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Inspired by his restaurant of the same name in St Tropez, global über-chef Alain Ducasse has launched Rivea in what was Il Ristorante – the flagship dining room in the basement of the swanky
Bulgari Hotel. Like its jet-setting sibling, the new eatery focuses on la cuisine de soleil (ie. the Franco/Italian food of the Riviera), with Ducasse protégé Damien Leroux heading up the kitchen.
Expect a menu of vivid, colourful dishes, with vegetables playing a key role in proceedings: the Rivea salad comes wrapped in a socca (a Provençal chickpea crêpe), while pasta might include
artichoke and borage ravioli or casareccia with raw and cooked courgettes. The menu also lists tigelle (flatbreads), assorted charcuterie and bigger plates of, say, rib and saddle of lamb with new
potatoes and broad beans. Ducasse also promises a ‘chic, convivial and relaxed’ vibe to match the food.
I have been wanting to try Rivea London at the Bulgari hotel for a while and since it is not too hard to get a booking, it was a good option for dinner when we had to change plans with just one day of notice. I had read/heard mixed things. My boss had been there for breakfast and hated the room but was willing to give it a second shot as he had heard the food was good.We met our friends Seema (she is launching her styling business soon and super talented) and Kush first for a drink upstairs at the bar. The manager was absolutely lovely and very thoughtful and made sure we were happy with our drinks and didn’t push us at all to rush downstairs to dinner...
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When I first heard that Alain Ducasse was opening a Rivea in London, at the Bulgari Hotel, I was rather excited to say the least. Then when Henry invited me to review it with him for the Belgravia Residents Journal, I may have squealed a little. I'll actually be writing the review for the BRJ, so I'll post the link on Twitter when it's out next month! Rivea in St Tropez has been open for just over a year, and is famous for it's combination of Italian and French food. Rivea in London is no different, with the purpose being to share small plates of Mediterranean cuisine with your companions in an informal atmosphere. The Chef at Rivea London is Damien Leroux, Alain Ducasse's protege who he has been training up for over 10 years in Provence and Monaco...
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Half-term is always a good opportunity for me to jump in on one of my Dad's lunch reservations, and Alain Ducasse's Rivea was his next appointment. We were recently in the area for Dinner by Heston at the Mandarin Oriental, but went the opposite direction out of Knightsbridge tube this time to the Bulgari Hotel.The walk to Rivea takes you past an enticing patisserie selection in the lounge and a rather stylish bar, before you make a grand entrance down the vast spiral staircase.It's a glamorous dining room, and the food was delightful throughout, though I found myself agreeing with pretty much everything Fay Maschler said about it, so you might as well read that first - Fay Maschler's Evening Standard review...
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They didn’t play The Girl from Ipanema, but they might as well have done. Hotel muzak is alive and well. Bulgari (or, according to my autocorrect, Vulgari – it knows) is that wildly expensive jewellery brand, owned by LVMH which now gives its name to an hotel. Expanding the branding.There are lots of sparkly bits in the decor, maybe as a sort of spangly homage to its origins. It’s the sister restaurant to the Rivea at the Hotel Byblos in St Tropez. I think the other Rivea might have a better view. Or even a view.I was entirely delighted to have chosen a windowless basement room for dinner, on one of the most beautiful evenings of the year. Reservation fail. But I did get to sashay down the grand curved staircase, with its glittery draped curtain, into a dining room which hadn’t quite got going at 7 pm...
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