miércoles, 4 de noviembre de 2015

Le Pont de la Tour - French Restaurant and Wine Merchant (D&D London)


- Adress: 36D Shad Thames, London SE1 2YE
- E-mail: lepontres@danddlondon.com
- Telephone: 020 7403 8403
- Web: www.lepontdelatour.co.uk

- Introduction: Le Pont de la Tour is an elegant and comfortable riverside destination (French restaurant, terrace, bar, and wine merchant) with breathtaking views of the city and tower bridge in London. This place is synonymous with sophistication and good living, attentive service as standard, and remind us what a magical place for dinner London can be. Excellent food and great atmosphere in one of London’s best locations.

The facilities occupies an extraordinary length of the ground floor of a warehouse building right beside the Thames, giving glorious views both ways, most notably of Tower Bridge, lit up electric blue at night. There are plenty of tables inside the restaurant and outside in the terrace too, for more clement days.

Russell Sage Studio took the legendary ocean liner SS Normandie for inspiration. The dining room shines in an inter-war glamour, all geometric mirrors and angular art deco-style chairs, tables topped with sparkling white linen and shiny brass lamps, and a claret-coloured carpet that leads the eye to a wine wall at the back of the restaurant.

- Recommendations: To get the most out of your experience, book a table by the window, which will give you both the best views of the Thames and also offer a good overview of the restaurant as well.

Making a pre-dinner cocktail seem a tempting idea, so make sure to start with a cocktail in the beautiful bar or terrace before heading into the restaurant, but be careful because you can happily linger there all evening. They do live music in the bar Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

As food recommendations starters of Forman smoked salmon and roast squash soup are expertly prepared (the array of extras with the salmon is a nice touch), and mains of fillet of beef and poulet noir are beautifully presented and priced kindly for what they are. Those of a sweet toothed-nature will especially enjoy the bitter chocolate and plum pavé. The wine list is comprehensive, to put it mildly, so it’s worth seeking the advice of the sommelier to whittle your options down.

- Facilities: The bar and restaurant have a thoughtful luxurious design that evokes the Parisian chic of the 1930s, plus the stunning views of the City and Tower Bridge. The wine cellar creates the perfect atmosphere for entertaining and relaxing. The authentic vaulted cellar is available for wine tastings, aperitifs, events and has a well selected wine shop. Their famous terrace is one of the best riverside locations in the city, ideal for enjoying alfresco dinning and delicious French cuisine.

At the entrance they divided up the length into two areas, a leathery banquette-dominated bar, with music (live at weekends), cocktails and a small-dishes menu, then a vast luxurious dining room, agreeably quiet, apparently taking inspiration from what many still rate as the greatest ocean liner ever, the SS Normandie, launched in Saint-Nazaire in 1935. There’s a lot of gilding and mirrors, intricately carved dark wood, half-height curtaining if needed, soft lighting from brassy lamps and big circular tables of radiating colour, as well as sumptuous amounts of white linen and shiny cutlery. The Art Deco-style chairs are stylish, if surprisingly hard and there’s an extraordinary carpet throughout, apparently pre-distressed and composed of strongly geometric, abstract lines.

It’s a really grandiloquent, imposing room with just a little serving island in the middle, topped with massive hydrangeas. Yet golden and impressive though this interior may be, it only enhances the glamour of the site and view.

- Location: Shad Thames is a historic riverside street next to Tower Bridge in Bermondsey, London, and is also an informal name for the surrounding area. The street Shad Thames has Tower Bridge at its west end, and runs along the south side of the River Thames, set back behind a row of converted warehouses. The nearest stations are Tower Hill, Tower Gateway, Bermondsey, London Bridge and Tower Bridge Station.

The converted warehouses retain their original characteristic features of brickwork, winches, large sign-writing and so on, and most are named after the commodities which were originally stored in them: Vanilla & Sesame Court; Cayenne Court; Wheat Wharf; Tea Trade Wharf, etc. It is said that a century of spices had infused into the brickwork, so after they were converted into flats the first residents of each building could still detect the scent after which it was named.

