Melusine, Tower Bridge
Why it’s excellent
Head to St Katharine Docks on a balmy, spring afternoon and you’ll feel immediately transported to a Hvar waterfront, your holiday scene complete with the string of gleaming yachts that line the marina. A row of small bars and restaurants are dotted along the water’s edge, attracting chic Parisian-types who seem to congregate over gossip and aperitivos. But tucked away down a cobbled side street is the jewel in this riverside crown – Melusine.
Founded by Greek chef Theodore Kyriakou (the brains behind Livebait, once one of the hottest fish restaurants of its time) and Wade Mundford (the former manager at The Greek Larder, where Kyriakou and he first met), Melusine has a pared-back charm, a delicious menu of fresh, sustainably-sourced fish dishes and a wine list to go with it.
When to go
A first date. After a year of lockdown-induced romantic deprivation, why not ratchet up the bougie on date-night numero uno with a riverside rendezvous – champagne and oysters-style? Grab a table by the water and accept the waiter’s offer of a blanket when you sit down. Get cosy.
What to order
Oysters, obviously, and a bottle of their Goring Blanc De Blanc sparkling wine, which is made in Sussex. Proceed to cram your modest table with an array of small plates to share including the picked crab, apple, chilli and ginger salad; razor clams; taramosalata, with Jerusalem artichoke crisp, radish and pea shoots; the crab risotto and the scallops carrot purée and pomegranate. The mackerel is good too, but a little potent for a first date.
Something you’ll want to know
The Melusine is named after a Mermaid-like spirit or water fairy popularised in European folklore.