The Signet Collection, a new boutique hotel brand founded by the former COO of Longshot, has appointed Ronnie Kimbugwe as Culinary & Operations Director of its debut property – The Mitre Hampton Court.

With over six years’ experience working for the Gordon Ramsay group at Claridges, Kimbugwe joins the venture following a successful spell at Bel & the Dragon, where he created a group of gastropubs across the South of England. At The Mitre Hampton Court, he will oversee the entire culinary vision including two restaurants – Coppernose and 1665 – the Orangery, private dining, wine cellars, suites and in-room dining.

“I am delighted to be joining the team and look forward to putting my stamp on The Signet Collection as we launch F&B across the brand. Good food is nurturing, restorative, and brings people together. It’s why we champion British produce, local, independent growers, and suppliers we know and trust,” says Kimbugwe.

“We will serve our guests heart-warming and memorable dishes, done properly and genuinely. We look forward to our two new riverside restaurants, Coppernose and Signet 1665, being a welcome addition to both the local community, hotel residents and Hampton Court Palace visitors.”

Ronnie Kimbugwe, Culinary & Operations Director of The Mitre, Hampton Court
Ronnie Kimbugwe

With laid-back interiors, an inventive all-day menu and views of the River Thames, Coppernose – which takes its name from Henry VIII, who was nicknamed Coppernose after he issued cheap currency – will be open to locals and hotel guests to for breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks. The venue will serve an afternoon tea menu featuring traditional bakes and modern savouries; sample dishes include flamed English asparagus, broad beans, watercress and fried duck egg, Atlantic lobster and prawn cocktail, gems, sriracha and lemon.

Meanwhile, the 1665 restaurant is named after the year the Grade II-listed property was built. The 70-seater brasserie, complete with an open kitchen layout, blends the building’s heritage with a relaxed, modern twist. Panelled walls are painted in rich green, mirrored booths and a centrepiece central bar combine with leather banquettes, and marble-topped tables are warmed by brass accents and aged parquet flooring.

A wine room with daily wine tastings for guests and visitors adds to the overall ambiance at 1665, while a terrace for al fresco dining features a BBQ grill and the world’s first Whispering Angel boathouse. On the menu are signature dishes such as roast Lincolnshire suckling pork with apple and mustard mashed potato and tender stem broccoli; chicken Milanese with capers and anchovy or fried egg and truffle; Cornish sole meuniere with capers, burnt butter and parsley; and flame-grilled rib eye steak with truffle mayo and celery salted fries.

Sustainability will be a key driver in determining the menus and culinary operations at The Mitre. In addition to locally sourced produce, the hotel will grow herbs on the orangery roof, and house beehives on the main roof where they will smoke their own salmon. Kimbugwe has also partnered with Hampton Courts gardeners to produce vegetables, ensuring that no food waste goes to landfill. The Mitre will brew its own draft beer too; named ‘The Six Wives’ after the number of wives King Henry VIII had, the ale is light, floral and hoppy.