The driver pulled up outside the glittering façade of The Bulgari Hotel, alongside a line of perfectly valet-parked supercars that glistened like a row of exquisite jewels under the smoke grey clouds that filled the sky.
The Bulgari Hotel has secured one of the most coveted pieces of real estate in London. Located in the heart of Knightsbridge, a stones throw from Harrods and opposite One Hyde Park, a residential complex that is home to the world’s most expensive apartment (it recently sold for £140m).The Bulgari hotel is clearly the place to see and be seen. The lobby was bustling with an eclectic mix of beautiful people. The sound of their laughter filled the air as we made our way through the bar to the entrance of Rivea, at the very heart of the hotel.
The doorman greeted my partner and I with a warm smile and swept the door to the hotel open before our feet had hit on the pavement. The lobby was contemporary and quietly elegant with a theme of sleek graphite grey, luxurious sofas and complimentary pick and mix. Vases overflowing with white orchids graced most surfaces and the air was heavy with their scent.
The Bulgari hotel is clearly the place to see and be seen. The lobby was bustling with an eclectic mix of beautiful people. The sound of their laughter filled the air as we made our way through the bar to the entrance of Rivea, at the very heart of the hotel.
Celebrated Italian architects Antonio Citterio and Patricia Viel have created a space of casual elegance, which captures the beauty, and the relaxed nature of the Riviera. A vast curtain of shimmering silk channels the gentle lapping motion of the ocean whilst polished wooden floors, wall panels and majestic pillars hint at a luxurious nautical vibe that could be found on a billionaires yacht.
The service was outstanding throughout the evening, courtesy of Marie an engaging and efficient brunette with a lilting French accent who took perfect care of us throughout the evening. She was everything a waitress should be and more, she had a wicked sense of humour and we couldn’t help but smile whenever she appeared.
With a contemporary yet authentic feel, Rivea’s cuisine reflects the many years the iconic Alain Ducasse spent visiting vibrant food markets in Italy and Provence. At the helm of the restaurant is Ducasse’s protégé Chef Alexandre Nicolas.
Rivea is famous for its homemade bread which is known to change according to the seasons. Celebrated Pastry Chef Xavier Mertz’s creations include the renown delicate yet zesty lemon bread and focaccia with a deep black olive filling.
To start we had a simple yet refreshing dish of fresh Buffalo Mozzerella with Marinated Aubergine, Capers and Olives and a more decadent dish of Stone Bass Carpaccio and Pine Nuts.
For the main course we opted for the ‘Chef’s Suggestion’ of succulent seared Côte de Boeuf served with purple potatoes and wild mushrooms.
The menu is based on classic flavours teamed with the vivid colours of the Riviera, the dishes are simple and made with a myriad of local produce, both British and Mediterranean. There is Angus beef, seafood from Scotland and Irish lamb. From Italy, there is charcuterie from the famous Spigaroli brothers, Italian artisans whose family have produced cured meats for over a century and olive oil and Tagiascca olives, which are sourced from Terre Bormane.
For dessert, we opted for two to share. First was a Cookpot of Apple and Quince with Almond Milk Ice Cream, followed by the pièce de résistance, an opulent Hazelnut, Pear and Caramel Contemporary Vacherin.
Although Rivea is located in the heart of Knightsbridge, it is a world away from the bustling streets outside. It is the epitome of quiet elegance and outstanding cuisine. If you are looking to treat yourself to extraordinary meal, look no further than Rivea.
Bulgari Hotel London, 171 Knightsbridge, London SW7 1DW