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River Cafe, London

Thames Wharf, Rainville Road
Hammersmith, W6
Tube: Hammersmith
Tel: 44 207 386 4200
view web site ›'s insider take:

What could be more blissful than a meal on the terrace of this perpetually booked, much-imitated Italian-style gastro-temple opened in 1987 by the late Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers? If the climate proves too chilly, the floor-to-ceiling windows in this former warehouse in the Hammersmith hinterland (designed by the firm of Ruth's husband, Richard Rogers) provide lovely views over gardens to the Thames. A crowd of heavy hitters and famous faces inconspicuously feast on the Tuscan bread salad or pasta or grilled meat or grilled fish or any other simple, perfect dish from the perpetually evolving menu. Of course, for not much more than the price of lunch here, you could fly to Tuscany and eat the real thing in situ. The best time to go is at lunch on a fine day.

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