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The Mitre, Hampton Court, Surrey
Built in 1665 to accommodate King Charles II's courtiers, no expense has been spared by former Beaverbrook Hotel boss Hector Ross in transforming this Grade II-listed riverside landmark into a characterful boutique hotel with a country house feel. Contemporary decor - and a mammoth 221 paint colours - complement characterful antiques, an original tapestry, exquisite hand-painted de Gournay wallpaper, a gorgeous book-filled library and a few surprises hiding in the nooks and crannies - like a retro jukebox. A glass of English wine on arrival, homemade biscuits hanging in a hessian bag on the door and a bottle of delicious Kings Ginger liquor in the bedrooms are all welcome touches - and a nod to King Henry VIII's former palace opposite.
We love the hotel's complimentary tickets to Hampton Court Palace, its fabulous landscaped gardens and 250-year-old Great Vine, the world's largest.
The hotel is right on the Thames, next to Hampton Court Palace. The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew are a half-hour drive away, while Bushy Park can be accessed on foot in a few minutes.
By car: 2 hours from Birmingham or Bristol and 4 hours from Manchester. There is free parking on site.
By train: Hampton Court station is on a direct line from London Waterloo. The train ride takes around 30 minutes. The hotel is a further 6-minute walk from the station. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
This hotel is for everyone, but particularly couples. Tables for two in the Coppernose and 1665 restaurants encourage guests to chat with each other and they do. Tudor door signs showing King Henry 'In the Tub' (do not disturb) and a tennis playing Queen Anne 'Out to Court' (please make up room) are fun too.
Service & Facilities
The can-do attitude of the staff is great - on hearing we'd missed out on cream tea, they rustled one up for us later that evening. Dogs are welcome, rooms opening onto a courtyard are especially suitable, and they're allowed in the Coppernose restaurant too. A welcome pack includes bowls, basket and treats (£20 per night).
- Two restaurants
- Free parking
- Free Wi-Fi
We love the delicious Kings Ginger liquor and handmade biscuits hanging in a hessian bag, the bespoke mini-bar and complimentary wine and cheese tasting. The Edward room is sumptuous and spacious with a standalone rolltop bath that has views of the River Thames.
Classic, Heritage, Culture, Royal rooms, Catherin Parr & Henry VIII suites
Facilities include: queen-size bed, power showers or shower over bath, Bespoke Signet Collection Bramley toiletries, bathrobes, work desk, TV, free Wi-Fi, Birchall tea and Lavazza coffee
Food & Drink
Bag a window seat in the restaurant's charming rotundas and watch the boats on the River Thames cruise by. The melt-in-the-mouth roasted Lincolnshire suckling pig with smooth celeriac mash and an apple and bacon chutney is truly delicious.
1665 Riverside Brasserie: modern British cuisine. Open for lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. Dinner mains from £16.
The Coppernose: Open for breakfast everyday, lunch and dinner Fri-Sun. Mains from £15.
Kings Ginger Winter Terrace: seasonal riverside bar, serving cocktails, wines and beers.