Shad Thames's proximity to the City of London, a short distance away on the north side of the river, means that many residents are wealthy City workers, and the restaurants are frequented by City folk at lunchtime. Consequently, local property prices are very high. Properties with river views are particularly expensive, having balconies, and dramatic views of the Thames, Wapping (across the river), Tower Bridge, the "Gherkin", and even the distant Canary Wharf.

- History: Le Pont de la Tour opened back in 1991, as the showpiece of Terence Conran’s regeneration of the Shad Thames warehouse complex, dating back to the 1870s, also featuring the then Design Museum. At the time, going there felt almost exploratory. Now it’s one of London’s lavishly served hubs.

Le Pont de la Tour received an historic consecration in 1997 when it hosted the Blairs and the Clintons, still an alarming snap. At this time, Conran was busily building a restaurant empire across London but in September 2006 his executives Des Gunewardena and David Loewi led a buyout, creating the D&D group, which now operates no fewer than 34 upmarket places, including some abroad, with revenues of more than £100 million a year.

On 2015, Le Pont de la Tour closed for a makeover, with a new design from the ubiquitous and almost invariably good Russell Sage Studios. It also re-opened with a new head chef, too, Frederick Forster, brought over from Boundary, Sir Terence’s Shoreditch pride and joy.

- Restaurant: It combines traditional yet innovative French cuisine, knowledgeable and friendly staff. During the day you can enjoy traditional French cooking with a modern accent. At dinner, the opulence and elegance of the main dining room awakens against the backdrop of floodlit Tower Bridge.

- The Menus: There are good deals offered like a three-course weekend lunch for £30, a more limited choice weekday lunch or early evening dinner for £23.50 for two courses, or £28.50 for three, plus service, plus drinks. But if you go à la carte, as you will probably want to do, and start exploring the rewarding wine list his has always been a restaurant where the ratio of drinking to eating has been generous, possibly in tribute to the oft-expressed preferences of its founder.

- Chef: Frederick Forster is a young Londoner who attended Westminster College and has subsequently had a pretty remarkable formation, training with Pierre Gagnaire, working at Le Gavroche, Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons with Raymond Blanc, in Barbados and Dubai as well as in France, and even for Gordon Ramsay. He has won both the Roux Scholarship and the National Chef of the Year but this is his first opening and it’s a whopping venue for that.

Definitely, he knows his way around a kitchen and his French cuisine is traditional in approach, with a clean eye for detail and a devilish understanding of flavour. Plates arrive neat and stylish, neither mean nor excessive in portion and crammed with character. Forster’s delicate hand electrifies lobster ceviche with black olive purée and sweet red peppers, and complements seared duck foie gras with black fig.

- Wine Merchant: Le Pont de la Tour’s sommelier team oversees an impressive collection of Old and New World wines, including legendary maisons with a focus on France, Italy, Spain and California and some rare Grand Crus.

The cellar is a wine lover’s paradise headed up by our manager Peter, who will offer expert advice to suit any budget and taste on more than 1,000 wines, liqueurs, spirits and cigars on sale from all over the world.

Rare wines have been sourced which have been made from traditional techniques and ancient methods in natural and biodynamic ways.

A 5% discount is offered on cases of six bottles while a 10% discount is offered on cases of 12 bottles. We can also deliver your cases free in London, subject to availability.

They also hold regular tutored wine tastings. This is a great way to expand your drinking repertoire, these offer the perfect opportunity to try before you buy. From small and quirky through to ultra premium, this is often where you will find the best combination of hard to get products and expert service.

Opening hours: Monday-Saturday: noon-8pm; Sunday: noon-6pm. Contact their wine merchant on 020 7940 1840 or email winemerchant@danddlondon.com

- Bar & Grill: The new Bar & Grill at Le Pont de la Tour is a destination in its own right, offering a relaxed dining experience and cracking cocktails with breathtaking riverside views in a buzzing atmosphere in the heart of Shad Thames.

