In leafy West London sits Richmond, a quaint part of the capital sprinkled with cafes, restaurants, boutique shops and idyllic walks perfect for a cosy London staycation.
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The hotel of choice would be no other than the recently refurbished Harbour Hotel, whose prize position perched at the top of Richmond Hill is a stones throw from Richmond Park, Petersham Meadows and the River Thames beyond. The handsome period building, preserved with all its antique quirky edges, packs a punch with luxurious plus size hotel beds, an elegant bar and restaurant, pool, fitness room and spa.
This is a chic city hotel with a country house twist.
Giant, cloud like beds, a mini bar featuring Mirabeau wine and White Company products in the bathroom is a winning recipe. The elegant and traditional interior styling with large Georgian windows flood the rooms with natural light making for a a calm and relaxing ambiance. A nod to Richmond (and its famous deer who roam the adjacent park) were subtly included in the decor throughout the rooms and lounge areas with bottle stoppers and giant abstract stag paintings. It was tempting to cosy up, order room service and make the most of the luxurious room but…
…We had other plans – unwinding in the HarSPA with luxurious body scrub and massage treatments, followed by a dip in the pool and sessions in the steam room and sauna was a wonderfully relaxing way to spend the afternoon before dinner.
The Gate bar and restaurant:
After the full Spa experience we dressed up for the occasion and travelled 2 floors down to the beautifully light and open orangery, which is where you’ll find the The Gate Bar and Restaurant.
The drinks list is well equipped with world wines and spirits at very reasonable prices, the cocktails are delicious and the food menu has variety from brasserie classics to a full vegan and vegetarian list. We had hot smoked salmon and scallops to begin, rib eye for main and affogatos for dessert. The breakfast buffet caters a limited but great quality array of continental meats and cheeses, warm pastries, full fat greek yoghurt, fruits and eggs with freshly squeezed orange juice and barista Americano coffees to set you up for the day.
The hotel is a stones throw from Richmond Park so grab a pair of wellies from the lobby and set off on a leisurely stroll through one of London’s most beautiful parks. If you’re lucky you’ll spot the free roaming deer and if you fancy a big stomp then head up to Isabella plantation to admire the well planned seasonal displays of camellia and rhododendron.
A 15 minute walk from the hotel through Petersham Meadows will take you to Petersham Nurseries. Quite possibly the most chic garden centre you will ever visit. The Michelin star restaurant nestled in their greenhouse serves elevated farm to table cuisine which stylishly contrasts the earth floor, rustic decor and shabby chic homeware shop that lies adjacent to the restaurant. If a full three course meal is overbearing for the day, stop by in their tea room greenhouse next door which serves homemade quiches, sandwiches and cakes throughout the day.
The hotel is a 10 minute walk from Richmond town centre which is brimming with artisan coffee shops, plenty of places for lunch and a spot of shopping. Richmond isn’t short of really good coffee shops, a few of our favourites include the bakery Ole & Steen where your coffee can be paired with one of their famous Danish pastries, the oh-so trendy Kiss the Hippo is a must visit for their homemade nut milk flat whites which taste as beautiful as they look and finally Orée for London roasted Monmouth Coffee beans in their generously sizes Americanos and iced coffees.
Walks in an around Richmond are spectacular. As mentioned above the famous Richmond Park is absolutely worth a visit, yet an amble down to the river Thames is also worth doing. There is a small beach area by Petersham Meadows where, on a fine summers day, you’ll find swimmers and dogs enjoying a splash in the water. This Google Maps location will take you to the spot but if a longer walk is on the cards the river path leads for miles to adjacent towns, Teddington and Kingston.
No walk is complete without a wee dram in a cosy, local pub. The Roebuck sits atop of Richmond Hill, conveniently located next to the Harbour Hotel, and has impressive views spanning for miles over west London and the Thames river.
Richmond is a quaint and historic town within the Capital that ticks all the boxes for a restful staycation. It’s a 25 minute drive from Heathrow airport and easily accessed by train, tube and bus from central London.