Flying from Venice was a breeze, especially in light of what we went through ten days before to get there. Since we could not make a same day connection to Philadelphia, we decided to spend our layover in Richmond Upon Thames, a pleasant suburb of London. We were originally going to stay in Windsor but someone else, do the names Prince Harry and Meaghan Markle ring a bell, had plans for that area on the day of our stay. Richmond was our second choice and it turned out to be lovely. Here is a shot of the Thames from Richmond Hill Road.
The view of Richmond Park and the River Thames is extraordinary. Locals gather on benches drinking beer and drinking in the views on pleasant spring evenings.
We had a pint or two at the Roebuck pub, a popular place across from the park. It was interesting to watch people leave their bench to trot across Richmond Hill Road to enter the pub for a draught, which they promptly carried back to their perch to resume looking at the view and conversing with their buds.
We booked a room with a view of the Thames at the Petersham Hotel, a pretty place in the park. Here is a photo of it from the Hill.
We checked in after a 30 drive from Heathrow; arrived around 2:30 in the afternoon and verified that our room had a view of the river. We were assured our room was as requested. Imagine our surprise when we got to the room, went to the window, opened the curtains and peered out at this view:
Thinking that a mistake had been made, we returned to reception to address the error. Surely they could correct the situation. Well, I guess you know where I am going with this. We were informed that indeed our room did have a view of the Thames. And, their approach was to handle the matter as if we did something wrong. We were told all we had to do was step out onto the small balcony and turn to the left and, howdy do, you can see the river. In fact, a man who may well have been the front desk manager, told us “of course you can’t see the river when you’re lying in bed.” No kidding! Not the attitude we expected and certainly not as advertised on their website. We could have accepted the situation if the room was advertised as an “obstructed” view but it wasn’t and their people skills were clearly lacking. Its unfortunate because the hotel is otherwise very nice.
Richmond is a nice town; very walkable and much to see. Kew Gardens is nearby but, due to limited time, we never got there. Here are a couple of shots of what is a small sampling of the town. There is much, much more to the area than what we saw and Richmond is worth a visit.
May 18th we were up and out on the way back to Heathrow for our return flight to Philadelphia and home. The end to an enjoyable and memorable trip.