Originally two Georgian houses built in 1740 overlooking the River Thames at Richmond; today a comfortable, rather elegant hotel with a good restaurant. We called into The Bingham for lunch.
We admired the Lounge Bar with its handsome double-height ceiling and feeling of spaciousness but decided against a pre-lunch drink and headed instead for the dining room. We were ushered into a room with well-spaced tables and big windows and seated at a table looking out over the garden and across to the river. The soft muted wall colouring set against the unadorned wooden floor along with the solid, comfortable furnishings gave the room a gentle, almost old-fashioned feel, which we loved. It complemented the old building far better than any ultra-chic modern decor.
The view from the dining room is absolutely beautiful. It must be one of the best river views in London – the garden, the towpath and the river itself – fairly quiet in early winter but no doubt bustling with pleasure craft in the summer.
The service, led that day by the charming Nikhil, was friendly and attentive. It was a leisurely lunch. We were never rushed, but neither were we kept waiting. Nikhil instilled trust and confidence and we happily left him to choose our glasses of wine.
A selection of good bread with a quenelle of butter on the side appeared on the table along with an amuse-bouche of madeira and port jelly with a foamy truffle potato topping, as well as a light-as-a- feather cheesy profiterole. Friend opted for mackerel as a first course, me for sweet breads. Both excellent we agreed. To be honest whilst our main course, a sort of turkey roll, was as pretty as a picture we were both a little disappointed. It might have been better had it been cut into more delicate slices and for my taste the vegetables were on the salty side.
However, the sorbet palate cleanser was terrific and our dessert absolutely fabulous. I wanted to lick the plate clean! As if that wasn’t enough, coffee came with handsome petit fours – the little madeleines still warm from the oven.
We hadn’t expected the little treats like the amuse-bouche or palate cleanser – a delightful extra touch on The Bingham’s part. And yes next time Richmond Bridge way, we would certainly lunch again at The Bingham after all it offers a very good value three-course Market Lunch menu for £15 per head.
The Bingham has 15 smallish, but well-equipped and tastefully furnished rooms with prices starting at £130.
This year The Bingham celebrates its 30th birthday and the hotel owners along with Head Chef Mark Jarvis and General Manager Erick Kervaon are coming up with a number of celebratory ideas. These include 30 exciting give-aways, plus on the 30th of each month30 balloons will be released – catch one and you win lunch for two. Lots of other events will be taking place throughout the year.
The Bingham, 61 – 63 Petersham Road, Richmond upon Thames, Surrey TW10 6UT Tel: 0208 940 0902. www.thebingham.co.uk