We were staying in the Mercure London Staines hotel, after checking in and finding it was located right on the banks of the River Thames, we left our suitcases and headed out to explore straightaway. We were on a bit of a dual mission - explore the riverside path and get our bearings, plus look for somewhere in Staines to have a meal that evening and the next.
The hotel has an idyllic location - it is right on the banks of the Thames and the rooms at the back look over the river. You can leave via the bar and terrace and then walk along the path by the river. We turned right as we left the hotel and just wandered. It was peaceful, serene and calm. The river flowed gently on our left hand side, there were a few canal boats but hardly any people around.
We came to some weird swan sculptures and then seemed to be heading a little way out of the town. The scenery throughout was lovely and we carried on as far as we could go. You eventually reach a little island which is private, you can't carry on along the path any further. Instead of walking back through the town, we decided to retrace our steps, we had enjoyed the walk so much. We carried on past the hotel, but although pretty, this area is not as beautiful as the other direction.
We had planned to eat in Staines, hoping to find a nice little restaurant by the edge of the river. Unfortunately apart from a couple of standard big chain pubs, there was nothing else. We don't normally do this, but decided to eat at the hotel restaurant - the Riverside Restaurant and Bar. It had a gorgeous outdoor terrace with river views.
The terrace area was busy and we got the last table - it was perfect though, on the edge and by the water. The menu was quite nice - their speciality is burgers, we both opted for the house special. It was absolutely delicious - a home made burger, moist, juicy and very succulent. The salad it came with was crisp and delicious and the home made chunky chips were just heavenly. We both agreed it was a gorgeous meal, much better than we were expecting. Our son had fish and chips from the kids menu which was also great.
The setting outside by the river was wonderful too and we watched a stunning sunset.
The next evening, after a long day at Thorpe Park, we decided to eat in the restaurant again. That is highly unusual for us - we don't normally like to retrace our steps but we had enjoyed the meal so much the previous evening. Unfortunately the weather was a lot cooler and not sunny, so although the terrace was open, we chose to eat in the indoor dining room. This also is lovely, great views (through glass though) of the river and a quiet, relaxed atmosphere.
I opted for the burger again - it was so nice the day before, my husband had a steak (excellent was the verdict) and our son had a pasta dish which he thoroughly enjoyed.
We loved this restaurant - the location is unbeatable, the staff and service were excellent, the food was delicious and it was very reasonably priced.