Worth getting out of bed for
Hop on a river ferry at St Helena Pier, just by Richmond Bridge, and float gently down the Thames all the way to historic Hampton Court Palace (www.hrp.org.uk); ring Turks Launches on 020 8546 2434 to check times. If you’re in the mood for a movie of the moment, Richmond Odeon Cinema is on Hill Street (+44 (0)871 224 4007). Closer still on Water Lane, Richmond Filmhouse (+44 (0)870 850 6928), favours highbrow flicks. If you’re keen to brush up on your kitchen skills, and you’re a fan of piscine dishes, book a day at FishWorks Cookery School (+44 (0)20 8948 5965; www.fishworks.co.uk) and go home armed with top tips and recipes. Thursday's course is Cooking for the Family; Friday evenings mean Entertaining with Seafood and Fine Wines classes, and Saturdays you'll be tutored in how to recreate the FishWorks classic menu. Stroll through the exotic grounds of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew (+44 (0)20 8332 5655; www.rbgkew.org.uk) where you can poke your nose into fantastic greenhouses and pause in private corners of pretty parkland. It's open every day except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day; times vary according to season, but generally around 9.30am–5.30pm. Adult ticket, £11.75.
Lovers of French food will enjoy Chez Lindsay (+44 (0)20 8948 7473), a bistro on Richmond’s Hill Rise where Lindsay Wotton’s Breton cuisine takes centre stage: try griddled galettes or cider‑soaked oysters. Along the towpath, with an alfresco terrace, modern Argentine restaurant and bar Gaucho (+44 (0)20 8948 4030) is a carnivore’s dream come true: the big draw is steak, in all its seared, grilled and well‑hung glory (although there are vegetarian and seafood dishes). The acclaimed Petersham Nurseries Café is a 10‑minute stroll across Petersham Meadows. Book well in advance to sample Skye Gyngell’s garden‑fresh seasonal menus (+44 (0)20 8940 5230). Downriver in Kew, The Glasshouse on Station Parade (+44 (0)20 8940 6777) is an acclaimed eatery for a special‑occasion lunch or romantic dinner; Anthony Boyd oversees the fancy French‑influenced flavours in this elegant cream‑coloured restaurant. Ask for a window table. Family‑run restaurant Enoteca Turi on Putney High Street (+44 (0)20 8785 4449) has an awe‑inspiring 350‑bin wine list, with superb regional Italian dishes to match.
Green Café, which is right on the green (+44 (0)20 8332 0345) is a delightful lunchtime spot where the organic offerings are especially considerate of vegetarians; open 9am–6pm.
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Smith extra at Bingham
A chilled half-bottle of champagne, plus free late check-out (subject to availability)