I’m a big fan of Richmond – the leafy Surrey town with its buzzy Riverside area and nearby Richmond Park, famous for its deer, charming stately home called Pembroke Lodge and a protected clear-line telescopic view out to St Paul’s Cathedral in London City.
Around this area, you will also find The Bingham – a beautiful, small but perfectly formed Georgian townhouse boutique hotel, complete with fine dining restaurant and intimate champagne and cocktail bar. Without too much bias, it is also the local haunt where Mr Husband and I have frequented many a time for a laid back, yet highly sophisticated drink and where he proposed to me over a candle-lit dinner on the terrace, overlooking the River Thames.
Without further deliberation or any doubt, we booked in for a gourmet dinner one balmy summer’s night to celebrate our second anniversary and re-live the romantic experience.
We started with a cocktail at the lounge bar (a rose Martini for me and Manhattan for him) and walked through the French doors to the balcony to welcome a covetable outside dining table, embracing the warm evening.
Food here is modern British, using fine, seasonal ingredients and we opted for the a la carte menu with some suitably matched wines. I went for the delicately prepared cured sea bream tartare with pickled fennel and marinated cucumber, lemon and crème fraiche to start, followed by Romney Marsh lamb, cooked perfectly with a tender pink middle, served with baked olive crumbs and shallots, gem lettuce, goats curd potatoes and a green puree. Mr Husband had the Dorset crab risotto with deep fried soft shell crab, Thai basil and a shellfish and orange dressing, followed by dry aged Scottish Beef with oxtail and bone marrow, beer pickled onions and barley malt. Desserts were equally delectably divine. Try the salted butter caramel with apple compote, cider cream, chocolate disc and vanilla ice cream to round off your meal.
Romantically so, we looked out on to the property’s groomed garden lawn down below, where a wedding reception was taking place in full swing. It’s clear to see that The Bingham would make for a splendid venue for any celebration, or when dining privately.
For those who venture from further afield to visit this London outskirt, there are also 15 deluxe guest rooms with art-deco inspired furniture and all the necessary mod-cons to spend a night (or few) in. There’s a fantastic service where you can experience treatments such as massages, manicures, or even have your makeup done, all in the comfort of your room (if you’re booked in a larger space). You can even hire a Bingham Pashley bike and take a ride to capture the very essence of Richmond, or sit pretty at the lounge bar during the day to enjoy its dreamy afternoon tea.
For more information visit : www.thebingham.co.uk