TOP

The Bingham Riverhouse review

Festive cheer and a new winter menu

There is something about the entrance to the Bingham Riverhouse that is quite magical. Narnia-esque, there is no hint of the grand interior with its river terraces that lies behind the discreet front door. It’s even more charming during the festive season with a tasteful display illuminating the pathway and into the small lobby to the hotel and restaurant. Walk one way and you’ll find a cosy bar, framed by the balcony adorned with festive lights. Walk the other, and you’re into the restaurant, again with glimpses out onto the twinkly lights on the balcony. There are more decorations on the lawn too, and if you’re living across the river, lucky you, as you’ll get the full effect.

Created from two Georgian townhouses, the Bingham Riverhouse has long been a popular spot as a hotel, restaurant and wedding venue, and a refurb last year gave it a contemporary update, albeit inkeeping with the period setting. We sat in the dining room among other couples on a pre-Christmas night out.

To start we tried confit duck leg with spiced lentils, with the duck superbly tender and a perfect starter for a cold evening. A raw beef was not as expected but nevertheless delicious, with very thin strips of beef mixed with crispy onions. For mains, a venison saddle with parsnip and roasted pear did not disappoint with the venison rich, flavourful and cooked pink. Guinea fowl with devils on horseback was an excellent choice for the time of year, with head chef Andy Cole putting together a menu featuring dishes that are both wintry and celebratory. A traditional custard tart finished off the proceedings, along with a British cheese selection (£4 supp) with a delicious accompaniment of caramelised apple. We opted for the wine pairing for £25, and the three glasses for each course worked really well with our dishes.

It’s all quietly refined yet relaxed, with charming service. A great festive treat.

Two courses: £37, three: £45.

www.binghamriverhouse.com/

Insta-worthy winter terraces