On the fringes of Hampton Court Palace’s spectacular grounds, The Kings Arms Hampton Court
is the epitome of boutique chic. This cosy hotel with 14 beautifully-renovated rooms, not only overlooks the Palace’s maze, but sitting opposite Bushy Park makes it a dream location for a cost autumn night away.
Hop on a train at Waterloo and within the hour you’ll be checking in. Having been in existence as a pub, hotel or inn since at least 1709, it’s by far the oldest business in the area. While its interiors have been updated in recent years, it’s lost none of its elegance and charm, even boasting a stunning mosaic tiled entrance lobby unearthed by the current owners.
With each room a unique shape and style, you can handpick you’re ideal bed for the night. The Hampton Suite even offers luxurious living in a family size; designed for a family of four or five, it features a luxurious master bedroom with a separate room with built-in bunk bed.
Our Luxury Room overlooked the gates of Bushy Park, with cloud-soft carpets, a beautiful fireplace and ultra comfortable bed, decorated in calming, muted tones of purple with some stunning artwork on the walls. Despite being on the main road, the hardcore glazing ensured total silence, and with the addition of blackout curtains a good night’s sleep was all but a guarantee. The bathroom featured heavenly scented local toiletries from London brand Jenny Betts and with the well-stocked minibar one could be forgiven for indulging in an early night and taking to bed with a movie.
You would however be a fool to miss the goings on downstairs. On our Friday night visit the bar was buzzing, as was the lounge next door, a cosy space with a roaring log fire in winter. The real star of the show however is restaurant The Six. Envisioned by Michelin starred chef Mark Kempson and named after Henry VIII’s wives and with a menu designed by Chef Kempson and headed up by Head Chef Jack Scoines, The Six prides itself on eclectic cuisine using local ingredients where possible. Key dishes include the Palace Garden Salad, which features soft boiled egg and sweet mustard dressing, Steamed Cornish Plaice, with smoked bacon, grilled gem, garlic buttermilk, whilst the Six Burger, with smoked onions and spiced tomato relish sits at the centre of the menu. Dessert is also not to be missed with a firm favourites set to be Cambridge Burnt Cream and Lemon Posset, with poached blueberries and homemade shortbread
I indulged in a creamy lightly smoked English burrata, served with baked beetroot, walnut and sage, followed by an absolute divine plate of organic welsh lamb rump, artichoke, sweet onion, lamb croquette and rosemary. The food was sublime, quite one of the best meals I’ve had this year and certainly worth the visit alone, regardless of whether you will stay the night or not. Washed down with an Argentinian Malbec and followed with an absolutely beautiful baked vanilla and hazelnut cheesecake with confit orange and plum sorbet, we rolled up to bed stuffed and sated and thankful for the feast.
After an undisturbed night’s sleep, we rose for breakfast to be greeted by a continental spread of fresh bread and pastries, fruit, cereal, cold meats and cheeses with a cooked menu also available. While we didn’t indulge this time round, after the success of our evening meal I’m certain the breakfast would also have been something special. After a stroll around Bushy Park it was time to check out, our brief sojourn to the suburbs had come to an end.
The King’s Arms was a delight from start to finish. From its buzzing bar and restaurant with inventive twists on classic dishes to the cosy bedrooms, it’s an ideal night away from the bustle of town.