Review: The Mitre Hotel, Surrey

The hotel takes up residence in a red-brick, wisteria-covered building dating back to the 17th century

Location: Perched on the banks of the River Thames in East Molesey, The Mitre Hotel takes up residence in a red-brick, wisteria-covered building dating back to the 17th century, right opposite the main entrance to Hampton Court Palace.

First impressions: Sitting just off the main road, The Mitre was a hive of activity when we arrived on a drizzly Sunday afternoon. With two restaurants open to both paying guests and the public – and serving its weekly Sunday roast with all the trimmings – the Small Luxury Hotels of the World property was doing a roaring trade. In reception, the hotel felt cosy and familiar. A lounge area featured a fireplace and low-slung chairs, and we were offered a complimentary glass of wine while we checked in. The generous hospitality continued as we got to our room: a couple of shortbread biscuits hung in a drawstring bag on the door and a bottle of The King’s Ginger, a historic liqueur, carried the note: ‘Please have a wee drink on us!’.

The facts: The Mitre is thought to have been built in 1665 to house an overflow of courtiers from the palace. After changing hands multiple times over the last 20 years, the property was bought by new hotel brand The Signet Collection in January 2020 and underwent a five-month renovation. Its 36 rooms now have a distinctly quirky feel, with statement wallpaper, bold tones and contemporary nods to the building’s heritage and location. A few even have roll-top baths. Cafe and wine bar Coppernose offers relaxed, all-day dining, while sophisticated riverside brasserie 1665 (and its adjoining, dog-friendly Orangerie) serves a wide-ranging menu including Cornish sole meunière and teriyaki cauliflower ‘popcorn’. There’s also a games room for backgammon and a library with a jukebox and an honesty bar.

Explore: The obvious choice for clients who haven’t already visited is Hampton Court Palace, the former residence of King Henry VIII. A gorgeous riverside walk also runs next to the palace, offering clients the chance to see the property’s manicured gardens from the rear. The hotel is moments from Bushy Park, London’s second-largest park, and not far from Sandown Park Racecourse, Kew Gardens and Richmond Park. The Mitre also offers a two-hour boat ride along the Thames.

Wow: It isn’t just humans that get five-star treatment here. The dog-friendly hotel couldn’t have made our miniature dachshund, Chippie, feel more at home, with her own dog bed, bowl, treats and toy in our room on arrival. She was the centre of attention for our entire stay – just the way she likes it.

Book it: Rooms start from £180 a night, including breakfast.

Erica Rich

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