There is an extensive and contemporary bar list, celebrating the best of France, with a section inspired by Provençal flavours, and the best of London.

The ‘Shad Thames’ concoctions are infused with spices based on those stored in the Butler’s Wharf warehouses in Victorian times, including vanilla, ginger and coriander.

The bar menu of hors d’oeuvres and sharing plates, which includes Roasted quail, with Asian flavours of spring onion, chilli and lime, and Pan-Bagnat, a speciality sandwich from the Nice region, served with vegetables and warm goat’s cheese is ideal for those who prefer something less formal.

The bar & grill will also play host to an exciting programme of live music, from Thursday to Saturday. The acoustic music sets feature classic tunes as well as original tracks, with a jazzy yet contemporary style.

- Food Store & Coffee Kiosk: The Food Store supplies a range of freshly baked breads, cured meats and European cheeses. A selection of platters, home cooked meals and cakes are available for your party or lunch/dinner at home or at the office.

Customers can also drop in for takeaway coffee, French-style pastries, freshly prepared sandwiches or baguettes. A self-service salad bar and hot meals to take away are available from 11.30am to 2.00pm.

Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 7.30am to 8pm; Saturday and Sunday: 9am-6pm Contact their Food Store on 020 7940 1830.

- Coffee kiosk: Takeaway coffee, freshly prepared sandwiches, freshly squeezed orange juice and homemade soup are available Monday to Friday from 7.30am to 3.00pm.

- Bakery: Le Pont de la Tour is also home to its very own bakery, providing a selection of fresh bread for the Restaurant, Bar and Food Store. As you walk down Shad Thames you can smell the unbeatable aromas of freshly baked bread.


Whether it’s a corporate dinner, birthday party, wedding or private wine tasting, they have a dedicated and experienced to ensure that every detail of your event is catered for. To enquire about private dining please contact Ana, our Event Manager, on 020 7940 1833 or via email: anaa@danddlondon.com

- Private Dining Rooms: Their restaurant and two private dining rooms can accommodate groups from 10 to 300 guests. From the atmospheric wine cellar to the luxurious surroundings of the main restaurant with magnificent Thames river views, they have a variety of spaces and menus for every occasion.

- Groups: From a family celebration, a birthday party or informal corporate dinner, the elegant surroundings and magnificent river views of Le Pont de la Tour in Shad Thames offer a unique venue for group dining from 10 to 50 guests.

- Weddings: Whether you’re having a wedding, bar or bat mitzvah or corporate party, the elegant venue spaces at Le Pont de la Tour are as flexible as they are unique. Whether you wish to transform and theme the venue or keep a restaurant feel, your dedicated events manager will work with you from initial planning right through to the big day to ensure that you have a day to remember. You can exclusively hire the whole venue for a dinner of up to 110 guests or a standing reception of up to 300.

- Christmas Celebrations: It’s the most wonderful time of the year, or so the story goes, so make sure your festive season is as special as possible by celebrating with them at the iconic Le Pont de la Tour. That food, that view and a special winter terrace to boot.

From 23rd November onwards they will be serving a la carte menu for groups of up to 12 people, for those with numbers of 13 and more they are offering special Christmas set menu, priced from £45 for three courses.


Join them at Le Pont de la Tour Wine Merchant for a special wine tasting event and explore several vintages from the Rioja region in Spain presented by Bodegas Urbina. Seats are available in very limited number. To book your place call 020 7403 8403 or lepontres@danddlondon.com

This tasting is £20 per person and begins at 12.30. £10 of the price is redeemable against any purchase in the Wine Merchant on the day. Take your purchase through to their Bar&Grill or Restaurant and enjoy lunch with 20% off food and no corkage.

The Urbina family has been growers in Rioja for generations and Bodegas Urbina is one of the main guardians of traditional Rioja and is loyal to the classic profile of its wines. They are firm believers in the idea that wine is made in the vineyard. The main focus is on the terroir, since they aim to produce wines that express the former’s characteristics of the place were they come from.

