I love the view across the Thames from East Molesey, forget the beautiful bridge or the palace in the background, it’s the boats and the Cartlon Mitre building with the grand semi circle of windows jutting out over the Thames I adore. I’ve often wondered what it’s like on the other side of those windows and now I was about to find out.
The Riverside Restaurant in the Carlton Mitre opposite Hampton Court Palace has a new chef and all new menu. I was excited to visit the restaurant for my birthday. The entrance is to the left of the main hotel entrance.
We sat in the big circular room overhanging the river, it’s a room rich in wood and cosy lighting, plus one of the biggest rot iron chandeliers I’ve ever seen. A roaring fire and light music completes the atmosphere and make it a perfect setting for a grey winter’s ay.
Outside a patio is tucked between the building, the hotel and the Thames. You could practically dip your toes in the water while you ate. This is one of the best riverside al fresco dining areas around, shame my visit was in November.
Downstairs is a brasserie with it’s own riverside patio if you are looking for more casual dining.
The restaurant also serves full afternoon tea, complete with divine homemade macaroons.
Service is friendly and sophisticated. The menu is modern English with a few twists. There’s lots of fish options and any dietary needs are catered for.
To begin we had Marinate olives with homemade bread, balsamic & aged olive oil £6.00. Our selection was (left to right) soda, Guinness and sun-dried tomato. One bite and we knew we were in trouble. The bread was outrageously good. Forget leaving room for more courses, we couldn’t stop eating it. The Guinness was my favourite, all malty goodness.
For starters, J man opted for the Soup of the day £5.95, which was Celeriac. He really enjoyed the soup once, it had a nice texture and flavour. Again was unable to resist eating the homemade bread.
I started with the Beetroot marinated salmon, capers, watercress, lemon alioli, homemade brown bread £8.50. This is one of my dream dishes and it didn’t disappoint. I loved it, though to be truthful I didn’t dare taste the bread for fear of being unable to stop eating it. I gave it to Jman, who ate it, silly boy.
For mains Jman had the Whole roast plaice, samphire, brown shrimps, beluga lentils, anchovy & Chervil butter £15.00. I don’t know why he was surprised when it came with a head, it clearly says whole on the menu. Nevermind, once he got over it the fish was perfectly cooked, nice and moist and the accoutrements made it a tasty dish. Most important of all he was able to finish the whole dish after all the bread.
For my main I was intrigued to try the Duck ‘Shepherds’ Pie’, seasonal vegetables £13.50. Wow, I couldn’t believe the size of it when it arrived at the table. Even if I hadn’t stuffed myself with bread, olives and salmon there’s no way I could eat this American sized portion. You may think the dish looks big enough but it was packed full of duck, no mash filler here. The price per pound of food is a steal. As for the food itself, the duck was tender and delicious and the steamed vegetables were lovely.
It was my birthday and I wasn’t about to let a little issue like being thoroughly stuffed get between me and dessert. Still, I had to concede something and we opted to share a Riverside Fumble, peaches, vanilla custard & marscapone, granola crumble, £6.50. What a perfect way to end the meal, it was light and refreshing, a real palate cleanser and exactly my kind of treat.
We throughly enjoyed our meal at the Riverside Restaurant. It’s a great option for both cosy winter indoor and sunny summer al fresco dining in Surrey.
Riverside Restaurant, Carlton Mitre Hotel, Hampton Court Road, Hampton Court, East Molesey, KT8 9BN
Small car park, can double park if you leave your keys with the concierge, also a few pay and display spots alternatively use the car park at Hampton Court station.
We were guests of Riverside Restaurant but this is no way biased my review.