The Runnymede on Thames – A Riverside Hotel that’s Perfect All Year Round
February 20, 2018
The Runnymede on Thames in Surrey is anything but run of the mill! Bursting with quirky character from the moment you step inside (look out for the life sized robot and the shelves filled with rubber duckies), it’s an exceptionally friendly, accommodating place to stay on every level.
With charming check in staff, a bustling restaurant area – The Leftbank, which was absolutely packed out mid-afternoon when I checked in, and an enviable location right on the river, the Runnymede is sure to tick all your boxes for a countryside stay which is still within easy reach of London.
I was highly impressed with my room – a deluxe double with stunning views out across the river, cosy and modern and with a huge Hypnos bed, plenty of workspace and free, fast wifi. I particularly loved the bathroom which was really spacious with a bath and shower, a huge mirror and luxurious ESPA toiletries.
The Runnymede (should you want to leave), is close to Windsor, Ascot and Legoland, while the Magna Carta was sealed just a few minutes drive away – go and visit the memorial, or take a wander through the stunning Anniversary Gardens.
Although February was far too cold to enjoy the outdoor pool, the Whirlpool on the Weir (a jacuzzi right on the banks of the river), or the river boats which you can hire and board straight from the jetty at the back of the hotel, there was still plenty to keep me busy whilst still staying warm! The spa is stunning with an indoor swimming pool encased in floor-to-ceiling glass, indoor jacuzzi, sauna and steam room which were all clean, new and a joy to relax in. The gym is fitted with state-of-the-art Technogym equipment, has a number of classes from yoga to pilates and is also staffed at all times should you need help or advice. There’s also outdoor tennis courts – I’d love to use this in the summer.
After a ramble along the river, a soak in the tub and a glass of wine in the Lounge (which also offers a decadent afternoon tea), I made the short walk down the corridor to the gorgeous cosy Lock Bar & Kitchen – winner of the 2017 AA Rosette Award for Culinary Excellence. With the feel of a farmhouse kitchen, and again with a great buzzy atmosphere much like the Leftbank earlier, I was really impressed with the amount of dishes on the menu and it took quite a while for me to decide! In addition, there’s even a daily specials board offering delights like Chorizo and Octopus, Wild Boar Sausage with Red Currant Jus and Fisherman’s Pie.
With a really good bottle of French Marionnet Gamay de Touraine (£32), I decided the only way to go was for red meat. The Braised Beef Cheeks starter (£8.75) with creamed shallot and horseradish, literally combined all of my favourite things together in one dish. Highly recommended, the meat literally fell apart before my fork had even touched it – absolute heaven for a meat eater! On a roll, I decided that the local Grilled Surrey Farm Rib Eye Steak with fat chips and béarnaise sauce was the perfect follow up. At £26, I thought this to be pretty reasonable for a good quality steak and the rib eye was perfect for how I like my steak cooked – a good medium. Using locally sourced ingredients, I think it’s always nice to sample something from the area in which I’m staying. Dessert just had to be Apple Crumble – sweet apples and a generous sprinkling of sweet crumble topping, brought back happy childhood memories at £6.75 and rounded off my perfect meal very nicely.
Popping to the bar on the way back for a nightcap, I got chatting to the staff who were just wonderful – explaining all their artisan offerings and even letting me try a Mezcal – something I’m quite partial to at the moment! Lucky for me after all that food, I didn’t have to travel far to collapse into my massive bed!
After a delicious breakfast to get my day off to a productive start, I enjoyed another swim in the pool before my short journey back into London.
What can I say? Whether you’re just wanting to get out of town for a few days, or you’re travelling from further afield and want a beautiful base by the river, The Runnymede on Thames is your perfect getaway. Catering for conferences, weddings and events too, and also with dog friendly rooms, there isn’t anything this hotel hasn’t thought of! I can’t wait to visit again in summer and take advantage of that outdoor jacuzzi!
Weekend stays at The Runnymede on Thames from £169 per room per night based on two sharing a standard double on a B&B basis.
Written by Luxury Lifestyle UK’s Ashleigh Whitfield