Review – The Petersham Hotel, Richmond – Luxury dining on the banks of The Thames
A stone’s throw from the gorgeous Richmond Park, The Petersham hotel sits on a hill overlooking the Thames and making the most of Turner’s famous view. Completed in 1865 in an Italian Gothic style, The Petersham retains many of it’s original features including the stunning Portland stone staircase purported to be one of the oldest free-standing staircases in the country (another, albeit marble, can be found at the Royal Horseguards Hotel). The ceiling above was painted by Italian painter Ferdinando Galli and is quite majestic in it’s beauty. I enjoyed looking around The Petersham and seeing the beautiful function rooms, cellar and terraces but my real purpose for this trip was to dine in the elegant Petersham restaurant, I couldn’t wait!
Restaurant at The Petersham
The ‘Restaurant at The Petersham’ is decorated in subtle hues of gold and cream, linen tablecloths adorn the tables and the room quite simply exudes elegance. These things as lovely as they are they are not the only things you will remember when you dine here. It must be of course the stunning views. Floor to ceiling windows run along the back wall of the dining room giving a panoramic vista over Petersham Meadows below and onto The Thames. The view hasn’t changed much since Turner painted this famous setting and it is clear to see why it is such a well-known painting.
Head Chef Adebola Adeshina
We took a table alongside the windows and started our evening with a glass of house champagne, a great choice. The restaurant menus are designed by head chef Adebola Adeshina who took the helm at The Petersham in 2014. Ade has an impressive resume, working for Gordon Ramsay for six years including at Aubergine, three-Michelin starred Gordon Ramsay Restaurant and also at Petrus with Marcus Wareing. The menu reflects Ade’s passion for making the most of seasonal, fresh British ingredients and with so many delicious sounding dishes it was difficult to choose.
Under the guidance of our knowledgeable server we opted for the Steamed Lasagne of Cornish Crab with a tomato & coconut sauce and the Sautéed Scallops with banana plantain, black pudding & a parsnip puree.
Pasta can be a heavy for a starter but the portion size was very good and with the light sauce accompanying the dish, the crab was without doubt the main flavour to come through.
The plantain on this dish was a first for me, I think I have been put off trying it because I assume it tastes like banana. Not the case, it does in fact taste a lot more like parsnip and lent itself nicely to the dish adding another textural element. The scallops had a nice translucency to them but the standout for this dish was the black pudding, absolutely delicious!
The wine list boasts a fantastic selection sure to tantalise the palate of any wine enthusiast including very respectable house wines and champagne made especially for The Petersham. Wines are broken down into the obvious categories with sub-categories of country of origin making it all that much easier to find your preferred tipple. If you feel like really pushing the boat out or you have a large party there are a great range of magnums to choose from too. Our sommelier guided us through the list and matched wines with each of our dishes, his recommendations were on point and we appreciated his explanations and advice. The chosen wine to accompany my scallops was The Petersham Macon Bussieres 2013. From the southern region of Burgundy, this is a complex yet light Chardonnay that complemented my dish perfectly.
With a fantastic first course under our belts we were very much looking forward to the mains and they didn’t disappoint. I opted for the duo of Brechin beef, the two cuts of meat being fillet and Jacob’s Ladder (short rib to you and me). Cooked to a perfect medium rare for the fillet and with the rib meat falling from the bone each mouthful was delicious. Accompanied with potato Anna (thin layers of potato cooked only with butter) and a rich bordelaise sauce it was a dish that I would happily eat any night of the week. The wine chosen to match my dish was another Petersham wine, this time The Petersham Bordeaux, Château Bel Air ‘Sequeira’, full bodied but not too heavy it was very enjoyable.
My guest chose the salt marsh lamb (why do they always chose lamb,you all know by now that I am not a lamb lover) which was beautifully presented. I was assured that it was very, very good and my companion was distinctly lacking in conversation until the plate was cleared, I’ll take their word for it. I must also say that the portion sizes are generous as you can see and whilst this is a restaurant that delivers fabulous dining in luxurious surroundings and a view to match it is not as expensive as you might think.
Dessert and Cheese
For me nothing says it’s summertime more than a summer pudding and so the choice for dessert was simple. Made with the freshest British fruits and a nice deep sauce it didn’t disappoint. As the sun started to set over The Thames and the last rays spread across our table my companion and I both agreed that we had had a splendid evening, it wasn’t quite over yet though……
……the final plate for the evening was the cheeseboard. Made of individually sourced soft and hard cheeses, my favourites were the blue and goats cheeses. Our server did explain all of the cheeses but I’m going to be honest, I was so busy salivating over the board it went in one ear and out the other. A tasty selection of fruits and chutney accompanied and although most of the time I don’t eat the crackers and bread, on this occasion I did, no water crackers here! I ordered a very fine port to go with my cheese and when we were all finished and feeling very full we retired to the terrace to take in the air and finish our drinks.
I have lived in Richmond for ten years so I’m not quite sure why it has taken me so long to visit The Petersham, it has been on my to-do list for ages. I am glad that I finally got up the hill to try it out because it is my new favourite place to go locally now and any visitors that I have will be sure treated to an evening here, or afternoon tea, or a glass of something bubbly on the terrace.
0208 939 1084
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