Glass visits Bingham Riverhouse – a Richmond gem on the Thames

WHEN city life takes its toll, and you start dreaming about your next staycation, be sure to consider a visit to Bingham Riverhouse. Just a short tube ride away from Central London, situated in the peaceful borough of Richmond, this dreamy 15 guestroom boutique property overlooking the Thames is no doubt the best home away from home.

The beautiful grounds at the hotel overlooking the Thames

The property’s rich history can be felt as soon as you enter its homely interiors. Originally two Georgian town houses, the 18th century building was initially occupied by Lady Ann Bingham (whose sister married the first Earl of Spencer), before aunt and niece Katherine Bradley and Edith Cooper lived there from 1899-1914. The pair were authors, writing under the pseudonym Michael Field, and transformed the house into a hub for writers, including a certain William Butler Yeats. The hotel today touches on its literary foundations, with hundreds of Penguin classics filling its numerous bookshelves. 

Fine dining at the Bingham Riverhouse

Following a top-to-toe refurbishment earlier this year, the property thankfully retains its turn of the century ambiance whilst now incorporating modern, easy touches by star interior designer Nicola Harding, who has done a lovely job. A particular highlight is the spacious peach- and blond-hued bar which doubles up as the perfect place for afternoon tea, as well as the room where breakfast is served every day. It opens up to a cosy balcony which overlooks the hotel’s splendid, grassy gardens and the serene river where boats can be spotted. The garden on the ground floor, where guests are free to linger, actually leads directly to the towpath, which is wonderfully convenient. After checking in, we enjoyed late afternoon cocktails outside, served by the most welcoming and fun staff. It was a truly relaxing moment.

The bar and breakfast room at Bingham Riverhouse

As well as an elegant spot for taking drinks, Bingham Riverhouse has developed its superior reputation through an excellent restaurant, where we noticed locals and guests alike. Suffice to say, for those living in Richmond, this is likely the nicest place to eat in town. We sat down in the buzzing dining room, full of character and, again, spoiled by the riverside views, for a late afternoon lunch. Dishes are of the new British variety; expect fresh, simple plates like beetroot salad and salt baked carrot. For pudding there’s lemon posset and gooseberry tart. You can’t go wrong.

The smart dining room at the Bingham Riverhouse

After all that indulgence, you might be pleased to know that Richmond Park is on the hotel’s doorstep, so do go ahead and take that bracing walk among deer (the park is a national nature reserve). Also close by is Ham House, a historic National Trust landmark that is definitely worth the 20-minute walk up the road. 

British puddings at the Bingham Riverhouse

Back at the Riverhouse, you’ll be ready to get cosy after all of that outdoor activity. The guest rooms are all individual – no two rooms are the same – and are each named after Michael Field’s poems. The decor is an exercise in English Country chic – think large-scale beds and original fireplaces, and, if you’re lucky, a huge cast iron bath.

After a delightful breakfast the next morning – lots of fresh bread and homemade jams – we were certainly sad to leave this magical place. But, given how easy it is to reach Bingham Riverhouse, and how rejuvenating the experience is, a return visit will be taking place very soon.

by Derby Jones

Bingham Riverhouse

61-63 Petersham Road
Richmond upon Thames
London TW10 6UT

Tel: 020 8940 0902

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