They are located in the North Western part of Rioja Alta, it is an area that produces wines with a great capacity for ageing, and is therefore excellent for the production of great wines Reservas and Gran Reservas. The bodega is situated in Cuzcurrita de Rio Tiron, witch is a very beautiful medieval town.

Pedro is the 4th generation of a family dedicated to make wines and grow vines. He is also a descendant of a lineage of prestigious oenologist in Rioja. Today he makes a beautiful range of award-winning wines, from crianza to reserva, and some very special gran reservas, from his single estate, family-run winery in the heart of the Rioja.

They have 75 hectares of vineyards, 65 of Tempranillo, and 10 of Graziano, Mazuelo and Viura. In 1975 the winery began to age and bottle their own wine in order to retain the special characteristics of a small single Estate. Their sole objective is the production of quality wines, has been achieved as the result of careful viticulture using traditional techniques, harvesting by hand and avoiding the use of weed killers and pesticides. There has been also a large investment in modern installations, de-stalking machinery, stainless teel fermentation tanks and bottling machinery.

- 2008 Rioja Crianza Urbina £15.00/bottle: Ruby colour with garnet hues, intense, mellow ripe strawberry, vanilla nose. Well-balanced, strawberry, nutty flavours on palate with splash of cream and spice, a firm taste, good structure and long lasting aftertaste with great persistence. Food: Pork, veal, meatballs, sausages.

- 1999 Rioja Seleccion Urbina £20.00/bottle: It is an intense, dark ruby colour with a very concentrated berry/vanilla nose and flavours. Full-bodied, rich fruit cake, vanilla, well-structured, mellow, with the fine elegance of the Urbina marque.

- 1998 Rioja Reserva Especial Urbina £22.00/bottle: Dark ruby red colour with amber glints. On the nose, good intensity. It has a very pronounced nose of seductive figs, apricots, nuts, savoury vanilla oak bouquet. On the palate, voluptuous, sweet middle palate with delicious, concentrated ripe berry, mature fruit broadening out. Wonderful length, classy and complex wine.

- 1996 Rioja Gran Reserva Urbina £25.00/bottle: Colour reddish garnet. On the nose, powerful, complex and elegant. Rich vegetable and tobacco aromas, a perfect harmony of oak and glorious fruit. On the palate, intense rich fruit, prunes, dates and sweet raisin flavours, silky and creamy. A wine with great finesse and velvet smoothness, wondrous length and full finish.

- 1994 Rioja Gran Reserva Especial £32.00/bottle: Colour reddish garnet. On the nose, powerful, complex and elegant. Rich vegetable and tobacco aromas, a perfect harmony of oak and glorious fruit. On the palate, intense rich fruit, prunes, dates and sweet raisin flavours, silky and creamy. A wine with great finesse and velvet smoothness, wondrous length and full finish.



- Oysters: Jersey Rocks - six / dozen 12.50 / 23.00; Fine de Oaire No. 2’s - six / dozen 15.50 / 29.00
- Crab, salmon & Aquitaine caviar - for two 18.50 per person frozen cucumber & dill, warm blinis
- Marinated native lobster, sweet peppers, black olives 16.00
- Roasted Orkney king scallop, Jerusalem artichokes 15.00
- H. Forman smoked salmon, traditional condiments 16.50
- Terrine of foie gras, clementines 11.50
- Golden beetroot, pears, turnips, hazelnuts, wild wood sorrel v 9.50
- Roast potimarron squash soup, sage, flat parsley v 8.00
- Seared duck foie gras, black fig 15.50
- Tomato, warm goat's cheese, San Daniele ham 11.00

Main Course

- Lobster thermidor half 19.00 whole 35.00
- Dover sole, 16 oz., grilled or meunière, charlotte potato 36.00
- Braised fillet of halibut, cuttlefish, purple broccoli 26.00

To share:
- Roast Challans duck - per person 26.00
- Roast breast, red cabbage, spiced jus Slow cooked leg, frisée salad, walnut & mustard vinaigrette
- Chateaubriand for two - per person 32.50
- Potato purée truffle, baby spinach, red wine sauce

