Gourmet lunch through the streets of London with Bustronome

In Cities, Days Out, Food, London, Our Journeys, Our Reviews, Restaurant, Sense, Senses, Trip-Types, UK Travel by Janis2 Comments

Savouring the panoramic views across the rooftops...

If you’re local to London and love playing the tourist, or you are visiting from further afield. Jumping on a panoramic bus tour is a fantastic way to see London’s historic sights.  

If, you were then to combine this with a British dining experience with a petite French twist as well, then ‘oh la la’. 

The view from the Bustronome as we crossed London Bridge, looking east along the Thames towards Tower Bridge & HMS Belfast

Amazing views from the tour

This is a unique concept that Bustronome has crafted, which all began in Paris.

Reminiscing

I used to work in London for many years, and often I kept telling people to look up as the architecture in this incredible city is beautiful. So, the idea of a voyage around the bustling heart of England’s capital city was my cup of tea.

Janis is standing alongside the Bustronome luxury bus on Victoria Embankment just before starting the tour.

Ready to experience the Bustronome tour

There is certainly something different about Bustronome’s tours. The concept that they have created is for you to enjoy a cultured luxury experience on a high-end double-decker bus. All the while, your attentive waiter serves you with delicious, seasonal, dishes.

Inside the upper deck of the Bustronome tour bus with its panoramic glass roof.

The spacious, light, dining area

There is no squabbling for a window seat as all the tables are located on the upper deck, with 360-degree panoramic views through the glass roof. Come, rain or shine you are protected, and the transport is fully air-conditioned.

Grand départ

As the city tour began, Jerome, our Parisian waiter, talked us through how to use the multilingual audio guide. To make the experience a little more discreet, your audio guide is actually through an audio pen. 

You are given a map of the route, and you just tap on the location with your audio pen when you pass nearby the historical site or significant monument, and your commentary begins.

Janis listening into the tour on the guide pen, while taking in the views of London

Taking in the audio tour

For me it was like a trip down memory lane, passing by old haunts, some I choose to remember and others I’ve tried to blank from my mind.

From the moment we picked up the bus from Victoria Embankment, it was a cultural trip from start to finish, I really didn’t want it to end.

Looking up at the dome of St Paul's cathedral through Bustonome's glass roof.

Through the roof to St Paul's Cathedral


Looking through the roof of Bustronome to the Bank of England as we travel slowly through the roads of the City of London

Taking in the view of Threadneedle Street

Luncheon is served

Gary and I chose the lunchtime tour, which consisted of 4 courses along with, wine, water (still or sparkling) and tea or coffee. 

Janis taking the first taste of her white wine with her starter

Enjoying the wine with the starter

Jerome, our waiter, pouring us a glass of red wine with The Shard in the background visible through the panoramic roof.

Jerome with our red wine

Jerome made us feel very relaxed, described all the dishes and also the wine served with them.

To start with we were also given an amuse-bouche of green olive tapenade on small pieces of toasted bread. 

Quenelles of olive tapenade on toasted bread on a slate serving platter

Green olive tapenade amuse bouche

Our first dish was a crab and artichoke “gateau” with tobiko and wasabi sauce.  The crab was delicious, incredibly light and tasted very fresh.

The beautifully presented starter of crab & artichoke "gateu"

Our first course - Crab & Artichoke "gateau"

This was then followed by a crispy roll filled with goats’ cheese and beetroot prepared in three different ways.

Accompanying these two courses, we were served a glass of crisp white French Picpoule.

The second course a crispy roll with goats cheese & three ways beetroots on a plain white plate.  The cutlery is magnetic so stays in place as you make your way through London

The crispy roll with goats cheese & three ways beetroots

While enjoying your food you’re leisurely passing national treasures like St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London. While weaving your way back and forth across the River Thames.

The view from Westminster Bridge to the old County Hall and the London Eye.

Views along the Thames from the City of Westminster

Go with the flow

Our main course was seared tuna, carrot puree, girolle mushrooms and tarragon sauce. We were given the choice of continuing with another glass of white wine or choose to switch to a glass of red.

The main course of seared tuna, carrot purée, girolle mushrooms & tarragon sauce beautifully presented on a plain white plate.

Simply beautiful

The quality of food is incredible, you forget that this is being prepared for you on a double-decker bus.

All the while you’re relishing the experience pleasant music is being played, some of which transports you to a street-side Parisian café. 

The subtle ambient lighting of the bus as we pass through the tunnel on Upper Thames Street.

The ambient lighting inside the bus

The seating arrangements are comfortable, and the tables are tastefully laid out.

Bustronome have taken into consideration that there is a need to support your wine and water glasses.

Also, keep a lookout for the magic magnets hidden in the table, so your cutlery doesn’t move about.

Stay Connected

Wi-fi is available onboard - check out the login details on you menu/guide

The final dessert course of strawberries & ginger pavlova with ginger sorbet.

A beautiful seasonal summer dessert

Our dessert, and my favourite dish of the tour, was the strawberries and ginger pavlova, accompanied by ginger sorbet, it was delicious. 

Bustronome offers three choices of dining;

- Lunch 7 days a week from 12:15 (1hr 45mins tour)
- Afternoon tea, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday from 15:00 (1hr 45mins tour)
- Dinner 7 days a week from 19:15 (2hr 45mins tour)

You need to arrive 15 minutes early for all tours.

Over too soon

Then to finish passing by the Houses of Parliament then Trafalgar Square we enjoyed a shot of coffee.

It’s great fun people watching from up above, although we did notice that the Bustronome bus was grabbing attention from passers-by too.

Our lunch experience lasted 1 hour, 45 minutes. In hindsight perhaps we should have chosen the dinner option, and then the historic trip would have taken us on an even more extended voyage around London.

Nelson's Column and the National Gallery as we pass Trafalgar Square on our tour of London

The view of Trafalgar Square

Final Thoughts

Gary and I really enjoyed our London Bustronome experience. The only thing I would add is that I would have liked one other choice of dishes rather than a set menu. Although I do appreciate that the limited facilities put a constraint on this.

The view of Tower Bridge as we crossed over it, looking through the glass roof to the southernmost bridge tower.

Stunning views of the City of London

The Shard, visible through the panoramic roof.

A view of The Shard

The price of the trips may initially appear costly; however, not only are you embarking on a guided tour of London, but you also tasting some delightful food as you journey through the city’s historic streets.

I personally think it would make a lovely gift for someone.

How to get there;

You join the Bustronome bus at Victoria Embankment (coach bay 40B) WC2N 6PB.

The nearest underground station is Embankment, which is on the Bakerloo, Circle, District and Northern lines. The nearest overground station is London Charing Cross.

Onboard the bus is a toilet and cloakroom facilities.

Inspired to embark on a Bustronome tour?

Why not take a look at their choice of menus, in addition to their regular menu they also offer vegetarian, vegan and children’s options?

Whichever one takes your fancy book directly online here.

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Disclaimer

We were given a complimentary tour with Bustronome in exchange for an honest review and an account of our personal experiences.

About the Author

Janis

Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight. Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

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