seeing all of London’s key spots lit up on our summer evening and it was so magical to see The Shard, my favourite landmark of them all against a cotton candy sky.
It is a great date idea and they’ve newly launched an Afternoon Tea experience on the bus. However, it is on the pricier side and so would be ideal for a special occasion or a treat. If you are visiting London its a really fun alternative to the usual tour bus and overall a great experience.
For more information visit their website here http://www.bustronome.com/london/