There is no finer way to take in a city than from the water with a glass in your hand over dinner on a warm evening. In March, I boarded Bateaux Dubai’s Al Minsaf for a voyage along the Dubai Creek. This French-designed vessel takes a leisurely trip around the crescent of calm water, with the lights from the old Bur Dubai district mixing with those from the city’s newer Deira commercial area, while the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, twinkles like a colossal ornament on the skyline.
Inside the glass-panelled boat, diners tuck into the summer menu of tuna tartar tian, with watermelon, avocado and mango; braised veal cheek; and, for dessert, hazelnut coffee cake.
• Boarding starts at 7.45pm daily. A trip costs 520 Emirati dirhams (£110) per person, including wine. For more infomation, see JAResortsHotels.com.
A sedate and sunny dinner
If you fancy a river excursion a little closer to home, how about the newly launched six-course dinner voyage from Windsor to Bray aboard Bateaux Windsor’s Melody? This is a “sedate affair”, says James Hughes-Onslow in the Daily Mail. He ate roasted cauliflower soup as the boat passed Windsor Racecourse, smoked mackerel near Boveney Lock, and slow-cooked featherblade steak near Monkey Island. Then downstream, it was bitter chocolate praline, Cornish brie, coffee and petits fours, accompanied by red and white wines plus port. “All on a brilliantly sunny evening.”
• Tickets from £75 per person. Book on BateauxLondon.com/Windsor.
Meander the canals of Burgundy
For a longer six-night voyage along the waterways of Burgundy, the MS Jeanine meanders along the region’s canals, allowing its 24 passengers to admire “the hillside vineyards, pretty villages and fine food and wine”, says Helen Pickles in The Daily Telegraph. “Weirdly, this indolence never failed to induce an appetite. Chef Mouss whipped up marvels… lamb gigot with ratatouille, blanquette de veau, salmon in lobster sauce, millefeuille with blackberry mousse, crème brûlée,” and a different cheese plate every day.
• Trips from £1,895, including Eurostar fare. Visit GreatRail.com for details.