Is it location, food, or service, which makes a good restaurant one to remember? While dining at a new beauty spot on the River Thames a sample of all three came rushing towards us.

From the moment you enter the grand Riverlight restaurant, overlooking the calm waters of the river at Bourne End Marina, you have no choice but to lap-up what the attentive waiters have to offer.

My partner Lauren and I set sail for the latest craft to plant its anchor at the riverside on a calm and bright evening.

Had it not been for the promise of food heaven waiting for us at the top of the stairway, we could have easily spent the evening watching the sunset from the car park.

However, we had no need to worry. Moored next to a wall of glass, from above the ground the river looked more beautiful than before and as our menus arrived we became aware that the new restaurant would swim into our hearts.

Overcome by our surroundings, I plumped for a seafood favourite, the hand dived Orkney scallops, Stornoway black pudding, caramelised cauliflower puree, served with a golden raisin and almond dressing (£11).

The juicy scallops were plump and packed full of flavour, while the soft black pudding and smooth cauliflower puree perfectly complimented the sticky dressing.

Lauren went for the crispy carver duck breast cooked sous vide, broccoli puree, poached cherries, smoked duck heart and chargrilled broccoli salad (£10).

The delectable meat was cooked pink and melted in the mouth, while the sweet cherries helped induce the many rich flavours.

After a refreshing amuse-bouche between courses, my tastebuds were tingling at the sight of my main of a trio of Dean Timpson pork (£24.00).

With a confit belly, pot roasted shoulder and sous vide tenderloin – this was a gold medal winner befitting of those who have plied their trade on this stretch of water in the past.

Throwing her line into the water for a main meal, Lauren plucked out a Stone Bass fillet (£19).

The delicately cooked fish was coated with a crunchy and flavoursome skin, and was served alongside a fennel and fish sauce, confit fennel, baby potatoes, samphire and cockles.

As the captain for our journey home, I was unable to sample the beverages carefully picked to match each option on the menu, while Lauren and other guests marvelled at the restaurants genius when sampling the carefully thought out suggestions.

Having already tasted various sumptuous courses, we were convinced to dip our toes in the water and try a dessert.

Lauren selected the intriguing Lemon and Thyme treacle tart (£8), while I went for the dark orange fondant (£8). The tart was sweet, but beautifully neutralised by the accompanying apple jelly and clotted cream ice cream, while the fondant and superb side of orange foam and salted caramel ice cream typified the work of the clever kitchen team.

It takes expert minds to conjure up a series of mouth-tingling ingredients on one plate and still guarantee the final dish leaves a lasting impression on the diner – but no challenge was too difficult for this young set of chefs who ensured their exquisite food came in waves.

For more information about Riverlight, visit