Stay next door to Henry VIII at The Mitre Hotel at Hampton Court

At over 350 years old, The Mitre is the real deal for history fans.

The Mitre Hotel at Hampton Court

by Karen Booth |

History buffs will love The Mitre at Hampton Court, sitting on the banks of the River Thames and boasting a most prestigious next-door neighbour, Hampton Court Palace, once home to several sovereigns, including King Henry VIII, back in Tudor times.

Where is The Mitre Hotel?

The Mitre Hotel, Royal Room, Thames view
©Karen Booth

The Mitre Hotel, situated in East Molesey, Surrey, is a Grade II listed hotel, widely believed to have been built by Charles II in 1665 to house an overflow of courtiers at Hampton Court Palace, next door. The hotel keeps its Medieval heritage alive with stunning public spaces and 36 history-themed bedrooms, each with individual décor.

On our arrival, the friendly staff were very welcoming and and keen to show us around, including the quirky library, once an open-air courtyard, now a place to relax with its own jukebox which you can connect your own device to, via bluetooth.

Where will I sleep?

The Mitre Hotel, Royal Room, Thames view
Royal Room, with views of The Thames ©Karen Booth

We stayed in the Royal bedroom with a rolltop bath with views of the Thames, plus a luxury shower in the en suite. The rooms combine elegant luxury with a touch of authentic quirkiness, and I was immediately intrigued by the fireplace which sat at 45˚ to the river-facing walls. The rooms are very quiet, the hotel being solidly-built and renovated over the centuries.

The Mitre Hotel, Royal Room, Thames view
©Karen Booth
The Mitre Hotel, Details of the Royal Room
©Karen Booth

Once settled in our room, we tucked into home-baked cookies and a delicious tipple called The King’s Ginger alongside an espresso (or two) from the room’s own coffee machine.

Drinks in the Royal Room
©Karen Booth

We took a pre-dinner stroll in Bushy Park, next door, and at dusk took a quick jaunt over Hampton Court Bridge to admire the hotel from Martin’s boat hire, right opposite.

The Mitre Hotel, river views
©Karen Booth
The Mitre Hotel at Hampton Court
©Karen Booth

What is there to eat?

There are two eateries, the Coppernose Bar, and our destination for dinner, The 1665 Riverside Brasserie. Our table had a riverside view in a large, bowed room looking out to the Thames.

1665's menu is modern and varied. I chose Popcorn Cauliflower with Teriyaki and Sesame, followed by the waiter’s recommendation, Pan-roasted Cornish Monkfish. Dessert was a handsome and delicate orange and lemon soufflé.

Desert and breakfast
©Karen Booth

At breakfast in the Coppernose Bar, daylight revealed how stunning the view is from the panoramic riverside windows, looking out to Hampton Court Bridge, with tantalising hints of the rooftops of the palace beyond. Rowers, both in serious training and more leisurely boaters kept us entertained as they glided past.

Along with the customary offering of cereals, full english breakfast and pastries, there is a modern breakfast menu, and I chose poached egg and avocado on sourdough, with excellent coffee to round it off.

What is there to do at The Mitre Hotel?

The Mitre couldn’t be handier for visiting Hampton Court Palace – it is literally just over the road from the royal palace’s impressive entrance. And you don’t have to be a history buff to have a great day out here – the sheer grandeur of it all is impressive enough, and the audio guide will tell you all you need to know to make the best of your visit.

Hampton Court Palace entrance
©Karen Booth

There are two main parts to the palace itself: Henry VIII’s Tudor Court and William III’s Baroque Palace. We most enjoyed seeing the Tudor king’s enormous kitchens where huge quantities of meat were once roasted to produce over 800 meals a day for the hungry household; and the magnificent Great Hall with its stained glass and carved timber ceiling, where Henry would eat and entertain.

Hampton Court Palace: Henry VIII's kitchens
Henry VIII's kitchens ©Karen Booth

The portrait-lined Haunted Gallery was also fascinating, where the ghost of Catherine Howard is said to be seen screaming and pleading for mercy after being accused by Henry of adultery.

Hampton Court Palace: The Astronomical Clock and Henry VIII's Great Hall
The Astronomical Clock and Henry VIII's Great Hall ©Karen Booth

We finished our day with a walk around the palace gardens, which even in winter were stunning, with their manicured symmetry and impressive scale.

If you’re visiting with grandchildren, then the world-famous Hampton Court Maze, (the UK’s oldest surviving hedge maze and the world’s first puzzle maze), is the ideal place for them to let off steam and lose themselves (quite literally) for a while!

Hampton Court gardens and maze
©Karen Booth

How much does it cost to visit?

Classic Rooms at The Mitre start from £150 (room only, for two people). The full English Breakfast starts from £15 per person. Discounted tickets to Hampton Court Palace can be purchased from reception.

Getting to The Mitre

As the hotel sits on such ancient site, bounded by the River Thames and Hampton Court Bridge, parking is limited at the hotel itself, but there are nearby (chargeable) carparks within just a few minutes walking distance. The hotel is close to Hampton Court train station, just over the bridge, which provides connections to central London, and buses run from Kingston and Richmond.

For more information or to make a reservation, visit The Mitre website, telephone 020 8979 9988 or email reservations@mitrehamptoncourt.co.uk

The Mitre Hotel and Hampton Court Palace
The Mitre Hotel, bottom left, and Hampton Court Palace ©Photo: The Mitre Hotel

Final thoughts

The Mitre is an outstanding historic property and the minor inconvenience of limited parking is understandable, given then hotel's impressive age and location. However, there's parking available for blue badge holders and access to the hotel for disabled guests. Whether or not you plan to pop round to the palace next door, it makes an ideal choice for a characterful break.

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