Luxury riverside hotel The Mitre to open in Hampton Court
PUBLISHED: 17:17 31 July 2020 | UPDATED: 09:19 06 August 2020
One of King Henry VIII’s former guest houses will reopen as a new food-focused boutique hotel this September
When I heard Hector Ross was restoring an old hotel just up river from Hampton Court Palace, my ears pricked. Hector was the former chief operating officer of Longshot, the company responsible for the transformation of Leatherhead’s Cherkely Court into Beaverbrook – now considered one of the UK’s finest country house hotels.
The Mitre is the first hotel from The Signet Collection, a new boutique luxury hotel brand which promises to deliver meaningful stays in time-honoured places with several destination-defining properties throughout the UK.
“We start with a special place. Our hotels have history, stories to tell. Each one is imbued with generations of tales, legacies, myths and legends,” he says. “We unearth this history, these stories. We restore them, reimagining them, passing them on for our guests to enjoy, layered with a British sense of humour, top-notch F&B and memorable experiences.”
When I visited the Grade II listed 36-bed hotel, which was built in built in 1665 and originally used as ancillary accommodation for guests of King Henry VIII at the palace, it was still a building site but the various dining spaces at the heart of this project were starting to take shape.
These include Coppernose (Henry VIII nicknamed this for issuing cheap currency), a 60-cover riverside dining and wine bar; Signet 1665, a 70-cover brasserie and bar, a 60-cover Orangery, a large riverside terrace with moorings and private dining areas. The hotel will be home to the world’s first stand-alone Whispering Angel Hut, perfect for sun downers on the terrace. The Mitre also brews its own beer called The Six Wives, which will be available on draft.
“Good food is nurturing, it’s restorative, it brings people together. It’s why we champion British produce, local, independent growers, and suppliers we know and trust,” says Hector. “We will serve our guests heart-warming and memory making dishes, done properly, genuinely.”
Hector has joined forces with culinary and operations director Ronnie Kimbugwe, who he worked with to build the Bel & Dragon Country Inns group before it was sold to Fullers, while the interiors have been designed by Nicola Harding, known for her work on the Garden House at Beaverbrook. Each room of the 36 bedrooms will be individual and named after historical references linked to the hotel. One has a private terrace with hot tub, another its own courtyard with fire pit, while others have forged copper bath tubs and spectacular views over the River Thames and the palace.
“The Signet Collection hotels will blend the old with the new, the refined with the comfortable, and the local with the worldly. Through design we aim to connect our guests with the history and the location of each hotel, providing characterful bedrooms, and playful lively public spaces where people quickly feel at home”.
Rooms at The Mitre Hampton Court start from £200 per night. Web: mitrehamptoncourt.com