Le Pont de la Tour, 36D Shad Thames, London SE1

Nothing on the landscape of London dining so greets the spring as the array of restaurants that lines the Thames at Tower Bridge. When the daffodils are out in Hyde Park, and legs of spring lamb hang in the windows of Allen's and Lidgate's, then (as Chaucer might have put it) folk long to go dining al fresco. For 20 years, the Pont de le Tour has offered City locals and rich tourists a gorgeous view of the river from the terrace. Terence Conran's flagship eaterie started life in 1992. Since then it's been bought by the D&D group (which owns 19 London restaurants, including the Pont's less posh neighbours, the Blueprint Café, the Cantina and Butler's Wharf Chop House) and celebrates its 20th birthday in October. Inspired by the whiff of Easter spring in the air last week, I went to pay my respects.

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Well dressed: Mark Hix's sensational, substantial, summery salads

It is now the season when main-course summery salads really come into their own. There are so many interesting leaves and vegetables around at this time of the year and it's dead-easy to impress your lunch or dinner guests with a simple, sophisticated main-course salad instead of a predictable main-course meat or fish dish. You may be sceptical about whether or not your guests are going to be happy with salad as a main course, but it's all about getting the balance right – so, for example, you could start your dinner party with a risotto or pasta dish and then it would be perfect to follow with one of these salads.