The Handbook
The Handbook

It is very rare that you go to a restaurant and come away with nothing to fault. There is normally always something wrong or not quite to your liking: the lighting isn’t quite right, the service isn’t up to the scratch and the food is a little bland.

Alas I am yet to find a restaurant which is faultless, but I have found one pretty darn close and it is the restaurant at The Bingham in Richmond. Having escaped the cold and arriving with soaked feet from the mini lagoons that were covering the pavements we were given a warm welcome and ushered into the bar, where we started with a cocktail. With large ceilings, low lighting and neutral colours it had a very relaxed ambience and yet there was still a sense of grandeur to the bar.

We then took our seats in the restaurant, we sat by the French doors overlooking the river (during the summer the views would be lovely) and promptly brought a glass of champagne and warm bread as we perused the menu. The a la carte menu has been given a bit of a makeover, starters include confit organic salmon with goats curd, apple and beetroot and monkfish, sea bass and venison all appear in the main courses.

To start we recommend the Norwegian scallops which came with the smoothest, creamiest and most delicious cauliflower and garlic puree, the dish was simple, light and full of flavour, the only thing I would say is at £15 it is expensive, a third scallop wouldn’t have gone amiss. We also sampled the mackerel which was beautifully cooked and served with small slices of pear.

For the main course it was a unanimous decision, we both had to try the venison served with chocolate, celeriac puree and parsnips. It’s fine dining so the portions were never going to be huge, and yet the portions of venison were ample and a good dollop of chocolate sauce, a little more parsnip was needed, as one disc just wasn’t enough.

For pudding, instead of choosing the chocolate option straight away we chose the clementine pudding. A medley of mandarin, clementine sorbet, almond biscuits and Greek yoghurt, it was tangy and delicious. The cheese board is also definitely worth ordering alongside a glass of port. The British cheeses were a mix of mild, strong, hard and soft, we would advise ordering one to share rather than trying to take on the challenge alone.

The service was impeccable, the flavours and presentation were perfect, the wines that were chosen matched the food wonderfully. If you are looking for fine dining and you don’t mind going slightly further afield than central London then we highly recommend The Bingham