Scott’s Richmond | Peak Riverside Dining
Fancy seafood restaurants are what one might call splashy.
And Scott’s Richmond might just be the splashiest of them all.
If you haven’t heard of it before, the original Scott’s outpost in Mayfair is often branded with the ‘institution’ tag. It’s one of the finest seafood restaurants in London (both for its excellent supply of fish and shellfish, and its glittering, luxurious appearance), and is something of a hotspot for the rich and famous. From Richard Caring – the businessman/restaurateur also behind fellow splashy seafood restaurant, J Sheekey – the venue is unashamedly opulent in everything it does. It’s said to be where James Bond author Ian Fleming forever confused everyone on how to properly order a martini, when he overheard diners asking for it to be ‘shaken, not stirred’. To get in, you’re greeted by a suited doorman wearing a bowler hat. It’s that kind of place.
In Richmond, Scott’s is more of the same – boasting a decor that’s drowning in glamour and elegance; with Venetian chandeliers dangling from the ceiling, huge paintings on the walls, tables covered in linen within decadent banquettes, mirrored columns, and a centrepiece oyster and champagne bar. On the whole, it should meet your standards and requirements for grandiose interiors.
What separates it from being a straight replica to the one in Mayfair, though, different location aside, is the stunning view over the Thames – which you can lap up to its fullest on the second-floor terrace. Looking down over the water and riverbanks, it’s as good as al fresco dining gets. The likes of John Constable and co would have had a field day working on one of their oil paintings from up here…
The food is mostly unchanged from Mayfair, which, considering that was fresh seafood of the highest order with a dry-aged ribeye steak thrown in, is perfectly okay. You can start with oysters (sided by caviar if you really want to do Scott’s as the regulars do) before moving onto a fruits de mer (basically big platters of shellfish); starters like the apple-smoked salmon that’s been cured for 24 hours (and served with a dollop of crème fraîche); and mains such a a whole Dover sole, a fillet of chalkstream trout or the deep-fried haddock with crushed peas and chips, which is apparently a favourite of Gordon Ramsay’s.
Fish first, meat for the main sort of person? You’ve got the steak or a rump of Somerset lamb served with a small minted pea and goat’s cheese tart – plus there’s a vegetarian menu if you’re skipping meat and fish entirely. And if you’re all at sea when it comes to wine lists, the sommelier’s pairings should set you up nicely.
Now after all that, pudding (understandably) might be the last thing on your mind, but if there was a little extra wiggle room left in your stomach, just a little, they are just as part of the Scott’s fabric as the rest of the menu. The Paris-Brest in particular – a decadent French dessert where two layers of gold leaf-studded choux pastry hold together scoops of pistachio ice cream, with hot chocolate sauce poured over the top – is a fitting way to end the meal.
Unless it’s a Wednesday, when there’s live jazz on the second floor from 7.30pm onwards…
NOTE: Scott’s Richmond is open daily. You can make a booking (try and nab a table by the window) on their website, right here.
Scott’s Richmond | 4 Whittaker Ave, Richmond TW9 1TH
Want to try out more dinner spots in the area? Take a look at the best restaurants in Richmond