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Dinner… on a double-decker bus: Inside London’s amazing fine-dining restaurant on wheels (with magnetic placemats and holders for the wine glasses)

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Being driven around London, cruising past Harvey Nicks, and indulging in a six-course gourmet dinner. It sounds like an episode of Absolutely Fabulous.

Except we’re on a bus.

Bustronome, a double-decker bus converted into an upscale moving restaurant, combines a traditional sightseeing tour of London with fine dining.

Unlike your typical alarmingly red tour bus, its sleek black exterior is more inconspicuous.

As you wait for it to arrive at Embankment bus station, it’s easy to mistake Bustronome for any other coach. That’s until you step inside.

Bustronome combines a traditional sightseeing tour of London with fine dining. MailOnline Travel's Jessica Hamilton had the chance to try the moving restaurant last month

Bustronome combines a traditional sightseeing tour of London with fine dining. MailOnline Travel’s Jessica Hamilton had the chance to try the moving restaurant last month

The top deck has room for 38 diners in table configurations of two to eight and boasts a clear glass roof

The top deck has room for 38 diners in table configurations of two to eight and boasts a clear glass roof

Entering through the middle door, my dining companion and I pass a small galley, where a single chef is preparing our first course, before making our way upstairs to an elegant dining area.

The top deck has room for 38 diners in arrangements of two to eight. The wooden tables and chairs are firmly attached to the floor, and each table is meticulously arranged, with magnetic placemats that keep the cutlery secure.

Above us, a clear glass roof encases the restaurant, offering panoramic views of the city.

Seating us comfortably in a padded booth, our waiter swiftly welcomes us with a glass of Champagne and neatly slots it into a custom-made transparent table holder, which holds several glasses throughout the evening.

He then directs us to a QR code, which reveals our virtual menu and the bus route. Ahead of us are six courses, four different wines and a glimpse of some top London attractions.

Meals on wheels: Bustronome has a ‘sleek black exterior’, unlike London’s usual sightseeing buses

The clear glass roof 'encases the restaurant' and offers 'panoramic views of the city'. Above - Jess takes in the sights

The clear glass roof ‘encases the restaurant’ and offers ‘panoramic views of the city’. Above – Jess takes in the sights

Before the bus sets off, I reach to pour myself some more water, but the eagle-eyed waiter quickly advises: ‘Only fill the glasses up halfway. If we go over a speed bump, they’ll topple over.’

Despite my initial apprehensions about broken plates and spilt drinks, the evening unfolds smoothly. We glide around the city centre, with only the occasional wobble of a wine glass to remind us we’re mobile.

‘How do you stay upright,’ I ask our waiter. ‘We’ve got magnets on our feet,’ he jokingly responds. But it may as well be true, as the six courses are effortlessly served throughout the evening.

First up was tuna tartare, served with avocado, tomato and spicy ponzu dressing. Next, a roasted aubergine salad served with tahini sauce, lettuce, spring onion and pomegranate.

Each table has a custom-made transparent drink holder, which holds several glasses throughout the evening

Each table has a custom-made transparent drink holder, which holds several glasses throughout the evening

Above is the first course, tuna tartare, served with avocado, tomato and spicy ponzu dressing

Pictured is mango pana cotta served with homemade crumble

LEFT: Tuna tartare, served with avocado, tomato and spicy ponzu dressing. RIGHT: Mango pana cotta served with homemade crumble

Above is the rack of lamb, served with sweet potato puree in a blueberry sauce

Pictured is pan-seared salmon served with leek and potato veloute

LEFT: Rack of lamb, served with sweet potato puree in a blueberry sauce. RIGHT: Pan-seared salmon served with leek and potato veloute.

Other courses included pan-seared salmon, a rack of lamb, brie cheese with apple and bear chutney and brioche, and mango panna cotta.

The menu changes seasonally, with the chef promising ‘the best of English gastronomy with a French twist’.

Each dish was equally impressive as the last, but the highlight remains the ever-changing views of London’s top attractions.

Crossing Tower Bridge at sunset, the city’s skyline transforms before us, framed by the clear glass roof of the bus.

As we pass landmarks such as St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and Harrods, I find myself snapping more tourist photos than I have in the entire two years of living in London. They’re much easier to appreciate while cocooned from the hustle and bustle below.

'The highlight remains the ever-changing views of London¿s top attractions,' Jess writes. Pictured is the sunset above London Bridge

‘The highlight remains the ever-changing views of London’s top attractions,’ Jess writes. Pictured is the sunset above London Bridge 

Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, St Paul's Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and Harrods are just some of the attractions on show

Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and Harrods are just some of the attractions on show

Navigating through the city’s traffic is a typically slow and tedious affair, but to my surprise, the evening wraps up on time. 

Three hours later, we find ourselves back at Embankment, the bus stationary and the doors open, offering guests the chance to exit or savour their drinks for a bit longer.

A Bustronome London six-course dinner (lasting three hours) costs £120 per person, or £150 with wine pairing and £50 for children. A four-course lunch costs £70 or £90 with wine pairing for adults and £40 for children. Afternoon tea is priced at £69, or £89 with bottomless prosecco and £40 for children.

Bustronome also operates in Paris. More information about both tours can be found at www.bustronome.com/en/

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