SPOTLIGHT: June, 2007
with Burlington Bertie & Shophound Alexia.
Located in the newly refurbished Royal Festival Hall, Skylon is D & D London's newest restaurant in their prestigious Thames-side chain that includes the Butler's Wharf Chop House, Cantina del Ponte and Le Pont de la Tour, all overlooking the Thames at Tower Bridge. Their latest dining attraction on the South Bank offers a spectacular panorama of London's skyline, with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the River Thames and modern European cuisine with a taste of Britain.
Skylon's Lobster with a View
Sample dishes include new season pea soup, (though London's infamous 'pea soupers' are happily a thing of the past),
with Yorkshire ham tartine; fresh Dorset Lobster, butter poached with broad bean salad, cashew nuts, pink grapefruit vinaigrette; roast organic Suffolk Cross Lamb, crushed new potatoes, glazed carrots and rosemary jus; lavender infused Gloucester Old Spot Pork with fresh farm vegetables, mustard sauce; traditional scone bread-and-butter pudding with vanilla custard. Wines by the glass at under £5 are acceptably priced and the wide ranging wine list from England, Europe, the Americas and Australasia has some drinkable reds and whites from under £20 per bottle. On our visit we passed on the legendary museum piece 1959 Chateau Latour Pauillac from Bordeaux offered at a princely £2700 and settled on a more modest Half bottle of Chateau du Gaby for £24.
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX. Tel: 020 7654 7800|
Opening Times: Bar: 11am-1am. Grill: 12pm-11.45pm. Restaurant: 12pm-2.30pm and 5.30pm-10.45pm. Wheelchair accessible. Thames Views.
Average Prices: Lunch and dinner a la carte menus: 2 courses £29.50, 3 courses £34.50.
Pre Theatre and Post Theatre menus: 2 courses £24.50, 3 courses £29.50.
Wine by the glass: From £4.25. By the bottle: from £22.
London Transport: Nearest Tube. Waterloo.
Executive chef Helena Puolakka has joined Skylon from Harvey Nichols' famed Fifth Floor restaurant. "I'm so excited to be joining Skylon," she told us. "It's always been my dream to be involved with the launch of a restaurant on such a grand scale." She looks forward to sourcing seasonal ingredients from around Britain and Europe and presenting them in a simply prepared, innovative mix of flavours and colours. The butter poached Dorset Lobster starter followed by the Suffolk lamb, that we enjoyed with our wine on our recent lunchtime visit, fitted that description admirably. And the view from our table was 'to live for'!
Canteen's Casual Eating
For casual cafe fare at the Royal Festival Hall, Canteen has opened in the space previously occupied by the Festival Square Cafe. It offers informal booth seating, communal tables, covered and heated outdoor seating and a bar celebrating the best of British beers.
"Both the Royal Festival Hall and the 1951 Festival of Britain were direct influences for Canteen - democratic, welcoming and elegant," say Cass Titcombe, Dominic Lake and Patrick Clayton-Malone who run a similar popular establishment at Spitalfields Market.
Like the original Spitalfields restaurant, Canteen's South Bank branch offers an all-day menu serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, afternoon tea and bar snacks. Wheelchair accessible.
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