Hotel review

London hotel reviews: Inside Bingham Riverhouse in Richmond upon Thames

Fancy a luxury hotel in London but don’t fancy the madness of the West End? This Victorian Grand Dame is just what you need, with views of the Thames and Kew Gardens just a stone’s throw away

  • Joanna Tweedy checks in at the 15 bedroom Bingham Riverhouse in Richmond upon Thames, London
  • She recommends paying a supplement for the Baudelaire room, where “a copper roll-top offers a bath with a view”
  • MasterChef-winning chef Steven Edwards prepares ‘inventive little plates’ in the hotel restaurant

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Sit on the fine upper terrace of Bingham Riverhouse and you will have a private view of the River Thames in London’s upscale Richmond district and all the diverse people who appreciate it.

Rowers run by pulling oars while other boats move slowly, while dog walkers and joggers pass under swaying willows. And guests of the 15-room Riverhouse can reach them by stepping through a hidden door in the hotel grounds.

Go up the towpath and it’s bucolic splendor in almost every way. Kew Gardens is a short bus or walk to Richmond Park where red deer and fallow deer have roamed its 2,500 acres since the 17th century.

The Victorian frontage of Bingham Riverhouse, where guests enjoy a private view of the River Thames

Closer still are Petersham Meadows, by the river, home to Belted Galloway cows and Petersham Nurseries Cafe, which has been awarded a Michelin Green Star for the sustainability of its meat, fruits and vegetables.

Inside the Bingham, a squeaky Victorian grande dame of a hotel, there are plenty of references to Richmond’s bright literary history.

Part of the hotel was once owned by 19th century poets Edith Cooper and Katherine Bradley, who entertained WB Yeats and Robert Browning here.

Today, vintage shelves in the Penguin Classics line and some bedrooms are named after works by Michael Field – the secret common pen name of Cooper and Bradley.

From Bingham Riverhouse, Joanna watches the rowers, the cruising boats, the dog walkers and the joggers

From Bingham Riverhouse, Joanna watches the rowers, the cruising boats, the dog walkers and the joggers

The bathtub with copper wheels in the Baudelaire de Bingham room

Joanna describes the property as a 'chic breeze hole for weekend visitors to London who don't like the madness of the West End

Soak up the view: the copper rolling tub in Bingham’s Baudelaire Room (left). Joanna describes the property as a ‘chic breeze hole for weekend visitors to London who don’t like the madness of the West End

Part of the hotel was once owned by 19th century poets Edith Cooper and Katherine Bradley, who entertained WB Yeats and Robert Browning here.

Part of the hotel was once owned by 19th century poets Edith Cooper and Katherine Bradley, who entertained WB Yeats and Robert Browning here.

Former MasterChef: Professional champion Steven Edwards (pictured) is in charge of the kitchen at Bingham Riverhouse.  Its five-course lunch costs £ 55 per person

Former MasterChef: Professional champion Steven Edwards (pictured) is in charge of the kitchen at Bingham Riverhouse. Its five-course lunch costs £ 55 per person

Current owner Samantha Trinder grew up in the hotel after her parents bought it as an unloved B&B in 1984, and it’s now unhealthy, a chic hideaway for weekend visitors to London who don’t like the madness of the West End.

The palette is made up of pale pinks and moody blues – and the staff, dressed in mulberry-colored chinos and light blue shirts, almost match the walls.

Rooms are brighter and have all the essentials, with comfy king-size beds and sparkling bathrooms filled with trendy La-Eva products.

We loved the bar with its team of mixologists: my tip is a variation of Tom Collins, a gin and lemon classic that is a hit before dinner.

In the kitchen, Steven Edwards is in charge.

This 2013 MasterChef: The Professionals 2013 Series winner’s tasting menus change monthly, or there’s a five-course lunch at £ 55 per person.

What to expect? Creative little plates include duck egg yolk simmered with Jersey Royal mash and a nasturtium. We also loved a pistachio Stinking Bishop cheese and rose sorbet.

USP: An independent getaway for adults in a leafy part of the capital with Kew Gardens and Richmond Park just a stone’s throw away.

The rooms: Victorian boutique rooms designed for 21st century guests. Pay a small supplement for the Baudelaire room where a copper roll-top offers a bath with a view.

The food: Even the smallest of plates call for a lot of imagination – fine cuisine with a matching cocktail menu.

TRAVEL FACTS

Bingham Riverhouse, Richmond upon Thames. B&B costs from £ 140 per night (binghamriverhouse.com).

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