Alpine Feast by the Thames

Côte in Kingston.

spiced-orange-rum-muleI am an unashamed supporter of Côte. ‘But it’s a chain,’ I hear my dear reader cry! Yes, it is and it’s a very good one. The food is delicious and well-presented with decent portions and all at a good price. They also offer special menus from time to time, and the Alpine Menu was the offering for these cold winter weeks.

We think of Alpine foods as being rich, warming and comforting, and ideal after a morning on the piste with all its the ‘christianas, and the stemming, and the potsing, and the schussing’ to quote from White Christmas. Well, OK so not much skiing to be found by the River Thames in Kingston but that Alpine spread was welcome on such a freezing day.

We started with copper mugs filled with refreshing Spiced Blood Orange Mules. Côte offers an alcoholic and non-alcoholic version to suit every member of party. This cocktail was a melange of rum, orange and ginger ale that offered hints of the original Moscow Mule but elevated the concept into something a bit more complex.

Plenty of bread for dipping

tartefletteDiots were our starters. These were bubbling dishes of traditional smoked sausage baked along with cherry tomatoes in a white wine and caramelised onion sauce, served with sourdough baguette. A great plate which was perfect as a start to the Alpine meal or even as a hot snack. The sausages flavoured the sauce marvellously and there was plenty of bread for dipping.

Tartiflette is another traditional French Alpine dish. It’s a comforting gratin of sliced potatoes, caramelised onion and smoked bacon lardons, topped with melted Reblochon and Comté cheese which is the most popular cheese across France.

But if there are two of you, I would suggest ordering Tartiflette Luxe. This is a larger tartiflette to share and is served with green salad, truffle saucisson, Bayonne ham, honey tomatoes, cornichons and sourdough baguette on a wooden platter. Very impressive and it constituted a substantial meal, fitting in this cold weather. Those honey tomatoes were sweet and flavourful and a great foil for the savoury saltiness of the tartiflette.

berry-crumble-tartApple and Blackberry Crumble Tart completed our meal. The individual tartlets were topped with a generous scoop of cinnamon ice cream and stood on a vibrant pool of winter berry coulis. Seasonal, sweet and attractive.

Côte never disappoints. It offers all the charm of an authentic French brasserie but with more choice, polite waiting staff and no passport control. A winner!


Learn more about Côte and its menu here