Until 31 August 2016 a pink ship is moored on the River Thames at the Victoria Embankment, just two minutes from the Embankment tube station. Most people know her as the RS Hispaniola, but the Hispaniola has had a temporary makeover.
A makeover created by Benefit Cosmetics, the San Francisco based company, which was founded there 40 years ago and which launched in London in 1997.
The Good Ship Benefit, as she is known as for the summer, is themed around some of Benefit’s most popular products, as well as introducing visitors to new products. She is also open to visitors of both sexes so that everybody can enjoy the on-board fun and entertainments.
Themed restaurants and bars
The ship’s decks and rooms have been transformed into themed restaurants, bars and entertainment venues - as well as offering beauty treatments. For instance there is The Brow Lounge, The POREfessional Vault, the Hoola decks and the Lashitude.
The Brow Lounge not only transforms eyebrows but also offers brunch and afternoon tea. The POREfessional Vault reveals the secrets of flawless skin in a 1960s, spy-chic room along with the opportunity of sipping a POREfect cocktail. Whilst the open Hoola Decks ( Hoola bronzing powders) with their Hawaii-inspired Tiki huts and cabanas, offer cocktails and light snacks and of course stunning river views.
Robert and I had a reservation for lunch at The Lashitude restaurant (promoting Benefit’s mascara) on the Upper Deck. We lunched early and were given a table by the window so as we ate we could watch the hustle and bustle of river craft.
San Francisco inspired dishes
Our dishes from the San Francisco inspired menu were charmingly served by Susie, whose brother is one of the Hispaniola’s regular chefs. One of us had Smoked salmon with pickled orange and avocado puree, the other (because it was based on an Alice Waters recipe from the Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley, San Francisco) chose the excellent Baked Capricorn goats cheese, spring lettuce, beetroot and pine nuts.
Starters were followed by the Dressed crab mornay, salad and fries and the Slow braised pork belly, sautéed King prawns, peas and creamed potato. Prices start from £6.50 (starters), £16.50 (mains) and £6.50 (desserts). Wine by the glass from £5.50.
10/10 for service and ambience; 7.5/10 food and value for money. A very enjoyable time on board and one of us plans on a return visit for the Brow Lounge experience.
Lunch daily 12pm -3pm, Afternoon Tea 3pm - 6pm and Dinner 6pm 10pm until 31 August 2016.
Open 11am – 11pm on Sunday – Thursday, and 11am – 12am on Friday and Saturday.