It’s probably fair to say that of all of the floating restaurants and entertainment venues moored along the Thames in central London, the R.S.Hispaniola occupies the best spot – just upstream of Hungerford bridge, she’s almost opposite the London Eye.
The main restaurant is on the upper deck and has open areas fore and aft for alfresco dining when the Spring finally puts in an appearance! It’s a lovely space – very classy, subtly decorated in dark browns and limes. Downstairs, the main deck has a large bar and more restaurant seating. This deck is sometimes given over to events, including Lady Alex’s regular Wam Bam supper club and burlesque show. I’ve not experienced one of these evenings as yet, but I have visited the Black Cat in the past and these shows are always great fun.
If you’re visiting at lunchtime and during the evening you’ll find the restaurant offering their new al a carte menu for Spring. I’ve had the opportunity to sample it, and there are some excellent choices – my starter of wild mushrooms, and main course of chicken with parmesan polenta and butter beans were amazing – the freshest ingredients served in decent portions. Quite honestly it’s the best food I’ve eaten so far this year, and right now they have a set menu priced at £19 for two courses – given the quality and location you really can’t beat that in this part of London. New for this Spring you can now also opt for a traditional afternoon tea – sandwiches, savouries and cakes – and on Sundays the R.S.Hispaniola serves up a mean choice of roasts, or so I’m told.
I think the R.S.Hispaniola is ideally suited as a venue for a romantic assignation – that view is really something – or as a destination to impress friends and family with your sophisticated insider knowledge of the best places to have dinner in town. If you’re curious to learn more, follow the link at the top of this paragraph to visit R.S.Hispaniola’s website or you could have a look around inside as she’s one of those rare London locations that has been thoroughly mapped in Google’s Streetview – click here to see what I mean…
Something For The History Buffs
The Hispaniola was originally built as the MV Maid of Ashton at the Yarrow Shipyard in Glasgow, taking passengers along the Clyde between the city and Holy Loch to the west.
Put to service in 1953, she was only on the water for 18 years before the growth in car ownership rendered the route unprofitable. Arriving in London in 1973, she was renamed the ‘Hispaniola’ and began her new life as a private dining venue, dubbed The Yard Arm Club. In 2002 she was acquired by City Cruises following an extensive refit at the George Prior yard in Ipswich.