It’s just a short hop across the bridge from bustling Hammersmith, but Barnes’ village-like ambience is immediately relaxing. Riva has been serving the neighbourhood for 20-plus years and little has changed in that time. The small dining room, decorated in terracotta and olive tones, has a rustic, lived-in feel. The food sticks to simple traditions, and adventurous diners may need more persuasion than the plucky wine list to part with their cash, as prices are high and there are no set menus to alleviate the pain. We started with a tried-and-true combination of ravioli with crab and peas; for £13, we’d hoped for more than a few strands of crabmeat. Presentation is satisfyingly earthy, however; witness roast milk-fed lamb studded with rosemary and simply paired with cubes of roast potato.The maal concluded with a boozy crêpe served with prunes stewed in grappa. Reception from the owner was frosty, but the atmosphere soon thawed thanks to the friendly disposition of his waiting staff.