Checking in to The Mitre for a royal retreat

    cherry red and duck egg blue in the bedroom at The Mitre
    730 565 Pauline Brettell
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    Checking in to The Mitre for a royal retreat

    The first hotel from boutique brand, The Signet Collection, The Mitre Hampton Court opened its doors in September 2020. Nadia Walford took some time out to soak up some of its signature countryside chic…

    cherry red and duck egg blue in the bedroom at The Mitre

    Set on the banks of the River Thames sits the Grade II-listed property that shelters a The Mitre, which has just 36 keys. It is steeped in history and oozes charm, warmth and character thanks to its quirky, mood-lifting interiors and authentic blend of old-meets-new features.

    Commissioned by Charles II in 1665 to house the overflow of courtiers, the hotel site is rich with historical and royal connotations and has been reconstructed several times over the years. Legend has it that The Mitre was linked to Hampton Court Palace by a tunnel to facilitate kingly meetings with mistresses.

    More recently, it was given a new lease of life in 2020 by Hector Ross and Ronnie Kimbugwe, founders of The Signet Collection, whose vision for the brand is to create meaningful stays in time-honoured places throughout southern England. If rumours are to be believes, due to the pandemic, Ross based himself inside the hotel alongside 30-plus builders during the first lockdown to conduct an extensive, multimillion pound refurbishment.

    shades of blue and cherry red in the library at The Mitre

    Image credit: The Mitre Hampton Court

    Bringing this vision to life, interior designer Nicola Harding, who worked on Beaverbrook and The Rose in Deal, was the creative energy behind the colourful reinvention.

    Sticking to the brand’s ethos which “aims to connect guests with the history and the location of each hotel, providing characterful bedrooms, and playful lively public spaces where people quickly feel at home”, Harding has certainly stuck to the brief, decorating spaces with a playful mix of vibrant colours – an incredible 244 paint shades were used during the refurbishment – clashing prints, a hand painted de Gournay electric blue wallpaper, all the while drawing inspiration from Hampton Court and the surrounding neighbourhood including Bushy Park.

    Each of the 36 guestrooms and suites have been individually designed with Harding’s signature aesthetic. Marrying bright colours with busy patterns, features include gingham chairs, Rosi de Ruig lamps, wallpapers from London-based Dutch designer, Ottoline de Vries and antique headboards. Vintage books, posters, and nostalgic toys are placed in stylish nooks, while some original pieces taken from the original hotel have been reworked or upcycled, a satisfying blend of old and new.

    mixing the old and the new with bright colours in the guestrooms at The Mitre Hampton Court

    Image credit: The Mitre, Hampton Court

    The ‘heritage rooms’ are pet-friendly and themed around English countryside traditions of hunting, boating and other sports, while the showstopping Henry VIII bridal suite features a four-poster bed, a copper roll-top bath, and spectacular views of the River Thames and Hampton Court.

    view over the river from guestroom window at the mitre

    Image credit: The Mitre, Hampton Court

    A stay at The Mitre is not just about feeding the soul. With two restaurants, a lively riverside terrace complete with Whispering Angel Boat Shack, an Orangery, a library, and a vintage food truck, it’s ideal for those in need of an overnight escape and a quality feed, along with plenty of opportunities for riverside walks and time to explore nearby Hampton Court. Thanks to its location, the property caters for guests looking for a chic, country house hotel experience within easy reach of central London.

    This spring the brand is set to launch its second property, The Retreat at Elcot Park in Newbury. Housed in a Grade II listed 18th-century building located between Hungerford and Newbury, The Retreat will comprise of 55 individually styled bedrooms with magnificent grounds to match, combining quirky British sensibility, blending the old with the new. With stunning views of the Kennet Valley, the property is ideally situated for those looking to enjoy both country pursuits and culture alike, with its proximity to various famous sites including the Downton Abbey Highclere Castle and Newbury racecourse.

    > Since you’re here, why not find out more about The Signet collection here and here?

    Main image credit: The Mitre, Hampton Court

    Pauline Brettell / 17.02.2022


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