Richmond’s great little neighbourhood restaurants and independent bars make this corner of London special. In fact, if Richmond and I were a couple, we’d be in bed, toes slightly touching beneath the duvet, stained paperbacks on our laps. It’s an area that inspires the shared comfort of seasoned familiarity, and ever since I got to know the lanes that meander through Richmond Hill, the row boats that bob by the riverbank, and the boutiques on every street corner, I knew we had something special going on. From a Breton-style creperie to a classic pub, these are the spots that make Richmond my long-time love affair.
When you’re hunting around Richmond for your new best friend in restaurant form, Chez Lindsay should be top of your list. Serving Breton specialities, this place makes for a great lunch or dinner spot, and while everybody would totally understand if you choose to spend your time with their savoury galettes, sweet crepes, and ciders, you should also feel free to slow things down a bit. Their seafood classics are a good bet. Perhaps the escargot in garlic and butter, or mussels with white wine, cream, and shallots - along with a bottle of something from their extensive and affordable wine list. Once you get acquainted, you’ll be ready to introduce Chez Lindsay to all your other friends as soon as you can.
The Alberts Deli
Tucked away on a quiet corner of the bustling Richmond Quadrant, The Albert’s Deli is the perfect cross between neighbourhood deli and local café. Serving classic breakfast options as well as pretty excellent coffee, there’s also a homemade lunch counter with daily changing specials. All in, it’s a great spot to grab a hot drink and a bacon butty when you need to get away from the chaos of the high street.
Located on Richmond’s dreamiest alley, So Bar is an intimate candlelit cocktail bar. It’s the kind of place you’re going to want to plan ahead and book a table at, although some space is set aside for walk-ins if a sudden urge for a stiff drink takes over. Their kitchen hosts regular residencies, so there’s always something good to eat, making it a perfect spot for a date. It’s even a quick hop skip and a jump away from Richmond Green in case sparks don’t fly and you want to disappear into the night.
Rock & Rose
If you’re looking for the opposite of small and intimate, Rock & Rose will fit the bill. It’s a glitzy restaurant and bar, designed from top to bottom to dole out a very specific, laugh-till-you-snort kind of fun. My go-to here is the lamb shank massaman with a side of ‘I’ll have what they’re having’, but with its eclectic menu and flamboyant decor, everything about this spot, from the foliage to the art to the candelabras, is so gloriously OTT that it’s kind of seductive.
Hilltribe Thai Restaurant
Sometimes all you need is somewhere quiet. Somewhere to watch the world go by while shovelling spoonfuls of chewy noodles towards your mouth. For times like this, Hill Tribe should be your sanctuary. It’s perfect for Thai classics like a pad see ew or a piping bowl of green curry over rice, and while there’s nothing here that will completely change your world, everything about this place is tasty, comfortable, and soothing.
A short walk from Kew Gardens, this cosy family-run Italian restaurant is a regular reminder that there’s not really all that much that pasta and wine can’t fix. When you’re in need of a pick-me-up, your move should be to start with the tagliatelle al gamberoni and finish with the tiramisu, all washed down with a bottle (or more) of wine. Everything here is done as you’d expect it, and everything here will make you feel glued together, especially that parting shot of limoncello for the road.
The Lass O' Richmond Hill
Richmond has no shortage of great pubs, but if you’re after something serene and tranquil, you can’t do better than The Lass O’Richmond Hill. It’s got everything you’d expect or could ever want of a Richmond pub. Fireplaces? Check. Cosy couches? Check. A sprawling (and covered) garden terrace? Check. There are a few standout dishes served here - the pea and garlic croquettes and potato and leek gratin among them - but they also do all the classics. Just make sure to book ahead if you’re coming for a Sunday roast, especially if you want to snag a heated table in the garden.
Located bang opposite the Green, Gelateria Danieli is arguably the best spot to grab ice cream in Richmond. The counter behind the parlour’s milky façade serves up frozen yoghurts, granita, smoothies, and milkshakes, but it’s their quality gelato you really want. The flavours are mind-boggling, with everything from traditional (pistachio, stracciatella and hazelnut) to tantalising (Turkish delight and Sicilian cactus fruit) on offer.
Chango is a little shop near Richmond Green specialising in Argentine empanadas. These hot pockets of goodness are cooked to order, and with fillings like beef and spicy chicken, ham and cheese, not to mention vegetarian options too, they’re perfect on-the-go snacks. And if you’re craving something sweet, keep an eye out for their alfajores.