On a Saturday afternoon I took a trip to the Sunborn London situated by the Excel in London with a guest to see why people are raving about this super yacht. It has been turned into a luxury hotel and a fabulous place to relax with the Laurent Perrier Champagne Deck which opened this year.
Moored permanently at the Victoria Dock, Sunborn London is a unique floating hotel offering superb fine dining at its Lands End Restaurant. In addition to the immaculate, glamorous interior, dining on the al fresco deck affords phenomenal views of the city, the O2 Arena and the surrounding docklands.
The 128 metre-long, five storey craft boasts 136 roomy and elegant cabins and suites, spectacular views of Canary Wharf and central London, fine dining in the form of the Lands End Restaurant, the Sundown Bar, meeting and conference rooms, an auditorium and for those in need of pampering there is even an Elemis Spa. With its grand central staircase, spectacular crystal chandelier, teak wood panelling and brass railings, being at the Sunborn feels like an adventure on a luxurious cruise ship (albeit one that doesn’t sail, as this yacht does not have an engine).
Named in celebration of Victoria Dock’s original identity, the Lands End restaurant serves the finest food in surroundings to match your mood. Executive Head Chef, Patrick Piscopo, makes creative use of the best ingredients to provide signature dishes that draw from the best of British with Asian and Mediterranean influences.
The lovely Lency took us to a beautiful table overlooking the Docklands and showed the menu and explained what sites we could see out of the window, with water sports taking place and the Emirates cable car going back and forth. She got us water while we perused the menu.
For starters I went for the juicy seared scallops with spinach puree, roast chorizo and broad beans. The scallops were fresh and the dish was presented beautifully, I could have definitely eaten more! The chorizo added an extra layer of flavour and smelt divine. My guest for starters went for the wild mushroom and truffle velouté, which was creamy with a touch of pepper and served at the perfect temperature. The clever bowl design kept the velouté warm throughout eating and the warm bread served went well with the starter. The salted butter worked well with the bread and was a nice touch.
For the main course I was tempted (eventually after the hard decision of choosing as there was a lot I fancied on the menu) by the seared corn fed chicken breast with thyme pom puree, tenderstem broccoli and chicken jus. The mash that came with the dish worked well with the light jus and reminded me of comfort food that was soft on the pallet – the mash just melted in your mouth. The dish was great on a grey day like we had while sitting in the restaurant.
My co-dinner went for the slow cooked pork belly with English mustard, creamed garlic potato baby carrots and apple. The apple added a sweetness to the meat and the mustard mash. It was all filling food and well received by my guest who finished it all!
Dessert was next and as the Malbec Jelly was unavailable I was suggested the option of the Cheesecake which was lemon and ginger and such a light desert, not overpowering after a superb lunch. The other dessert ordered was the good old English favourite Sticky Toffee Pudding with butterscotch sauce. The dessert is a perfect choice for a winters indulgent treat, the pudding was moist and the vanilla ice cream enhanced the flavours coming through.
We were served Longue Roche Sauvignon Blanc Cotes 2016, a wine that worked well with all the dishes and Lazlo in the restaurant gave us information on where we could get it and how it is one of the favourite choices. It’s vibrant and zesty, with the classic sauvignon nose of gooseberries and a hint of tropical fruit on the light bodied, crisp, unoaked palate. It’s a very crisp easy drinking wine.
The Lands End restaurant was very popular with people having the afternoon tea, which did look pretty fabulous! They serve a traditional Afternoon Tea that features a selection of handcrafted delicate cakes and sweets, mini rich butter fruit scones served with fruit preserves and Devonshire clotted cream, and traditional finger sandwiches.
After our wonderful lunch and thoughtful service by a great team, we headed up to the coolest place to be in town as the sun decided to make an appearance, the new pop-up Laurent Perrier Champagne Deck in partnership with champagne house Laurent-Perrier. Passing the glorious chandelier we walked up a flight of stairs to be greeted by the bar staff and handed the menu.
Here you can expect specially created champagne cocktails on the nautical hotel’s top deck – it is 50 years since Laurent-Perrier launched their iconic cuvée rosé – and plenty of seafood-heavy nibbles, from crab-lobster arancini to crispy calamari. You get to sit on a fabulous pink deckchair taking in the sun on the deck while sipping on a glorious cocktail!
The Le Fizz cocktail, a potent mix of St Germain elderflower liqueur, fresh lemon juice and Laurent-Perrier La Cuvée, are sure to be the libation that whisks guests from the London cityscape to the French Riviera! We enjoyed lapping up the sun and chilling in the deckchairs as our afternoon aboard the Sunborn came to an end.
We thoroughly enjoyed our time at Sunborn – Lands End and Laurent Perrier Champagne Deck, a great venue and the staff are friendly where nothing is a problem and they will do anything they can to assist you. Come on board as you will not be disappointed and on a plus side . . . no bother of sea sickness!
Royal Victoria Dock