A love letter to Richmond (plus Bingham Riverhouse review)
The London Borough of Richmond Upon-Thames is one of my favourite places in the world. I have happy memories of living nearby in St Margaret's when I worked for Travel PR Agency for a few years in my mid 20s; the first time I was doing PR for an industry that I loved, rather than Hitachi air conditioning units, one of my clients at the previous creative agency that I worked for (yes, really).
It was a glorious place to live. The warm summer nights drinking wine at Pitcher & Piano overlooking the river...walks to the very chic Petersham Nurseries for amazing cake... or heading up Richmond Hill for that dreamy view that never gets old. I even got married at Pembroke Lodge in Richmond Park, so Richmond will always hold a special place in my heart.
My husband and I always try to visit at least once a year ever since the wedding and this year's trip took place at the end of 2021 as I was reviewing the Bingham Riverhouse hotel for The Hotel Guru.
Earlier this year I appreciated watching the comedy series, Ted Lasso, which is based in Richmond and many of my favourite places there feature in scenes. During our stay, we walked down the quaint alleyway where Ted 'lives' and past his favourite pub (called The Princes Head in real life). The popularity of the show was obvious - there were loads of other fans there with their phones out taking photos and confused looks from drinkers outside the pub that hadn't seen the show.
Anyway, Bingham Riverhouse may be small but it's glorious is many ways and I'd recommend it to couples, small groups of friends or even colleagues looking for a team away day.
With its glam, easy-living style decor designed by the popular designer Nicola Harding, the hotel has a Soho House, members-only vibe to it (and it does, in fact, offer membership). The chic, spacious bar with grand high ceilings is one of the hotel’s best features (featured in my Instagram reel above). It's very easy to lose track of time over a glass or more of champagne there, while soaking up the riverside views.
And afterwards, you can dine at its impressive Steven Edwards Restaurant, which serves a delicious, carefully-crafted tasting menu of local and British produce - a meal that feels special (and very filling - maybe don't eat lunch before...), and therefore perfect if you’re celebrating an anniversary or birthday.
There's a nod to the hotel’s fascinating literacy history in its interiors (lovers Katherine Bradley and Edith Cooper occupied it between 1899-1914; writing poetry and plays under the pseudonym Michael Field), with hundreds of Penguin classics stacked in the restaurant.
Guest rooms are modern, clean and have large comfortable beds and I recommend booking Sweet Briar which overlooks the river and features a huge free-standing, copper bath.
The hotel may not have a spa or gym due to limited space, but wellness is very much on its radar as it has a partnership with the nearby eco wellbeing escape ‘bhuti’ where guests can enjoy free yoga and Pilate classes, as well as book spa treatments. Sadly I didn't get to experience bhuti but hopefully next time... There are also yoga mats in every guest room and even CBD sleep drops in the bathroom for a better night’s sleep.
Guests can also relax in the hotel’s lovely large garden which has private gate access to the river walk. Bingham Riverhouse is a wonderful base to explore Richmond, as it’s only a short stroll from its excellent pubs, restaurants and shops, as well as Richmond Park- and central London is easily accessible from the train station.
Finally, the staff at Bingham Riverhouse deserve recognition; they’re warm, friendly and eager to help.
Have you been to Richmond? Do you love it as much as me?