Townies’ trendy weekend getaway in riverside Richmond
JUST SEVEN SATNAV MILES FROM THE WEST END but distant enough to feel like an out-of-town escape, Bingham sits on the banks of the rippling Thames in leafy Richmond.
This chic Georgian townhouse treat is tailor-made for couples after an effortless weekend getaway
from the big city, or who reckon that when it comes to London town, west is undeniably best.
Behind its elegant facade, Bingham has a sleek and bold boutique-y feel
– right up to its modish glass chandeliers and down to its trendy leather tub chairs
. Tall Georgian windows, intricate coving and other original features are brilliantly offset by the distinctly contemporary decor.
Lounge on a leather sofa in the bar and work your way through the cocktail list (we loved the signature Bingham vodka spritz), or sit on the Thameside terrace with a glass of fizz enjoying the evening rays
. Stress-out London seemed a million miles away here – though it’s just half an hour by tube if you need your urban fix.
Hit the spot
Beside the Thames in leafy Richmond.
Bed down in blissful Baudelaire, the honeymooners' favourite. Callirrhoe (another superior river design room) also brags river views, a whirlpool bath and four poster.
Take a room with a river view – rooms at the front may get traffic noise.
Romance on the riverbank.
Bedrooms – many with original fireplaces and tall sash windows
– are named after the poets who lived at this Georgian riverside address before Bingham was created. You can read some of their verses while you unpack.
We plumped for Baudelaire, with its big bay window overlooking the river gardens, fabulous travertine stone bathroom complete with a whirlpool bath for two and outsize rainfall shower, and a huge four-poster dressed in crispest cotton. We returned after dinner to find our bed scattered in rose petals and the room aglow with twinkling oil lamps.
Other gorgeous superior river design rooms incude Sappho and Callirrhoe, all decorated with ivory walls, big beds wrapped in white goose-down duvets
, and dark wood furniture. Technics are there too with wi-fi, a digital TV and DVD player, iPod docks and access to the hotel’s music collection. While standard bedrooms are not huge, all are smart and stylish in shades of chocolate and charcoal.
Dine out on Bingham's balcony in summer
– its balustrade laced with tiny lights – or in the restaurant, with its gold-on-gold decor, suede banquettes and ornate mirrors. Shay Cooper’s menus major on modern British flavours, and there’s a surprisingly imaginative wine list.
A pre-prandial walk along the paved river walk, where weeping willows trail fronds in the water, is de rigueur. Turning left takes you through Petersham meadows, while right brings you past the pubs and riverside bars of Richmond town. There's also a hammock for indolent lolling in the hotel’s walled garden
Who wants to join the big Friday motorway exodus from London when you can just roll down to Richmond and have your nearly-in-the-country weekend right here? No prizes for guessing which one we'd choose.
Bingham was reviewed for Room for Romance by Mairiona Cotter
Click on any picture to enlarge it and move through the gallery.
Chef Shay Cooper uses the best and freshest regional produce for modern takes on traditional favourites. Start off with the roast quail with pickled mushrooms and caramelised fois gras
, then move on to the succulent saddleback pork with barbecue beans and smoked potato, or beef Wellington with a tangy mushroom sauce
. Sunday roasts are a big favourite here, too.
Scrummy desserts include pear and plum tart with ginger ice cream and the signature Bingham trifle of Muscat jelly, mandarin sorbet and orange blossom Madeleines
. Try and leave room for a nibble at the hotel’s famous cheese board, or pop in here for afternoon tea with home made scones.
Bingham is a big favourite with locals, though for a night out, Richmond has plenty of great restaurants with just about everything from Chinese to Turkish. Gaucho's, the South American steak house, is close by and on the towpath.
Contemporary takes on traditional British favourites such as rump of lamb with fennel, cauliflower and goat’s cheese puree.
Dress the part
Relaxed, Richmond style.
Watch the world float by from an alfresco spot on the balcony.
See & Do
Soak up life on the riverbank with a boat ride along the Thames – or sit with a glass of Pimm’s at a riverside pub and watch life on the water. Richmond is a great base for excursions to Hampton Court Palace, one time seat of Henry Vlll and scene of many a lusty liaison, or the sights and scents of the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew. You can go riding or walking in nearby Richmond Park (spot the herds of red deer) or hire a skiff and picnic along the riverbanks.
Browse through the little boutiques of Richmond’s Hill Rise area, or load up your plastic for a foray in the town centre.
Richmond has plenty of buzzy bars and restaurants for nights out. Richmond Theatre stages some great productions, too – including shows about to debut in the West End. You may just opt for a chaser in Bingham's chic mirrored chrome bar, with its cappuccino coloured leather sofas, distressed silver ceiling and huge chandelier with a thousand glass teardrops.
Holler for your favourite team at the Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race.
Get into the strawberries and champagne lifestyle at Wimbledon – and watch some tennis while you’re at it.
Go all green fingered at the big Hampton Court Flower Show.
Petersham Road, Richmond Upon Thames, Surrey TW10 6UT
There is parking opposite the hotel, available at GBP 10 per day. Do pre-book your slot as space is limited.
Richmond station – one mile. There are mainline trains to London Waterloo every 20 minutes, as well as the District line (Zone 6) tube.
Around GBP 5 from the station, GBP or 20 from Heathrow Airport.
London Heathrow – seven miles
Rooms and suites
All rooms come with digital TV anda DVD player, wi-fi and built-in sound systems with a dedicated music library. Duck and goose feather duvets will cosset you.
Check out the river views in the seductive Baudelaire and Callirrhoe suites – which come complete with whirlpool baths and antique four posters.
GBP 190 - 275
Open all year
Minimum night stay?
Buffet breakfast – everything from smoked salmon and scrambled eggs to the full English – is served until 10am.
Available morning and evening.
Guide dogs only
Yes – all rooms
Yes, and up to 90 guests can be catered for. The Bingham is not surprisingly popular for weddings – though the hotel says guests are always informed if there is going to be an event on during their stay.
An in-house environmental officer ensures that The Bingham is as eco-friendly as possible.
Ruth and Samantha Trinder – owners