I’ve visited a few different restaurants on the River Thames but the views from The Petersham in Richmond are rather spectacular.
Nestled in the four star hotel perched at the top of Richmond Hill, the floor to ceiling glass windows of The Petersham restaurant look out across beautiful meadows and the bend in the river once painted by JMW Turner. This view is in fact protected by a 1902 Act of Parliament which was extended for another 100 years in 2002.
Head Chef, Jean-Didier Gouges, serves modern British cuisine with a seasonal menu, beautifully presented. Needless to say, I was expecting big things when I came here for a family lunch a few weeks ago.
The Petersham – What We Ordered
We ordered from the seasonal set menu, which is reasonable in price – £24.50 for two courses or £28.50 for three. On arrival, a bread basket was delivered to the table with two delicious types of breads, infused with rosemary and other herbs.
I’d normally order soup for starter but it was a hot summers day so I started off with the Grilled Goats Cheese, which is served on brioche with an onion and peach compote and a truffle and honey sauce. Goats cheese is a favourite of mine and it was delicious but considering this is sold as ‘grilled’ I have to admit I was disappointed that the cheese wasn’t more melty and gooey.
For mains, it was a tough decision between the creamy gnocchi gratin with cauliflower and a trio of cheeses and the pork loin, served with mash, pancetta and a red wine jus.
The cheese fiend in me decided to opt for the gnocchi which was rich, filling and delicious. I particularly enjoyed the crispy root vegetables that were served on top, giving crunch and texture. I didn’t manage to finish it all because I wanted to keep some room for dessert! Luckily, other family members ordered the pork which was soft and tender so I got the best of both worlds.
For dessert, the choice was simple – vanilla creme brûlée! A firm favourite of mine, this was creamy and delicious, served with a piece of homemade shortbread biscuit adding crunch. Admittedly, this was one of the simpler and understated deserts. The trio of fruit mousse arrived as puzzle pieces encased in delicate chocolate with a paint splatter of sauce on the plate and the Disney themed Snow White Apple came out as an actual chocolate apple, filled with creamy mousse (available on the a la carte menu). A work of art almost too good to eat – Jean-Didier’s chocolate skills are clearly showcased.
The service was average – attentive, not fussy but sometimes a little forgetful and the food was tasty while beautifully presented.
The Petersham – 4/5
My overall verdict? The views are the star of the show.
Food – 4/5
Service – 4/5
Decor/ Ambience – 5/5
Meal for two (three courses) including wine and service, £94.
Have you visited the Petersham before?
The Petersham Hotel