How to eat like a king and enjoy a bit of royal history too

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  • As you might have guessed from the title of this article, the newly re-opened The Kings Arms hotel is literally just a stone’s throw from the historic Hampton Court Palace, once upon a time home to Henry VIII and his many, many wives. When I say stone’s throw, you can literally see the Palace maze from one side of the hotel – and Bushey Park on the other, not a bad location at all.

    The rooms

    All 14 bedrooms in the 17th century building have been renovated in unique ways, using three colour schemes, utilise the hues surrounding the property. Rich bottle greens, smokey blues and warming pinks are carried from the fabrics right through to the handmade mosaic tiles used in the rain showers and back out to the botanical-printed curtains lining the rooms views.

    The hotel also champions sustainability, using locally sourced materials and suppliers, from the curtains to the toiletries, and artwork hanging in the restaurant.

    The Six Restaurant Hampton Court

    Whilst staying so close to the palace, it is only apt to feast like a king, and that you will at the hotel’s Six Restaurant (named in reference to Henry VIII’s six wives), featuring a menu designed by Michelin star Mark Kempson that nods to traditional British cuisine but with a modern twist.

    Think pub classics, but with a luxe twist, such as smoked eel on toast, crushed egg, beetroot and watercress, smashed Palace garden courgettes, devilled crab butter and Dexter rib eye steak, field mushroom and smoked bone marrow butter. The menu changes seasonally, a guarantee you’re eating nothing but the freshest produce.

    I know it’s hard, but do make room for dessert, the sticky toffee pudding is worth the wait.

    How to book

    Bed and breakfast rates start from £135. For reservations call +44 (0) 20 8016 6630 or the Kings Arms website

    What to do in Hampton Court

    Obviously, it would be rude not to visit Hampton Court Palace while you’re staying next door, even if it’s just for a stroll round the magnificent gardens. If you can, give yourself plenty of time to walk round the exhibitions though, as they’re a delight for any fans of royal history.

    At the moment, you can even see ‘The Lost Dress of Elizabeth I’, an elegantly embroidered altar cloth which may once have been part of a dress worn by Queen Elizabeth I.

    Originally built by Cardinal Wolsey, the opulent Tudor palace was home to Henry VIII, who transformed the building by adding a bowling alley, tennis court and more.

    King William III and his wife Mary II later commissioned architect Sir Christopher Wren to build a new baroque palace for them, creating a suite of spectacular King’s and Queen’s State Apartments set around an elegant Fountain Court, that’s why it’s called ‘the Palace of Two Halves’.

    One of the newest attractions is the Tudor-inspired Magic Garden, which was opened in 2016 by HRH the Duchess of Cambridge.

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