Perched on the world’s oldest surviving cast-iron pier, Gravesend’s Riva offers both a lively bar and a laid-back restaurant – it’s the perfect venue for a family meal or larger event. The venue boasts floor-to-ceiling windows and enviable Thames-side views, providing a suitably impressive vista for special occasions. It’s available for weddings and parties, and they regularly host live music, so your guests are in for a treat.
Riva is equally suitable for more intimate dinners, as my partner and I discovered one Sunday afternoon. Drawing on culinary influences from as far and wide as the ships passing by outside, Riva specialises in modern European fare. On our visit, we opted for meat, with my partner tucking into juicy rib-eye steak with chunky hand-cut chips, while I savoured tender confit duck leg, beautifully offset by the accompanying rich braised red cabbage. The highlight for me was the starter. I began with a mushroom, goat’s cheese and caramelised red onion tart, which proved delicate yet complex. Creamy cheesecake served with mixed berries and dreamy lemon tart with chocolate sauce brought the meal to a sweet conclusion.
There’s a less formal menu in the separate bar area, and the wonderful cocktail list and liqueur coffees are available in both parts of this stunning establishment.