Surrey Life|November 2020
The Signet Collection’s inaugural hotel project is a reimagining of a former royal guest house, situated directly opposite Hampton Court Palace
Rebecca Younger

As home to kings, queens and other members of aristocracy, Hampton Court Palace in East Molesey has welcomed many a VIP to stay throughout history.

When the main palace accommodation was full however, visitors were taken to a guest house a little further along the river.

The Mitre was built in 1665 by order of Charles II to house the overflow of courtiers and, for convenience, an underground tunnel was built running from the palace directly to the hotel. The tunnel remains to this day, although the whereabouts of the entrance is bit of a mystery.

The latest reincarnation of these ‘royal’ digs comes from the team behind the transformation of Leatherhead’s Cherkley Court (now Beaverbrook, considered one of the UK’s finest country house hotels). It has been tipped as one of the hottest openings of 2020.

Our arrival was a little less cloak-and-dagger than it might have been back in the 17th century but the welcome was a wonderfully warm one nonetheless. Having passed through the wisteria-clad entrance, we were handed a glass of Whispering Angel (the hotel is home to the world’s only Whispering Angel terrace) and sat down for check-in with hotel manager Claire Fyfe, who greeted us, from a distance, like an old friend. You’ll be forgiven for thinking you’ve met Claire before, I was convinced I had but realised later it was because I’d seen her on TV – she was one of this year’s MasterChef finalists.

‘The food offering at The Mitre is what really brings everything together’


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November 2020