The Roebuck has been treating customers to the spectacular views of Richmond Hill since 1717, a view celebrated in world-famous paintings by Jasper Francis Cropsey, Sir Joshua Reynolds and of course, J.M.W Turner. 

All too often a lovely, historic, pub is refurbished, with the end result being a dearth of the original features and atmosphere.

This is definitely not the case with the Roebuck at the top of Richmond Hill.

I’d heard that it’d recently been refurbished very sympathetically by Greene King, and I couldn’t wait to check it out for myself.

Weather-wise, chose a fabulous evening, gorgeously warm and sunny and the view down the hill and across to the River Thames (the only one protected by an Act of Parliament) was superbly clear.

Some customers were taking their drinks across the road to the terrace to enjoy the weather and marvel at the spectacular vista in the evening sun.

Retaining its original name since 1717, I can confirm that the Roebuck has been lovingly reclaimed, restored and elevated.

This historic pub (one of the oldest in Richmond) now has a new lease of life – one that blends its extensive history, with a refreshed, but sympathetic, interior.

The walls display the pub’s extensive artwork collection, alongside the open fireplaces and quirky vintage furniture.

Our Meal

My friend Magda and I enjoyed a glass of English sparkling to start our dinner – we were  impressed with Fitz – a new one to me – made by the Charmat method, like Prosecco, but this was much nicer. 

The drinks list at the Roebuck is well curated and has a generous range of alcohol free options too.

We decided at the outset we would share our food, so that we both could try everything ordered, and started by ordering a Pork, Smoked Bacon & Apple Scotch Egg and some Chicken & Smoked Ham Hock Terrine.

Our starters were both good: the Scotch Egg was perfectly cooked, with a deeply coloured, runny yolk, and served with a tasty homemade Piccalilli.

The terrine was served with sourdough toast and a caramelised red onion chutney.

I think perhaps it would have been better paired with some cranberry sauce/ chutney, so of the two starters, the Scotch Egg won hands down.

There are a number of daily specials highlighted on a board.  The soft shell crab burger sounded amazing, but sadly – and not surprisingly – was already sold out. 

So we opted for the Pepper & Tomato tart daily special and also a Grass Fed Sirloin Steak (served with ‘proper’ chips, salsa verde, home pickled onion rings and heritage tomato salad) from the main menu. 

The steak choice was all excellent; tender meat, perfectly medium rare, and the salsa verde a good accompaniment.  But the unexpected stars of the dish, very surprisingly for us, were the pickled onion rings…wow! They were so crispy, not at all greasy and very tasty  – they would make a great bar snack or side dish.

The daily special of the Pepper & Tomato tart was exquisitely presented, with a herbed pastry base and packed with Provencal flavours reminiscent of ratatouille. 

It would also make a perfect light lunch dish.

We enjoyed some wines by the glass with our meal. There is a good range available, with prices starting at £5.10 (pretty fair compared with some wines by the glass we’ve ordered at other pubs). There are a number of cocktails also available, all priced at £12.

Sensibly, there is a fairly limited dessert menu, but to be honest, we were so comfortably full that we decided just to share an Espresso Panna Cotta between us.

It was served in a coffee cup with some melt-in-the-mouth orange sable biscuits. 

It was a perfect end to a perfect meal,  in a perfect location.