Richmond, in addition to being lusciously green and filled with fresh air, also offers a plethora of upscale and impressive culinary outlets within luxury hotels. 144 On The Hill, the newly refurbished restaurant inside the Richmond Hill Hotel, now joins the likes of The Bingham Riverhouse and The Petersham on the local scene.
We started our dinner with a drink on the terrace. The cocktail – Clover Club, made with organic gin from neighbouring Kew – was lovely. The terrace – overlooking the hotel car park rather than Richmond’s riverside – less so.
But what the hotel lacks in Thames-side location and epic views it makes up for in stylish, recently renovated, design. Bold patterns are matched with pastel walls and deep-coloured upholstery with an art deco touch.
The crowd-pleasing menu prioritises familiarity over foodie fireworks but it is well-executed nonetheless. Our duck came perfectly pink with crispy skin and a rich jus; the fillet of beef was blushing and completed with a peppercorn sauce and a side of soft Jersey Royals with little roasted patches on the skin for texture. Truffle-fiends should opt for the truffle and parmesan chips that were as crispy, salty and tangy as we had hoped.
That’s not to say you can’t eat more adventurously here. The open rabbit lasagne, for instance, with blewit mushrooms and truffle sauce was an indulgent little number, unctuous with truffle and succulent rabbit meat, although a tad under-seasoned. Vegan options, meanwhile, include quinoa salad, jackfruit burger and roasted aubergine.
With attentive staff, a buzzy weekend vibe, fabulous cocktails and nicely prepared British food served in a beautiful dining room, you can have a very enjoyable time here. In fact, so much you won’t even miss the riverside.