Richmond is so posh that it’s got stags in its garden, gazillionaire Tory Zac Goldsmith is the MP and there’s about three Waitroses per capita. This idyllic London borough is the perfect place to experience London without even having to visit actual London, has more leaves than the Buckingham Palace dining table and, of course, has plenty of options when it comes to eating out.
The extraordinary thing about the way the Ivy have pushed the borders of their empire ever further out of London is that they don’t seem to have suffered any significant drop-off in quality. Sure, we can argue over whether it forever ruined their exclusive brand, and why would you bother trying to get a table at their Central London restaurant, or join their incredibly expensive club, if you could just pop down to your local in Richmond, but it was nevertheless a canny move. And Richmond is testament to that, reasonably priced, attractive surroundings and in the heart of Richmond.
Great for: Banquet seating, bright and airy dining
Gotta get to Gaucho, especially if it’s the Richmond one because it’s right on the River Thames and offers the perfect al fresco dining experience. Snuggly contained inside a low-slung boathouse, this Gaucho is known for its slabs of steak, with all the group’s favourites available, from premium Black Angus cattle to Atlantic cod, corn-fed chicken and delicious sauces! Also, BYOBers, every Monday you can bring your own wine or Champagne with no additional corkage – bonus!
Also, as a hint to the Champers fans, Pommery Champagne have officially taken over the terrace there for the whole of summer – yep, really! You can expect Champagne galore and magnums of rose from the Pommery cart along, oh and did we mention there’s a flower bench? #NoFilter goals, sorted.
Great for: Steak, of course! But also al-fresco dining and BYOBing
Bingham Riverhouse reckons its the gateway to Richmond, we’re not sure about that, but we would agree that it’s the gateway to a bloody good dinner. Recently rebranded from plain old ‘The Bingham’, the restaurant overlooks the rolling Thames long before it goes brown and grim in central London, and serves up a fantastic menu under head chef Andy Cole that aims to be nostalgic yet healthy.
Great for: Refined riverside dining
Serenely overlooking the curve of the Thames, perched above Richmond lies The Petersham. Beautiful and perfectly positioned, amid the Petersham meadows, the hotel is a gem, and the restaurant a triumph. Under Head Chef, Jean-Didier Gouges the standard is consistently excellent, and with every table bagging a view of the river, it’s one of the most perfect spots in Richmond for dinner.
Great for: River views and fine dining
Where: The Petersham Hotel, Nightingale Lane, Richmond, TW10 6UZ
Nearest station: Richmond (0.8 miles)
Bienvenue en France! La Buvette is an independent French bistro that feels like you really are in France. From the decor to the table cloths to, most importantly, the food. Sit back and enjoy chargrilled onglet steak, shaksuka and one of the best cheese selections in South London. Oh and, rumour has it, it’s also a killer venue for a celeb spot having welcomed theatre, film and sports stars, politicians and artists!
Great for: Being incredibly French! And maybe seeing a famous person. Apparently…
Aside from being a room with blooms and emporium of goods, Petersham Nurseries provides the ability to dine in a charming restaurant that resides inside a glasshouse. The fairytale setting displays draped Indian blinds, antique furniture, paintings and more, making it a treasure trove of paraphernalia and a spellbinding spot for a supper club or romantic meal. The food served is seasonal, Italian and scrumptious! Oh, and there’s also an outpost in Covent Garden if you simply can’t get enough!
Great for: A unique dinner setting and much to explore aside from just the menu.
Let’s start with Dysart. No, not a suggestion to turn our meal upside down but The Dysart. Family run, the restaurant occupies a former pub (The Dysart Arms) but has been painstakingly turned into a smart restaurant with great results. The menu, from a former Roux scholarship winner, Kenneth Culhane, is second to none (or, few at least (if that makes sense?).
Great for: Smart, relatively unpretentious dining