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Michelin Starred Food Sailing Down The Thames

20 April 2012

A Tall Ship trip on the Thames – a foretaste of fun to come during the Olympic Games

Let’s face it: a leisurely cruise (complete with drinks and eats created under the auspices of Michelin starred chefs) along the Thames on a Tall Ship is not an every day experience. Especially when there will be 16 Tall Ships to choose from: ranging from the 28 metre Jantje, right up to the 63 metre Wylde Swan.
 
From July 25th to August 12th, Sail Greenwich Ltd (a sister company of the Dutch Nautisch Evenementen Bureau that organises the world-famous Sail Amsterdam event) will be running two cruises a day on each of the 16 Tall Ships. Parties from 20 up to 120 people can book their Olympic Tall Ship trip now.
 
Guests board at the Royal Arsenal Pier (Woolwich) and their Tall Ship travels up river through the Thames Barrier, then passes close by the O2 Arena, the Royal Naval College, the fabulous Queens House, the Royal Observatory, the Cutty Sark tea clipper, the historic London docks and wharves, the skyscraping Canary Wharf area and other dramatic new riverside developments. Then the ship turns around in the shadow of Tower Bridge (where guests can marvel at the London skyscape featuring such iconic new buildings as the Shard, the Gherkin, the London Eye etc) before making its leisurely way back down river to Woolwich Arsenal. So guests can see all the sights a second time – albeit in reverse order and in a different light.
 
We were lucky enough to be invited to a late March evening trip on board Tall Ship Thalassa – a beautiful three masted 47 metre schooner – to sample the cruises that Sail Greenwich Ltd are offering during the Olympics. Representatives and guests from several leading companies and banks were there to assess the appeal of this never-to-be-repeated opportunity.
 
Few people ever get the chance to travel on a Tall Ship and the Thalassa provided a unique thrill – a thrill obviously shared by all the guests; sea-dogs and landlubbers alike. With her extensive on deck seating areas and characterful covered deck saloon, Thalassa provided all-weather viewing of all the sights that the Thames offers. As it motors serenely up river, guests can wander from side to side and bow to stern to take it all in. And all the while, the friendly Dutch crew handed around drinks and food - a succession of delicious and contrasting small dishes.
 
Michelin-starred chefs Richard Corrigan and Ron Blaauw (from Holland) have combined their skills to create recipes and menus designed specifically for the Sail Greenwich Ltd Olympic cruises. Under Corrigan’s and Blaauw’s guidance and supervision, three choices of menus (Walking Dinner, Gourmet Buffet or Buffet – each with a lunch and dinner variant) are produced by catering and hospitality students at Shooters Hill Post 16 Campus college. These students are already famous for their successful City View Restaurant, and the food served on Thalassa promises to be equally appetizing.
 
As the setting sun glinted off the Shard, Thalassa’s crew unfurled the squaresails from the foremast’s yardarms for the return trip from Tower Bridge. Further down river, the skyscrapers at Canary Wharf blazed in the evening light. All the guests agreed that it was little short of magical - before having to disembark and step back into the noise, crowds and clamour that is London on land. 
 
Details, prices, tailor made proposals and bookings: www.sailroyalgreenwich.co.uk  info@sailroyalgreenwich.co.uk  Tel: 0203 040 2350

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