Great British Boltholes: The Hampton Court riverside fun palace suitable for a king
- Miter on the banks of the Thames is an upscale hotel that is “fun, informal and individual”.
- All 36 rooms are bespoke, but you can expect Bramley toiletries, espresso machines, and pastel-colored bathrooms
- There are four dining areas, including a waterfront terrace and a more intimate brasserie in the basement
It is perversely fitting that The Miter reopened in September amid a pandemic. Located on the banks of the Thames next to Henry VIII’s Hampton Court Palace and sprawling Bushy Park, this Grade II listed hotel dates back to another health disaster: London’s Great Plague of 1665.
Despite the devastation in his then capital, King Charles II was referred to as the “Happy Monarch” because of his hedonistic court. According to legend, The Miter, which was officially built for courtiers, was connected to the palace by a tunnel to allow royal meetings with loved ones.
Fortunately, in his latest incarnation under Hector Ross, a certain hedonism and hurray has reappeared. His reinvented Miter is an upscale hotel that’s fun, informal, and individual, rather than quiet or stuffy.
Jolly good: Miter on the banks of the London Thames is an upscale hotel that is “fun, informal and individual”.
All 36 rooms are bespoke, but you can expect Bramley toiletries, espresso machines, pastel-colored bathrooms, and loads of frills.
This is immediately apparent in the cheerful, beautiful decor, which is dominated by colors – here tomato red, there mint green – and strong print patterns. Quirky antique fixtures add to the quirky mix.
This also applies to four dining areas with a view of the Thames. The first bar of the rosé brand Whispering Angel is a fun terrace on the water with oven-cooked pizza and jazz bands. The neighboring orangery offers imaginative afternoon teas. Midday snacks like cauliflower popcorn are mocked at the bright, lively Coppernose restaurant.
The dishes taste as delicious as they sound: pumpkin and coconut soup with roasted flax seeds and grilled sourdough bread, followed by sweet potato and smoked tomato cassoulet with black-eyed beans and sweet paprika. Keller Brasserie 1665 is more intimate.
This emphasis on fun is underscored by a catalog of excursions and activities such as book clubs and wine and cheese lessons, as well as Hampton Court packages with access to the maze. Pilates classes, cruises, and dinner clubs are coming soon.
The Sunday Mail Richard Mellor said dinner at the 1665 restaurant pictured above was “exquisite”.
The Miter, Hampton Court, London. B&B from £ 193. For more information, visit mitrehamptoncourt.com
The Miter marks the debut of Hector’s Signet Collection and he says that every subsequent boutique will offer the same kind of luxury – always in a historic location. He explains this in the cozy library of The Miter, my favorite room. Under a skylight, the snoozy atmosphere is enhanced by carpets, lamps, brandy decanters and even a Tudor-style tapestry. A jukebox provides a final shot of extravagance.
The merry monarch would surely approve.
The rooms: All 36 are bespoke, but you can expect Bramley toiletries, espresso machines, pastel colored bathrooms, and loads of bells and whistles. Ten rooms look like a Thames, including the first-class suite by King Henry VIII, Walter with bunk beds for children and Edward, whose roll-top bathtub faces the river. There are dog-friendly and accessible options.
The USP: A cool country house atmosphere – in London’s zone 6.
The food: Dinner in 1665 was exquisite: tangy coconut soup, sumptuous steak, and hot donuts filled with Nutella. An exciting menu with a good variety of vegetarian and vegan options.