Elegant simplicity is the hallmark of this Georgian house hotel bordering the Richmond towpath. The dining area occupies two spacious, well-lit rooms; french windows overlook the river; bright chandeliers and large mirrors enhance the gold tones and woodwork.
Food, notably high tea, is also served in the grey- and silver-hued bar area and on the decked patio when weather permits. The Sunday set lunch showcased the kitchen’s adept treatment of diverse cuts of meat (a separate vegetarian carte offers equally enticing fare). The amuse-bouche was an enchantingly light, fresh-tasting tomato mousse with basil-tinged foam; a citrus-edged zestiness and lightness of touch also characterised the Dorset crab risotto. Foie gras parfait with own-made apple chutney and grilled sourdough bread showed simple clarity of flavours, while accompaniments to a quail starter included an exemplary ricotta dumpling.
Meat lovers can enjoy the playful contrasts of textures: hotpot and grill of lamb, braise and roast of pork belly, sublime beef marrow persillade atop long-aged sirloin. Desserts had the same deft touch with contrasting textures, tastes and colours; particularly effective was a simple oat crumble with toasted pine nuts and crunchy pomegranate seeds alongside a rhubarb-accented dark chocolate tart.
A carefully considered wine list ensures a glass to complement each dish, and the sommelier is as helpful as the rest of the charming staff.