The venue: Riva, my favourite restaurant bar none. The food is very, very good; it's northern Italian cooking. The restaurant is very small with understated decor but it's incredibly popular because of the food. The first time I went in there many years ago, A A Gill was there, which I thought was a good sign.
The company: The last lunch I had there was with an old mate from the BBC.
The conversation: We covered some industry gossip, politics, the Ashes cricket. We also talked about how he was worried about his salary being made public.
On the menu: Riva does an antipasto platter which is almost a meal in itself. It's got ham, melon, salami, goats' cheese, foie gras, pickles and is served with cornmeal pancakes. I almost always have that, it's like you're in northern Italy. I have it with a very good red wine, a Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, which is really gutsy and strong. I'm a bit of a creature of habit and usually have the same thing.
Come here often? I've been going there for years. People come from all over London to go there so it's not just a local restaurant. It's quite near the BBC and Sky so if you want to catch up with some mates, it's a good place to go for lunch.
Riva, 169 Church Road, London SW13Reuse content