CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Surrey Life today CLICK HERE

The Petersham, Richmond, Surrey TW10 6UZ - restaurant review

PUBLISHED: 19:11 06 December 2010 | UPDATED: 15:20 20 February 2013

The Petersham, Richmond

The Petersham, Richmond

A striking hotel and restaurant on the side of Richmond Hill, The Petersham offers spectacular views straight down to the Thames as well as fine dining at its best. But it does come at a price, as restaurant critic JOHN HUGHES discovered

It was a glorious picture of the hotel, perched high on Richmond Hill with lush meadows stretching down to the banks of the Thames, that brought The Petersham to our attention at Surrey Life. The hotel restaurant is ideally situated to make the most of these panoramic views and when I visited with photographer Helen for a weekday dinner, we were fortunate enough to be seated right next to the window - a wonderful backdrop for a quality dining experience.

Full of flavour
Chef Alex Bentley's reputation preceded him and I knew we were in for a treat. And so it turned out with a magnificent culinary display of simplicity, flare and imagination. He offers a well-balanced menu, not too expansive, with dishes to cater for all tastes and a healthy bias towards fresh fish and seafood.

For the starters, my six Irish oysters from County Louth were unspoilt by fussy presentation and were succulent and ultra fresh, served with just a slice of lemon and shallot vinegar. Similarly, Helen's Scottish smoked salmon was all about making much of the natural flavour, devoid of unnecessary frills.

For the main course - served after an inordinately long wait by an apologetic waiter - I chose roasted squab of pigeon with crepinette, served with spring greens, fondant potato and crep bouillon. This was a heady blend of strong flavours, not least of all the crepinette, a round sausage patty wrapped in caul fat.

In complete contrast, Helen selected a vegetarian dish - hand-rolled spinach lasagne with grilled goats' cheese, dried tomato and pesto - and with the extraordinary property, as Helen discovered, of each mouthful having a quite different flavour from the last.

For dessert, I couldn't resist their crme brule of the day (I wonder how it differs on other days) and Helen had marble chocolate cheesecake with banana and passion fruit sorbet, the latter making up for the subtle presentation of previous dishes with a delightful quirkiness that raised a smile from both of us.

A pleasant surprise
Dining at The Petersham is not cheap and so the wine list came as a pleasant surprise with a broad selection of moderately priced wines, including a wide selection of half bottles from which I chose a 2006 Chablis. Perhaps not the ideal complement to my pigeon but quite superb with the oysters. I wish more restaurants in Surrey offered this many half bottles from which to choose.

Although there is much to praise about The Petersham, there were shortcomings with the service on the day we visited. As well as the delay between courses, a drinks order failed to materialise altogether.

Also, the bill for two, with only half a bottle of wine, crept into three figures, and I'm afraid we headed for home feeling that, based on our own experience, we couldn't quite justify the outlay for a midweek evening meal.

Worth a visit
Nevertheless, a lovely venue, magnificent views and superb food - and certainly well worth a visit for a special occasion.

What we ate...

Irish Oysters 8.00
Scottish Smoked Salmon 9.50

Main Courses
Roasted Squab of Pigeon 23.00
Spinach Lasagne 13.00

Crme Brule 6.50
Marble Chocolate Cheesecake 6.50

Chablis Domaine des Malandes 2006 (Half bottle) 13.75

Food & wine 8/10
Service 5/10
Venue 8/10

3 other restaurants in hotels...

The Latymer at Pennyhill Park Hotel
London Road, Bagshot GU19 5EU
Tel: 01276 471774
Michelin-starred chef Michael Wignall made The Latymer his home at the turn of the year
and the restaurant hasn't looked back since

Leftbank at Runnymede Hotel
Windsor Road, Egham TW20 0AG
Tel: 01784 436171
With its a la carte menu featuring an eclectic fusion of Mediterranean and British food, Leftbank is a fantastic riverside dining experience

Restaurant 1881 at Stanhill Court Hotel
Charlwood, Horley RH6 0EP
Tel: 01293 862166
Set in the historic Stanhill Court Hotel, Restaurant 1881 offers fine dining in a stunning setting

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine 2008

Restaurant reviewed: The Petersham, Nightingale Lane, Richmond, Surrey TW10 6UZ Tel: 020 8940 7471

A striking hotel and restaurant on the side of Richmond Hill, The Petersham offers spectacular views straight down to the Thames as well as fine dining at its best. But it does come at a price, as restaurant critic JOHN HUGHES discovered

Share your favourite Surrey restaurants

SUBSCRIBE to Surrey Life magazine
BUY SL online

More from Surrey Life


The new hotel is set to open in spring 2019 and will be located in the heart of the vineyard, offering sweeping views over the North Downs Way.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:53

From Santa’s Grottos, to Victorian Christmas markets and late-night shopping, we’ve covered what’s on in Surrey this season

Read more
Yesterday, 10:47

Whether you're looking for fine dining, pub grub or exotic dishes, eating out in Surrey has something for everyone. Here's our guide to the best local restaurants and pubs

Read more
Yesterday, 10:41

Having bloomed in Brighton’s restaurant scene over the past decade, The Chilli Pickle opened its second site in Guildford this summer

Read more
Mon, 14:32

Historic Royal Palaces and IMG have announced that Kylie Minogue is the first headliner confirmed for Hampton Court Palace Festival 2019. These will be her only London shows of summer 2019. Here’s how you can get tickets

Read more
Mon, 12:56

Enjoy this linear rail to ramble section of the Thames Down Link route taking the short train-ride from Box Hill & Westhumble to Ashtead before walking back

Read more
Mon, 12:13

Great things to do in Surrey this weekend (16, 17 and 18 November): art exhibitions, walks, concerts, theatre, places to visit and other events and ideas.

Read more
Friday, November 9, 2018

We round up 10 of the most beautiful photos of Surrey shared on Instagram this week…

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

It’s that time of year when our beautiful countryside is alight with the colours of autumn. Here, we pick out some of her favourite spots to enjoy the seasonal splendour – as well as some perfect places for a post-walk refresher

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Found on the stretch of the River Thames between Weybridge and East Molesey, Sunbury-on-Thames is blessed with a village feel where it meets the water. From antique hunts to the joys of river life, here are a few of our favourite reasons to visit

Read more
Monday, November 5, 2018

Verity & Violet are Loui and Jess – a singing duo from Surrey who specialise in blending vintage classics with modern favourites. The two have achieved success in the capital, but are now hoping to attract an audience closer to home

Read more
Friday, November 2, 2018

With the Christmas celebrations seemingly starting earlier every year, it all feels a little too ‘soon’ sometimes, but what if you want to look your best for Christmas & New year celebrations and are considering having cosmetic non-surgical procedures? The Bella Vou Pantiles Clinic offers surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures and treatments from a purpose-built private clinic in the heart of Royal Tunbridge Wells

Read more
Thursday, November 1, 2018

Living in England’s most densely wooded county, it’s always a pleasure to witness Surrey donning its autumn finery. Here’s some of the best places to do just that - plus a few pub pit stops to enjoy on route!

Read more
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

We are regularly reminded of the high cost of housing with statistics revealing that only one in three millennials will be able to afford their own home during their lifetime and that most will remain in the category known as Generation Rent

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search