There really can’t be a more beautiful view to look out on while you eat than the wide windows of the Petersham, on Richmond Hill. Cows grazing on Petersham meadow, rowers cutting through the water, heading towards Teddington and a cedar tree which has probably been there longer than the hotel
It’s been more than six years since I last reviewed the Petersham restaurant and new head chef, Adebola Adeshina, comes with a great reputation, having previously worked with Gordon Ramsey at The Aubergine for six years, Marcus Wareing at Pétrus and Phil Howard at The Square.
As in 2009, the atmosphere is of quiet elegance and warm, welcoming staff and, although the restaurant is having a refurb soon, I don’t think this ambience is likely to change.
I started with the escabeche of yellow fin tuna and aubergine fondue (£14). The tuna was sliced thinly with just a mild hint of the escabeche marinade, although the aubergine complemented this really well.
Alex, my husband, chose from the set menu – £22.95 for two courses, £26.95 for three – going for the gazpacho soup with mozzarella, pesto and lemon balm, which was mild rather than spicy, but delicious. He followed this with the pan fried hake, buttered cabbage, shrimps and herb gnocchi. He said the hake had a good, crispy crust and the tiny shrimp were full of flavour.
I had the Scottish grilled Brechin beef fillet with potatoes, beetroot and bordelaise sauce (£32). The presentation was beautiful and the fillet done to perfection.
Both amuse bouche between courses were delicate and obviously show off the skills of the chef – to start a trio of salmon: smoked salmon and caviar, salmon mousse and a pâté and, before our desserts, a petit lemon sorbet with gold leaf and raspberry coulis, with both the lemon and raspberry flavours really coming through.
For me, the best certainly came last with a gorgeous chocolate delice (£8) – a chocolate tower with fragrant, glazed Gariguette strawberries, honeycomb and vanilla mousse. The plate looked like a work of art and tasted just as good.
Alex opted for the greengage tart with clotted cream ice cream, which was equally as tasty, with a crusty pastry and the sweet/sour tang of the greengages.
People can seem to be put off by restaurants attached to hotels (sometimes with good reason), but if you’re looking for somewhere special for lunch or dinner, with truly stunning views, this is the place to come.
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