Test Driving Le Pont de la Tour - a riverside favourite gets a big overhaul


What can you tell us?

Le Pont de la Tour has just thrown open its doors to the public again, after a six week intensive refurbishment by the D&D group and Russell Sage Studios. Inspired by the glamour of European cruise liners, you can expect rich, dark wood and low lighting, with touches of luxury wherever you look. They've done such an impressive job you almost expect to hear the soft clinking of glasses as the ship takes to the sea.

Where is it?

Le Pont is snuggled into a long, low warehouse of the banks of the river Thames, looking out onto the eponymous pont - Tower Bridge. 

Where should we meet before?

Look no further than the bar, situated just off the dining room. It is a touch more casual but no less decadent. The cocktails are inspired by their London location - think Tea Trade Wharf (£11.50) - and the perfect way to transition yourself from the hustle and bustle outside to the relaxed comfort of the restaurant. If you'd rather meet elsewhere, there's a Draft House on Tower Bridge Road that's very handy.

Where should we sit?

The elegant, wide round tables are the perfect place to converse with old friends. If by chance the weather decides to be kind, head outside to sip a cocktail as you watch the sun set on the grand old Tower Bridge.

What were the highlights?

The service had us as captivated as the food. Nothing was too much for La Pont's staff in their quest to ensure we had a perfect night, and that we did.

As for the food:

  • The Orkney scallops (£12.50) are an absolute-must try for the smooth, buttery foam and soft meaty texture.
  • The ceviche of native lobster (£15.00), with its salsa-like sweet pepper and olive accompaniment was fresh and perfectly flavoured.
  • Speaking of lobster, the classic Lobster Thermidor (£18.00) is a great choice, although if you're feeling peckish you should probably opt for the whole lobster.
  • And of course, who can resist the fiery spectacle of the crepes suzette (£9), prepared in the middle of the room as a delicious bit of dinner theatre?

And drink?

You'll struggle to find a glass of wine for under £10 here, although the Prieure Saint-Come Chablis (£9.50) was a light and refreshing start to the meal.

Bottles begin from around £30 but if you don't know where to start, trust in their sommelier to be your guide to all things grape. He chose perfectly for both our starter and main. Of course, you have to try one of the spectacular cocktails too.

Overall thoughts

We'll be pointing our friends in the direction of Le Pont de la Tour for many months to come. For anyone looking for a meal to remember, this will knock the spots off any of its traditional Mayfair rivals. The snug interior makes it feel as if you've transported yourself out of the city and into somewhere far more magical. 

Le Pont de la Tour is at 36G Shad Thames, London SE1 2YE. Find out more

Hot Dinners were invited to Le Pont de la Tour. Prices were correct at the time of writing.