The Harbour Hotel group have taken over The Richmond Gate Hotel and I was keen to see if it would live up to the reputation of their other stylish hotels and restaurants I’d visited in Salcombe and Christchurch, where I’d been impressed.
Fabienne, a foodie friend of mine, and I were warmly greeted in the stunning dining area and bar. The tables were well spaced and the décor eclectic with striking artworks looking onto a large private terrace and garden – the al fresco dining will be wonderful in the summer.
We started with an aperitif and the personal expertise of Daniel, settling on a Negroni Bianco (£9) and a glass of Lanson ‘Pere et Fils’ Champagne Brut (£12). The small, juicy bites of Lobster Arancini and Saffron Aioli set the standard for the evening.
The menu offers great choice, with good vegetarian and vegan options with lots of flair, too. Classics such as a cheeseburger and fish and chips would be perfect to tempt my teenagers out. To start, Fabienne succumbed to the twice-baked smoked haddock souffle (£8) and I couldn’t resist the seared scallops, pea puree and caramelised bacon (£10). The souffle was like fluffy white clouds and smokiness of the haddock in the sauce was well balanced, without being rich or heavy. My scallops were perfectly cooked, translucent in the middle and slightly crisp on the outside – divine. Rich bacon was a delicious contrast.
For mains I chose confit duck leg, braised lettuce, samphire & peas (£15) – a very generous portion with succulent duck and a crisp skin, the vegetables were tender and full of flavour. Fabienne chose aged Bavette with roasted bone marrow (£16) and seasonal greens and broad beans (£5). The beans melted in the mouth and the bavette steak lived up to its reputation as being full of flavour.
Puddings we shared… Dunkin Doughnuts & Toffee sauce (£6) won hands down – a crowd pleaser. The doughnuts were light and the sauce not too sweet – so relatively guilt free! Pomegranate trifle (£6) with custard, whilst not boozy, was full of fresh ripe fruits including seasonal blackberries in jelly, under a blanket of silky whipped cream. Utterly delicious.
Espresso Martinis were tempting, but it was Sunday evening, so we settled with a straight espresso.
The Gate has great staff, relaxed style and finesse. It was well priced for great quality food and generous portions – we will be back soon with friends and family.
Booking: 0208 939 0390. THE GATE Richmond Harbour Hotel, Richmond Hill, Richmond TW10 6RP
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