- Loin of venison, poached quince, parmentier 28.00
- Red-Leg Partridge, parsnips purée, braised celery 24.00
- Roasted veal sweetbread, kohlrabi, truffle 26.50
- Wild mushroom ravioli, baby artichoke, autumn truffle v 17.50

Wilted pousse spinach 4.50
French sand carrots 4.50
Potato purée 4.00
Green salad 4.00
New potatoes 4.00

- Caramel soufflé, prune and Armagnac ice cream 8.50
- Tarte Tatin, crème fraîche 7.50
- Warm rum-baba, crème Chantilly & Martinique rum 6.00
- Chocolate crème, caramel and sorbet lemon, mango 8.00
- Poached Williams Pear, mulled wine, Madeleine, dates 6.00
- Crêpes Suzettes 8.50 Selection of artisan French cheeses 9.50
- Sorbets and ice-creams 6.00

Dessert Wine and Port:
- 2011 Coteaux du Layon Saint-Aubin, 'Les Clos1, Philippe Delesvaux, Loire 7.50
- 2013 Banyuls, Domaine De La Rectorie 'Cuvée Parcé Frères’, Rimage, Roussillon 8.50
- 2001 Cérons, Château de Cérons, Bordeaux, France 9.50
- 2008 Emilia Malvasia Passito, Azienda La Stoppa Vigna del Volta', Emilia, Italy 11.00
- 2008 Royal Tokaji, Tokaji Aszü 5 Puttonyos, Tokaji, Hungary 13.00
- 1999 Château Suduiraut, 1er Cru Classé 17.00
- NV Graham's ‘Six Grapes’, Port reserve, Douro, Portugal 7.00
- 10YO Graham's, Tawny Port, Douro, Portugal 9.50

Digestives (50ml)
- Lecompte, 12YO, Calvados, France 13.00
- Hennessy Fine de Cognac, VSOP, Cognac, France    10.00
- Clos Martin Folle Blanche, 8YO, Bas-Armagnac, France 10.00
- Poire William, Eau de Vie, France 10.50
- Fragolino, Grappa, Italy 13.00
- Glenmorangie, 10YO, Single Malt Whisky, Scotland 9.25
- Chivas Regal, 12YO, Blended Whisky, Scotland 10.25
- Hibiki, 12YO, Whisky, Japan 11.00


Two courses 25.00 Three courses 30.00
Add 'A bottle of Laurent-Perrier Champagne for an additional £15.00 per person

- Salad of French beans and pancetta, soft poached egg
- Smoked salmon, shaved fennel and lemon oil
- Velouté of celeriac with herb crème fraîche v
- Game of pie, pumpkin purée and watercress

Main Course:
- Beef shortrib, potato purée and braised leaves
- Rump of lamb with couscous, yogurt and olives
- Risotto of pumpkin
- Roasted cod, crushed potatoes and spring onions, caper dressing

- Soft meringue, coconut sorbet, pineapple marmalade
- Paris brest, hazelnut cream
- Chocolate pave, cacao sorbet
- Selection of French cheese

- Wilted pousse spinach 4.50
- French sand carrots 4.50
- Potato purée 4.00
- Green salad 4.00
- New potatoes 4.00


Two courses 25.00 Three courses 30.00
Add 1/2 bottle of Rothschild wine for an additional £15.00 per person from the choices below:
- White: 2013 Réserve Mouton Cadet, AC Graves, Baron Philippe de Rothschild
- Red: 2011 Blason d'Aussières, AC Corbières, Domaines Barons Rothschild Lafite

- Salad of French beans and pancetta, soft poached egg
- Smoked salmon, shaved fennel and lemon oil
- Velouté of celeriac, wild mushroom roll v

- Roast rib-eye aged beef, seasonal vegetables, Yorkshire pudding
- Roasted cod with crushed potatoes and caper sauce
- Rump of lamb with purple broccoli, yogurt and olives Risotto of pumpkin v

- Chocolate pavé
- Vanilla crème brûlée
- Selection of French cheese

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