Some of my favourite spots in London during the summertime, are the ones that make me feel like I'm on holiday and feel like I've escaped from the city for a little bit. With a name like London Riviera, this little dining pop up right by the river fits the bill exactly - al fresco dining, colourful surroundings and a fantastic view. Not a bad combination if you ask me.
Combine that with seriously delicious, fresh and sharing-friendly food, this is a winner for the (hopefully) many warmer evenings through out the summer. You might remember that I visited Ceru's first pop up at the beginning of the year, when they were located near Oxford Circus. Now they've set up in a different kind of scene, and I think it suits their cuisine and vibe perfectly. The Levantine food is just the sort of thing I like to enjoy for dinner, sitting outside with a cold drink!
They invited a bunch of us blogger types along for the launch, and we had a feast on our hands! I think that the food was actually even better than when I had it at their previous location, although the glorious sunshine and atmosphere may have had something to do with it as well. We sipped on a few cocktails, got stuck in with their fresh pita with a trip of dips, courgette and mussel fritters, calamari, slow-cooked lamb shoulder, carrots with yogurt and pine nuts, and the most beautiful plate of cauliflower you'll ever meet. My favourites were the courgette fritters and the lamb shoulder (the lamb is exceptional), but everything was excellent. None of it weighs you down too much, either - most of their dishes are olive oil based rather than dairy, all their meat is halal, and they have plenty of options that are gluten free, vegetarian and friendly for other dietary requirements.
The chef, Tom Kime, is very friendly and will explain to all the the ideas and details about his dishes, and Patricia is always the warmest, most welcoming hostess and will make you feel right at home. I had a great evening with friends, snapping away with natural light (a food blogger's dream!), watching the sun go down and give that dreamy golden glow to even the most grey of city buildings.
I suggest you grab some company and head there the next warm evening that comes along - you'll feel like you're on holiday with happy tunes playing, you can chill out on one of the sun beds to digest all the delicious food you'll eat, and you can enjoy the sunset with a drink in hand. Am I selling it to you yet?