30th May 2018

#Food & Drink #Youngs

A family stay in Richmond

30th May 2018

As a parent, when you get a rare day off work, the pressure is on to find something that will keep every member of the family happy. A recent midweek gap in the diaries meant that I was able to book a fun day and night away with my husband, nearly three year old and 11 month old. Trying to find something that the baby, the toddler and parents will all enjoy, isn’t always the easiest, but we definitely managed it on our latest trip.


First thing first was to book somewhere to stay and make a plan from there.  Having recently stayed in the Rose & Crown in Wimbledon and never having stayed in a Young’s pub (or any pub for that matter) I was astonished by the service, rooms and quality of the breakfast. So I decided they could be a good option for this trip too. I asked some of the hotel team there to make their top recommendations of the best pubs to stay in with a family.

Their favourite choices outside London included Stuart House at The Bell at Stow as it has a little annexe at the back and has two separate rooms of different floors which is great if your children are slightly older. City Gate, Exeter has a large family room, as does The Lamb in Hindon, Wiltshire.

In London they suggested The Alma in Wandsworth, Dog & Fox Wimbledon, The Windmill in Clapham, and Fox & Anchor Farringdon. This last has a beautiful suite and is situated a stone’s throw from the outstanding SMITHS of Smithfield where I’ve been going for years and has also just been re-launched.

In the end we opted for the last of their suggestions, the Orange Tree in Richmond. We quite often head to the country as a safe bet, so we thought London would be fun for our eldest Tillie. Richmond seemed to us the ideal middle ground – plenty to do and see, but away from the hustle and bustle of central London. We looked forward to relaxed walks by the River Thames, luscious green parks and quick dashes in to the plentiful and tempting boutique shops.

Our day began at London Zoo. Tillie and William’s faces lit up as they saw all the amazing animals. They loved every moment and even when tired, an ice cream perked them up and the excitement of seeing more animals kept them going.  Later in the afternoon we decided it was time to go to find our hotel. We made the 40 minute drive to the Orange Tree pub and hotel in Richmond. The staff were really helpful when I called them and gave detailed and clear information on how to find them, where to park and how much it would cost, making what can be quite stressful with two tired little people, the easiest it could have been.

On arrival the hotel check-in staff were incredibly friendly and carried our bags up as we took the children and the buggy up to the room. We’d chosen a Superior Double which has a sofa bed and room for a cot. The cot and sofa bed were both made up ready and Tille and William loved exploring the room and everything it had to offer. They were especially keen looking out of the huge windows and watching all of the London buses go by. What can I say? They’re country bumpkins!

We were all starving and like most families have become used to eating early. So at 4.45pm we headed down to a bustling pub filled with post work drinkers looking forward to their weekend. We found a lovely table in the restaurant at the back of the pub which was slightly quieter.  We ordered a couple of Far Reaches gin with Elderflower Fever Tree tonic, which went down rather well, as Tillie enjoyed the huge apple juice placed in front of her and we all enjoyed the atmosphere around us.

I didn’t expect them to have a children’s menu but the waitress brought us one which featured a fantastic selection.  A pasta with tomato sauce and cheese and a portion of sausages and chips meant the children were catered for and happily enjoying the feast in front of them. We went for a Surf and turf; 8oz Aberdeen Angus Hanger steak, garlic and chilli king prawn cocktail, thrice cooked chips, mixed leaf salad and La La Land red wine jus and their special of a rack of ribs with sweet potato fries.  More gins were ordered and this time we went for something a little different with a Warner Edwards Rhubarb gin and the new Tanqueray Flor de Sevilla gin which are both a little more fruity and added a summer vibe to our evening. It would be rude not to order a selection of the delicious Jude’s ice cream which was so creamily delicious we were fighting over the spoon!

With the days of long evening drinks well and truly behind us, by 7pm we were all in the room and the kids were settling down for sleep. With no dishwasher to fill or toys to be picked up, I opted for a bath filled with the complimentary Green & Spring bubble bath, which is natural and handmade in the British countryside, and made the most of some ‘me time’.

As always, the kids woke very early but the television created some distraction as did the buses outside the window and breakfast was an exciting affair for them with a buffet of mini boxes of cereals, croissants, juice and a menu to order even more from. After suitably filling ourselves on the cooked breakfast we took a stroll around the shops, walked to the river and fed the ducks and pigeons, took in some time at the May Fair in Richmond park and found a great little coffee place to buy some cakes to take home.

Overall it was a lovely couple of days spent away from the daily grind and there was something for each of us to enjoy. It was so nice to enjoy being in a pub on a Friday evening and being welcome with your children to enjoy dinner. So where to on our next adventure?  I feel a trip in the sticks might be in line for our next little family escapade.

Young’s Hotels have a collection of 23 hotels and pubs across the UK, based primarily in London but stretching out to the west, including spots in the Cotswolds and the West Country. Every Young’s hotel offers a unique mixture of traditional charm, character and hospitality and has the unique attraction of being within a traditional English pub, offering a range of award-winning beers and superb food. Stay local with Young’s Hotels, your home from home.


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