If you want to get away from the masses and have a leisurely civilised dinner, I can highly recommend a visit ’south side’ to the Butler’s Wharf Chop House and Blueprint Cafe.
Perfectly situated just close enough to the City, but on the right side so not full of City boys, the Chop House is a very well disguised Conran gem; Large and atmospheric with a seperate bar area and restaurant, this is the best place I have been south side of the river for cocktails! Buzzy but not too busy, I would highly recommend this for a large group, although with my plus one, we got extra special attention and some great advice choosing from the vast cocktail menu. Gin being a speciality, prepare to put your new year’s resolutions out of the window!!
With much willpower, I stopped at two drinks, and sashayed two minutes furter east, to the restaurant du nuit. Nestled on the first floor of the Design Museum, the Blueprint Cafe, is not your typical cafe; Coffee and cake is well and truly left to the downstairs museum eatery, this is definitely for a more discerning palate!
Predictably you might expect it to be full of culture vultures, but on this crisp Tuesday evening, it was not overly full, and I claimed a window table with perfect views of Tower Brigde and Canary Wharf.
Airy, spacious and unpretentious and the menu pleasantly varied with a modern European slant. My impressed date was even more impressed when I told him we were amongst the first to sample the new Head Chef Owen Owen Kenworthy’s menu. Hailing from Brawn on Columbia Road, his reputation exceeded him, and the rib eye steak with smashed potato, and poached halibut with clams and saffron potato did not disappoint. The fresh flavours were complemented by the vast wine list, and our starters of delicious Dorset crab ravioli and Abruzzo bean soup, left us wondering how good our other choices would have been! Too much choice is not often something I struggle with on a menu, but here is was tough! As it was (allegedly) still my birthday, I ‘made’ my date have the cheesecake for desert too..Just so I could try it!
Having spent a very self indulgent evening, people watching and wishing that house prices on the river were not quite so ludicrous, we eventually dragged ourselves away.
But with the bottomless brunch every Saturday (with prosecco), I think I made a date for that next week too!