Blackout Banquet

D&D London celebrates the Dark River for the Thames Festival

6th – 15th September 2013



“The name of the river ‘Thames’ itself is said to “derive from the Sanskrit term for ‘dark’ and it has often been known as the dark river.” 

Peter Ackroyd


D&D London is delighted to announce the launch of the Butler’s Wharf Blackout as part of the Thames Festival celebration from 6th – 15th September 2013.


D&D London’s collective of iconic riverside restaurants at Butler’s Wharf – Le Pont de La Tour, Cantina del Ponte, Blueprint Café and Butler’s Wharf Chophouse – will be literally ‘blacking out’ electricity in all four restaurants from 8.30pm every evening throughout the10 days of the festival. Free from the light pollution of modern London, diners will have the unique opportunity to savour spectacular views of the Thames and experience the unspoilt beauty of the river by darkness and subtle candlelight.


For the duration of Butler’s Wharf Blackout, guests will enjoy candlelight dining and late night drinking sessions at each venue alongside a calendar of special events from Blind Wine Tasting, to Ghost Bus Tours, to a Fire and Flambé night.


Echoing the central purpose of the Thames Festival, each of these sensory experiences will celebrate the history and beauty of the Thames, its ancient mystery and the changing modern landscape. The events will encourage diners to engage with the unparalleled views from the riverside vantage points and are designed to inspire respect and appreciation for London’s greatest natural asset.


A highlight will be the ‘Blackout Banquet’, a pop-up 40 metre, 140 seat banqueting table spanning the riverbank, starting from British dining institution Butler’s Wharf Chophouse, to classic French restaurant Le Pont de La Tour, and ending alongside Italian trattoria Cantina del Ponte. Diners will feast on a rotating menu of dishes showcasing each of the restaurants.


The candlelit culinary journey through each cuisine will occur every evening throughout the festival period and at lunchtimes on Saturdays and Sundays. The banqueting table will work in all weathers with a clear cover to allow riverside views come rain or shine.


With food and drink events designed to heighten the sensory experience of darkness by the river, including blind wine tastings, blindfold dinners, fire menus, and innovative and futuristic activity which will light the darkness with neon, LED and laser lighting – the Butler’s Wharf Blackout will showcase The Thames in all its glory.




Each restaurant will serve a different three course, fixed price special ‘Blackout Menu’ over the ten days. Blueprint Café’s ‘Black Menu’ will feature dishes such as Black Lentils with Sour Cream, Sweet Tamarind & Dock Spices, Blackened Orchard Farm Pork with Black Potatoes and Liquorice Parfait. (£25 for 3 courses)


La Pont de La Tour will focus on locally sourced ingredients, with dishes such as London Cure Salmon, Navarin of Foulness Island Lamb, Roast Pumpkin & Beetroot and Assiette of English Blackberries. (£30 for 3 courses)


Butler’s Wharf Chophouse will be featuring British dishes such as Roast Thames valley wood pigeon, black pudding, braised beetroot & turnips as well as Kentish bramble syllabub, short bread. (£25 for 3 courses)


Cantina Del Ponte celebrates Italian cooking by candlelight with Pumpkin, gorgonzola, baby lamb lettuce & almonds and Pannacotta with wild berry compote. (£25 for three courses)


Each venue has created a bespoke cocktail menu, featuring Ketel One Espresso Martinis, Tanqueray Swim & Tonics, refreshing Don Julio cocktails and spiced Zacapa Daiquiris / elderflower whisky sour with Johnnie Walker.


Meals at the ‘Blackout Banquet’ banqueting table are priced at £35 per head for three courses including an arrival drink and coffee. Reservations can be made via 0207 940 1833.



Foodie & Cocktail 101 – Red House, Chelsea

London Social 101 would like to introduce you to the perfect weekend hang-out, Red House in Chelsea. boasting huge shutter style windows that open right up to allow you be in the cool bar, but feel like you’re outside.  (Especially with the unpredictable weather) You can sit all day grazing on delicious tapas dishes and we’ll bring you Bloody Mary’s, Bellini’s or whatever takes your fancy.                        

New York-based restaurant management company, Crown Group Hospitality are renowned state-side for their collection of critically acclaimed establishments that combine cool but classic interiors with an unrivalled traditional bistro experience, have recently opened their first London restaurant.

Situated on the picturesque and quintessentially British Elystan St, you can see what attracted the established New York Restaurateurs to the address.


Previously The Markham Inn Public House, Red House is the sixth restaurant and bar venture from partners Sean Largotta, John DeLucie and English-born Chris Jonns.

Chris, who has lived in New York for nearly ten years has long been applying pressure to his partners to look to ‘Blighty’ for their next venture.


“Its been interesting for me to witness objectively the shift in general night life and restaurant trends over the last ten years.  There was a distinct sway of interest from west London over to east London and now it seems the cool hunters are coming back west.  It was just a case of finding the right venue at the right time.”

