Stay Here: Runnymede Upon Thames, EghamBy Gemma Perlin
When people say let’s go on a mini break, the idea always begins as a quick hop-and-skip journey to a beautiful countryside hotel and hours spent frolicking in the fields. However, the reality is often 3 hours of bumper to bumper traffic there and back as you realise every other person is trying to leave London on a Friday night, which is always a bit of a downer on your fun weekend away. Luxury hotel and spa, Runnymede upon Thames, is not in the countryside, but is a mere 40 minute journey from Waterloo to the nearest station, Egham and a 5 minute cab journey or 20 minute walk, and is situated on The River Thames.
The hotel is really quite substantial with plenty of rooms, many overlooking the river, large grounds with easy access to The Thames, an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, a luxurious spa, a gym and two interesting restaurants.
Runnymede Upon Thames: The Rooms
Many of the rooms overlook the Thames, but are all situated in close reach to the health and fitness spa and the restaurant. There is something hugely indulgent about travelling a minute after your massage or a minute after dinner to your room. Our room really capitalised on the views of The Thames, and in the morning it was so relaxing to draw back the curtains and see the surprisingly blue lapping waters (the latter may have been relaxed induced delusion on my part). The beds are soft and cosy, and we had both a standalone shower and bath with delightfully scented products.
Runnymede Upon Thames: The Spa
The spa is housed in the leisure centre, which houses an indoor pool with floor to ceiling windows, an infrared cabin, a sauna, a eucalyptus steam room and a whirlpool. Outside, in the summer months, there is a large outdoor swimming pool overlooking The River Thames with a hot tub. We visited in dark December but we ventured outside for a peek, and it seemed worth a return visit in the next heatwave. The spa has a range of treatments from facials to full body massages. We tried the 45 minute neck and shoulder massage which was finished off with cold stones which unwound all my London tension niggles, before I drifted off to the room in a fluffy dressing gown.
Runnymede Upon Thames: The Food
The hotel has two restaurants: the Lock Bar and Kitchen, and the Leftbank restaurant. The latter was closed for dinner the night we were there, but it’s the spot for informal buffet dinners, and it’s where we grabbed our breakfast from the following morning. The former was where we visited for our Sunday night dinner, we recommend coming earlier than we did and opting for a late roast lunch (in addition!).
The restaurant has a modern decor and serves really flavourful, punchy food with no pretension or ceremony. The menu reflects seasonal produce and there is a blackboard of specials including fish of the day. It’s what I would call an accessible menu, perfect for anyone with dietary requirements and they were so flexible and understanding about substituting ingredients. For the starters I opted for the bresaola, goat’s curd and pickled vegetables which was such a great combination of crunchy tart veg with creamy curd and the saltiness of the meat. From the diverse main course selection, I tried the incredibly tender roast lamb rump, panko shoulder and rosemary jus with big chips, steamed spinach, and greens and carrots on the side. By this point desserts couldn’t be on the cards, but if it was we were assured the crumble of the day was the one. We took petit fours to the room and indulged in a TV marathon in our dressing gowns. This is what a mini break is all about…
For more information on Runnymede upon Thames see here.
Photo Credit: Runnymede Upon Thames
The Runnymede on Thames Hotel and Spa, Windsor Road, Egham, Surrey, TW20 0AG