Blueprint Café: Room with a view (June 2017)

Walk five minutes east from the tourists and Tower Bridge and you will find yourself in Shad Thames. Even to many a Londoner, there is a certain other-worldliness to this place; it speaks of history and the past, a place of secrets and undiscovered potential. Yet, it is well worth a visit. Indeed, on a sunny day in London when outside space is at a premium, a trip to the Blueprint Café (located in the London Design Museum) is a worthwhile excursion. The venue is all white-washed walls and mirrors, and the feel is light and airy. It is, in some ways, more reminiscent of Sydney than London in terms of vibe. And, the views are amazing: look one way, and you have the most famous bridge in town on the foreground, the skyscrapers of the City behind; to the other side, the river extends and Canary Wharf lurks. The dining proposition is simple: fresh modern British food with a hint of acknowledgement towards the continent, all executed highly professionally. I began with fresh asparagus and a poached pheasant's egg, my comrade with scallops. Both pleased highly in terms of presentation and taste. The mains saw a continuation although the cynic would highlight that it is hard to mess up fish & chips (my comrade's option), while I found my salmon (accompanied by prawns and capers) somewhat over-engineered; what it gained in looks, it lost in taste. Our Muscadet, chosen from a sensible and broadly conservative wine list, certainly helped move things along. At £50/head, with a great view and relaxed service, this is a good place, and one still relatively undiscovered.