In recent years London Bridge has exploded with a wealth of restaurants opening up in the area. Taking advantage of the river views, constant footfall, and central location, diners can find a range of quality restaurants, from high-end brasseries to cafes for artisan coffee.
On a particularly glorious day, I headed to this scenic part of London to dine at Italian restaurant Tavolino and revel in the outstanding views and fantastic food.
We sat on their recently added 100-seater terrace to enjoy a menu of dishes and drinks inspired by the Italian coast. Located on the banks of the River Thames, the terrace boasts incomparable views of the City and London’s iconic Tower Bridge. It certainly is the place to come if you’re looking to soak up the best that London has to offer.
The menu and décor at Tavolino is designed to transport guests to Italy’s Bay of Naples and their ‘la dolce vita’ lifestyle. Many of the dishes are perfect for grazing including starters such as burrata, datterini tomato and black olive and honeyed garlic focaccia with extra virgin olive oil. The focaccia is made at the restaurant and is as fresh as you can get in London.
For our starters we tried the Zucchini fritti, which arrived as an extremely large portion bowl of battered zucchini strips, which were extremely moreish and we couldn’t stop picking at it!
We also ordered a few cocktails. The drinks menu at Tavolino includes expertly curated ITALICUS cocktails, with a variety of cocktails that offers something for everyone. The Alba Chiara blends ITALICUS with a delicately floral homemade peach and chamomile cordial and light Fever Tree tonic. The Dolce Nuvola encapsulates Capri’s renowned lemons with its intense citrus flavour and the Bella Vita is a refreshing long drink with hibiscus syrup.
The larger courses at Tavolino include a mixture of pastas and pizzas. We opted to try the pasta dishes as the pasta is made fresh onsite and they looked irresistible. I opted for the lamb shoulder open ravioli and was expecting a small dish with a few pieces of ravioli. However the dish that arrived was a large portion with plenty of delicious fresh pasta coating a large amount of richly flavoured pulled lamb.
We also tried the silk handkerchiefs with walnut butter and confit Burford Brown yolk on top. This was also a fantastic dish, which even though only featured a few ingredients, was bursting with flavour. In fact the confit Burford Brown egg yolk was so well cooked, the pasta didn’t require anything further flavours to enrich it.
Other main course options at Tavolino include steamed sea bass fillet with Sicilian zucchini salad, grass-fed braised beef and summer truffle, polenta and stracchino, and crispy, hand stretched, sourdough based pizzas.
We were quite stuffed after our large main courses, but after seeing the dessert menu, there was one dish that we just couldn’t resist. The Tiramichoux promised a seductive mixture of my two favourite desserts, tiramisu and choux buns. When it arrived it didn’t disappoint. As with everything else at Tavolino, it was a large portion including a choux bun sliced in half and filled with a tiramisu filling. The dessert wasn’t as decadent as it looked and it’s light and airy texture meant it was very easy to finish.
Other desserts on the menu include Balsamic chocolate mousse served with Planeta olive oil ice cream, and Amaretto panna cotta with seasonal strawberries.
To finish our Italian meal we couldn’t leave without an Italian style coffee, so we ordered an espresso macchiato and an affogato. Both coffees were strong and hit the spot, helping us finish the meal on a high.
I was very impressed with the quality and the portion sizes at Tavolino. Often with restaurants located so close to popular tourist destinations, the food can be overpriced and they ultimately underdeliver. However, this is certainly not the case with Tavolino.
As it was a particularly warm day we were seated outside on the Terrace space which was the ideal spot to take in the location. Yet after exploring the restaurant I was impressed to see that the indoor dining spaces also offered stunning panoramic views of the City of London and Tower Bridge.
This makes Tavolino an ideal destination at any time of year to experience the best of Italian cuisine by the river.