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River Countess Dining

5.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
56 reviews
Editor Rating
Very Good
Louise Goldsbury
Cruise Critic Contributor

There are two dining venues: Savoy Restaurant, where breakfast, lunch and dinner are held, and Sienna Salon Sky Lounge, a glass-enclosed space for passengers who feel like having a lighter or quieter meal. The Il Castillo bar also serves afternoon snacks, such as sandwiches and cookies.

The main restaurant offers classic Continental cuisine, plus daily Italian specialties. Its decor is very elegant, with white and cream furniture, white tablecloths, leather booths, a chandelier and plenty of windows for mealtime sightseeing. Meals are served open-seating at set times, depending on the day's activities, with tables for two, four, six, eight and 10.

Breakfast is offered from a large buffet area in the center of the room. The spread includes a wide selection of cereal, breads, cheese, meat, fruit, yogurt, smoothies and fried foods like sausage and hash browns. A chef is designated to cook omelets and fried eggs; poached eggs and other dishes can be ordered separately from the kitchen at no extra charge.

Lunch includes a soup station, salad bar, carvery, hot entrees, pasta, sandwiches and desserts. Local delicacies are often provided as an optional treat.

Dinner features a full menu with several hot or cold starters like an antipasti plate, two soups (usually one consomme and one creamy option), three entrees (fish, meat and vegetarian), rich desserts and cheese plates showcasing Italian specialties that include stracchino, asiago and taleggio. If nothing on the menu is to your liking, you can ask for a more standard option like steak.

The service is efficient, although it occasionally takes a while to receive your meal or wine top-up. Friendly waiters always deliver with a smile.

Sienna Salon Sky Lounge on the Sun Deck is more casual, located in a sun-lit conservatory-style space that's covered by a glass roof and walls that can be opened or closed, depending on the weather. Open all day to cater to passengers who come and go, it's offered as an alternative venue for light meals in a quieter atmosphere. A long table is set up with pizza (cooked in the ship's new pizza oven), pasta, salad, soup and sandwiches, served by two or three chefs and waiters. Brunch and cocktail parties are also held there.

Red and white house wine, beer and soft drinks are complimentary at lunch and dinner at both venues. Prosecco is also handed out at the Captain's Welcome and Farewell events. All drinks (except premium spirits and some higher-end wines) will be free from 2014.

As a quick breakfast alternative, hot drinks and small snacks are available in the ship's lounge and downstairs coffee and tea station. Only suite passengers have the option of room service.

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