True to the Crown Groups signature style, Red House’s unique re-design is a sympathetic restoration of a classic English establishment combined with a chic, American twist.

When contemplating the interiors, Crown Group had no doubt who the best woman for the job was. Uber-cool New York designer, Meg Sharpe, known for embodying classic details with a quirky finish was flown in immediately.  Cleverly, Crown Group liked Meg so much when she worked on their earlier ventures, they employed her as their lead in-house designer.

The main dining room is complete with a skylight that serves as a centre piece and focal point for the 3,500 square foot space.

The bar at the front of the restaurant features a comprehensive beverage menu as well as an open kitchen. Brunch is served at intimate tables in this area allowing diners to have a view outside of a charming park.

In keeping with the theme of the restoration of the building, Red House offers reinventions of classic dishes that include the Wild Mushroom Pot Pie with spring vegetables & chive marscapone, Macaroni & Cheese with Montgomery cheddar and the Halibut Fish & Chips with sugar snap pea salad, tartar sauce and lemon. Red House also offers an array of fresh salads, sides and decadent desserts.


Ben Scorah, Crown Group Hospitality’s Head Mixologist has created a beverage menu of classic old-fashioned style cocktails that are also updated with a modern twist.  Ben has received critical acclaim for his modern take on classic cocktails, extensive knowledge and artful deliver having been named “Most Inspired Bartender” by GQ in 2009. Cocktail specialties will include the Red House Riot – Red chili infused vodka, fresh mint, passion fruit, lime, and aromatic bitters with a splash of ginger beer and Penicillin – Blended scotch shaken with fresh ginger, honey, and lemon served on ice and crowned with a nip of smoky Islay scotch.

The wine list at Red House consists of an eclectic mix of new and old world classics with a special love for great, dry sherries.
Red House offers a classic British warm bistro environment, impeccable service and an unrivalled culinary experience.  The restaurant is open daily for dinner from 5 pm to 11 pm with lunch and brunch hours to follow.
Location: 2 Elystan Street, London, SW3 3NS

Social Spy** The BMW i3 Global Reveal Party



Last night: International super-stars Sienna Miller and James Franco hosted VIPs, celebrities and influencers, including Poppy Delevingne, Peaches Geldof and Laura Bailey to name but a few, for the global reveal of BMW’s new electric car, the BMW i3 at Old Billingsgate Market.

Picture Shows:-LAURA WHITMORE.

Picture Shows:-LAURA WHITMORE.


Picture Shows:-PEACHES GELDOF.

Picture Shows:-PEACHES GELDOF.

Guests turned up in suitable attire adhering to the cocktail dress theme with stars Sienna Miller in a gorgeous Dolce & Gabbana sundress with Charlotte Olympia shoes and James Franco cutting a fine dash in a dark tailored GucciSuit. The fashion pack were out in force with fashion pioneer Laura Bailey wearing a Trager Delaney pink structured skirt, Prada baby-blue knit jumper with a crisp white YSL shirt finished off with a Christopher Kanejewelled clutch whilst friend of Sienna’s and Chanel muse Poppy Delevingne donned a pair of black cigarette pants from Missoni oozing effortless chic with a black top and casual denim shirt from Mother.

Picture Shows:-JAMES FRANCO.

Picture Shows:-JAMES FRANCO.


DJ for the night and rock star/fashion royalty Amber Le Bon stayed true to her heritage whilst giving a nod to the apparent end of the heat wave in a long sleeved autumnal coloured Moschino dress paired with rock star studded peep-toe sling backs whilst Royal in the making Donna Air arrived solo away from her boyfriend James Middleton showing off her envious figure off in Louis Vuitton black shirt and studded organza skirt with eye catching Markus Lupfer shoes topped off with a Biondi castana bag.


Picture Shows:-DONNA AIR.

Picture Shows:-DONNA AIR.




Stylist to the stars Grace Woodward and Britain’s next top more arrived with a heavy baby bump in an a-symmetrical, structured cream, pannelled dress matched with a snakeskin belt and snakeskin bag and her iconic glasses. Irish pocket rocket and presenter Laura Whitmore defied the dramatic skies and impending rain storm in a gorgeous short yellow shift dress from Motel Rocks contrasting with jet black Kurt Geiger suede court shoes and aJimmy Choo clutch. Boho mum of two Peaches Geldof took time out of her busy schedule to co-ordinate a chic ensemble consisting of cigarette pants, black and white striped crew necked T-shirt and a leather jacket teamed with eye-catching heels and a classic Chanel 2.5 bag.



Picture Shows:-JADE EWAN.

Picture Shows:-JADE EWAN.


The launch of the BMW i3 represents the dawn of a new era for electric mobility. The first series-produced vehicle from the BMW i brand is also the world’s first premium car with an all-electric drive system, which goes to an impressive 150kph. The design, space concept and driving characteristics of the BMW i3 are part of an overall package that opens up an all-new experience of emission-free mobility.