When people say let’s go on a mini break, the idea always begins as a quick hop-and-skip journey to some beautiful countryside hotel and hours spent frolicking within the fields. However, the reality is often Three hours of bumper to bumper traffic there and back as you realise almost every other individual is attempting to leave London on the Friday night, that is always a downer on your fun weekend away. Luxury hotel and spa, Runnymede upon Thames, isn't within the countryside, but is a mere 40 minute journey from Waterloo towards 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 lots of rooms, many overlooking the forest, large grounds with quick access towards 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 disregard the Thames, but they are all situated in close reach towards the physical fitness spa and the restaurant. There is something hugely indulgent about travelling one minute after your massage or perhaps a minute after dinner for your room. Our room really capitalised on the views of The Thames, as well as in the morning it was so relaxing to attract back the curtains and find out the surprisingly blue lapping waters (the second may have been relaxed induced delusion on my small part). Your bunk 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 inside pool with floor to ceiling windows, an infrared cabin, saunas, a eucalyptus steam room along with a whirlpool. Outside, in the summertime months, there is a large outdoor pool overlooking The forest Thames having a spa. We visited in dark December but we ventured outside for any peek, and it seemed worth coming back visit within the next heatwave. The spa includes a selection of treatments from facials to full massages. We tried the 45 minute neck and shoulder massage that was finished off with cold stones which unwound all my London tension niggles, before I drifted off to the area 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 second was closed for supper the night i was 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 sooner than we did and opting for a late roast lunch (in addition!).
The restaurant includes 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 during the day. It’s what I would call an accessible menu, ideal for anyone with dietary requirements plus they were so flexible and understanding about substituting ingredients. For the starters I chosen the bresaola, goat’s curd and pickled vegetables that was such a great combination of crunchy tart veg with creamy curd and the saltiness of the meat. In 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. With this point desserts couldn’t be around the cards, but when it had been we were assured the crumble during the day was the main one. We took petit fours towards the room and indulged inside a TV marathon in our dressing gowns. This is what a mini break is about…
For more information on Runnymede upon Thames see here.