It’s been a while since we posted a hotel review, so when The Runnymede invited us to spend a night enjoying their rooms, spa and restaurant we jumped at the chance. With its cute duck logo, riverside location, access to activities including boat trips, HotTugs, an indoor and outdoor spa and walks in the surrounding countryside, it seemed to have a lot to offer. Although most of these are summer activities and we visited in November, we still had a cosy, comfortable stay. Here’s our run-down of the place.
The Runnymede sits right on the Thames in Surrey, a conveniently close-but-not-too-close distance from Heathrow Airport. So if you’re looking for a hotel that’s near the airport but doesn’t feel like it’s in the airport, The Runnymede is a great shout. The waterfront position makes for great walks along the river, admiring the canal boats, swans and big, bright houses. Runnymede, as it turns out, has a pretty rich history: it’s the site where the original Magna Carta was sealed in 1215, and is also home to a JFK memorial that’s officially American soil. Walk out of the doors at the back of the hotel’s foyer and lounge, take a left, and you’ll come across all of this and more simply by following the path along the river.
There are three things everyone hopes for in a hotel room:
- A bed bigger, comfier and softer than your own
- A deep bathtub
- Fresh, fluffy dressing gowns
Our room at The Runnymede might not win any grand prizes for interior design innovations, but it ticked all three boxes and more, thanks to their careful attention to detail. The toiletries in the bathroom are by ESPA, and smell and feel seriously luxurious (you’ll definitely want to take home with you). There’s a nice selection of tea and coffee in the room, and the mugs carry the cute duck motif that runs through the whole hotel. We stayed in a Double Deluxe Riverside room with a pleasant view over the Thames and the occasional quacking of a passing duck. It’s hard to believe you’re so close to the country’s busiest airport, but you’ll be glad of that fact if you have to get up to catch an early flight.
The Runnymede has two main dining rooms, as well as lots of space for private functions and weddings. We dined in the Lock Bar & Kitchen, which focuses on classic British cooking. It’s got all the comfort-food classics you’d want from a hotel restaurant (soup of the day, battered cod and chips, burger and relish) as well as a menu curated by the chefs.
We snacked on Dingley Dell pork crackling with apple puree while we sipped our Skinny Prosecco – a signature serve of the hotel, whose owner is a big fan of the low-calorie, high-indulgence tipple – before starting with tender braised beef cheeks, creamed shallot and horseradish as well as scallops and salty (in a good way) pork belly and Jerusalem artichoke.
For the main event, we had stone bass with octopus dressed in zingy saffron, lemon and parsley, as well as a grilled lamb leg steak (on the bone) with potatoes a slick of salsa verde. For a sweet finish, we had Crème brûlée and a chocolate cup with a hunk of churros to dip into it, washed down with a ‘skinny’ mojito that tasted great and not at all skinny.
One of The Runnymede’s highlights is its spa – a stylishly zen area set apart from the hustle and bustle of the hotel. In the summer months, there’s an outdoor swimming pool and hot tub, but it being November, we stuck to the great indoors. Starting in the small but well-equipped, we worked up a sweat before relaxing in the sauna, steam room, hot tub and indoor heated pool. If you have time, you can book in for a treatment with one of their trained therapists or beauticians…. meaning more of that amazing-smelling ESPA product!
So, if you’re in the area, stop by for a walk by the river, a spa session, and a good night’s sleep.
We The Food Snobs x