Restaurant Review: La Pont de la Tour, Shad Thames in London
Situated snugly on the river Thames with a striking view of Tower Bridge, La Pont de la Tour is set within a former tea warehouse just moments from the water. Inside white clothed tables assemble themselves along a traditionally dressed long dining room which enjoys a warm golden glow in an undeniably romantic setting.
Opening in 1991, La Pont de la Tour combines traditional yet innovative French cuisine and includes a relaxed bar and grill space, bakery and food store. Unsurprisingly, its French concept also makes it a destination for the wine aficionado with highly knowledgeable sommeliers on hand to offer expert advice whilst guiding diners through tutored tastings of old and new world wines.
A luxurious riverside destination, La Pont de la Tour hints to an elegant time gone by with inspiration taken from the Parisian chic of the 1930’s. Complete with modern touches, this fine dining destination doesn’t ignore culinary innovation with sophisticated French dishes that exploit today’s modern techniques, many made using British produce. For example, begin with English asparagus with candied walnuts with a red wine hollandaise, hand-picked Devon crab with prawn, langoustine consommé, nasturtium & red shiso or a pea velouté with mousse de lait and torsade de fromage.
An ocean inspired interlude, La Pont de la Tour also offers those who wish to really push the boat out its ‘Crustacea’ section which is a collection of high-quality fruits de mer. From a sharing platter of Jersey royals and Morecambe Bay oysters, crab salads, crevettes, langoustines and the option to add a poached native lobster, diners can also select either 10 or 30 grams of King’s Aquitaine or King’s Oscietra caviar served with warm blinis & traditional condiments.
Main courses are high-quality with exceptional attention to detail. Leading with an array of seafood options, from Cornish blonde skate wing with shrimps & cucumber Grenobloise or a 16oz Brixham Dover sole 16oz; La Pont de La Tour also endeavours to not overlook its British home with a selection of land based dishes from across the UK. From Lancashire pork with baby heritage carrots, crackling, cider & apple jus to a 500g grass fed Herefordshire chateaubriand to share which is 28 days dry aged. Desserts here are undeniably French – from a lemon tarte, yuzu caviar & meringue, vanilla crème brûlée, the traditional tarte Tatin as well as a selection of artisan cheeses, ideally paired with the sommelier’s dessert wine recommendation.
French elegance meets urban innovation at La Pont de la Tour. A culinary highlight on the banks of the Thames, its discreet location allows those who visit the opportunity to escape the crowds without having to miss out on some of London’s most iconic landmarks. From bottomless brunches, family-style roasts to a carousel of seasonal menus, its ongoing portfolio of events encourages diners to re-visit and sample its creative touches beyond the chic à la carte menu.