My weekend in Richmond allowed me time to find some places to include in the Thames Path refreshment list. KEW
First, there is of course the wonderful Maids of Honour teashop in Kew which is well worth a visit. This is a real teashop with the additional attraction of its tarts made to a secret Tudor recipe. Jamie Oliver visited recently and praised the original Maids of Honour tart.
A new attraction I did not know about is the bed and breakfast in the old family rooms upstairs. What a perfect overnight stop on the Thames Path -have tea and stay the night.
Step out of the station and you find several food outlets.
For a good healthy sandwich and drink there is Cook & Garcia across the road. The Coronation chicken version is delicious and generous.
Almost opposite is Pizzeria Rustica which offers a £7 set lunch. The service is quick without being rushed. In the evening the restaurant is crowded with an informal atmosphere indicating good value and quality.
PETERSHAM Petersham Nurseries is hard to find but it’s worth it. From the towpath walk up River Lane and at the Old Stables (left) go left down a very narrow alley.
Inside the nursery there not only a cafe (meaning table service restaurant) but The Tea House. Here there are filling salades for under a tenner as well as tempting cakes. You take your food into a greenhouse where there are antique tables and chairs amongst lemon trees bearing fruit at this time of the year and olive trees.
Unlimited tap water is available which is the best drink for walkers.
The great attraction of the Thames Path is that it is a flat waterside route except for one diversion up a hill west of Reading.
So does the walker want a hotel at the top of the hill when the Thames Path is below with the river?
The Richmond Hill Hotel stands across the road from a glorious view up the Thames. This is the view reproduced by many artists including Constable and Turner. Sir Joshua Reynolds enjoyed the view daily from his home opposite the hotel. Richmond in the USA, the capital of Virginia, owes its name to this view seen by a tobacco farmer who was reminded of the River James.
It’s England’s only view to be protected by an Act of Parliament so stepping out to see this view is a good start to the day you are due to start walking out of (or into) Greater London.
Opposite the hotel a path runs alongside Wick House, Reynolds home, and down steep Petersham Common towards the Thames. But if a steep climb up on your arrival seems too much after a long walk there is always a very handy and frequent bus 371 from Richmond Station which takes you up the back of the hill.
I often say never swim in the river even on a hot day. It is too dangerous. The hotel has a swimming pool which is open in the evening and before breakfast.