It seems very fitting that the hottest day in the UK, probably ever, also happened to be my birthday. As my boyfriend will tell you, when it comes to body temperature and sun worshipping I have more in common with lizards and humans.
But even I was a little warm this day. At least indoors. The whole week it had been around 33C, sunny and humid and I think most people were hoping for a thunder storm to clear the air.
Of course I wasn’t, as I was hoping we could sit outside for dinner at The River Café, and luckily the birthday girl got her wish (after a quick downpour earlier in the evening but sans thunder and lightning) and we had the most wonderful evening on the beautiful terrace overlooking the Thames.
It was a lovely balmy evening and we immediately ordered champagne and plenty of water while we browsed the menu and tried to decide what to order – because I honestly wanted to eat every single thing on the menu – but we settled on a nice selection.
First we had the most wonderful fritto misto with scallops. The perfect starter for a hot day and we thoroughly enjoyed the simplicity and the perfection of it.
As I can never ever resist pasta (or carbs of any kind) we shared two half portions of pasta; the buffalo ricotta ravioli of dreams and the most delicious girolle pasta.
For the main course we shared the sirloin with various beets and rosemary potatoes. Wonderful flavours (although I would have expected the meat to be a bit more tender at a restaurant like this)!
And of course we had to order the famous chocolate nemesis cake for pudding, but also had some roasted almond ice cream on the side.
Even though we shared everything we were so full after this feast of a meal! And it was just perfect for a low key, but still special, birthday celebration.
As much as the food is wonderful here (and it really is!), I think what makes this restaurant so wonderful is the combination of the food and the ambiance. You’re in a beautiful spot in London by the river surrounded by fun and interesting people all enjoying themselves, and I think that is part of the allure of some restaurants. They have ‘it’ even though as you break down each element they may not all be perfect, but together they work so very well.
The River Cafe, Thames Wharf, Rainville Rd, London W6 9HA