Activities & Days Out / 26 July, 2021 / Ellie Thompson

Teepees By The Thames: A Fabulous Riverside Staycation For All The Family

The Lensbury is a family-friendly resort situated on the banks of the river Thames in Teddington. To celebrate summer, they’ve launched Teepees by the Thames, a unique riverside dining experience, making The Lensbury a magical choice for a family dinner, as well as a brilliant staycation destination for you and the kids.

We checked in to check out The Lenbury’s staycation credentials, and in short, we had a great weekend. There’s so much onsite to keep the kids entertained, while being fun for the adults too.


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Family rooms at The Lensbury

This was our first family hotel stay, so we were interested to see how we’d get on staying in one room with two young kids (aged 2 and 4). We arrived at the hotel, and our 4-year-old daughter exclaimed, “Wow! Does the Queen live here?” The Lensbury is an impressive building within a beautiful setting, and that’s something you’ll first notice when you arrive.

On entering our hotel room, the kids were instantly overjoyed, having only just recovered from the excitement of taking a small lift two floors up. We were greeted by two huge super king beds sat side by side in a large room complete with TV and bathroom, and all the facilities you’d expect to find within a hotel room.

The kids had a great time deciding which bed they’d sleep in. They didn’t want to leave the room to explore what else The Lensbury had to offer because they were too busy eating the complimentary packets of biscuits and helping themselves to the platter of fruit! But, after they’d settled their teddies in the huge bed, we managed to convince them that although the room was awesome fun, there was lots more to explore.

Greater London staycation destination

The Lensbury’s bankside location includes 25 acres of manicured grounds, so there’s much to see and do.

There are a wide range of activities on offer on-site for all the family. The recently renovated leisure area includes two swimming pools: the main pool and a learner pool perfect for babies and smaller children. The kids were overjoyed at the facilities in the large playground, and our youngest threw a tantrum when he had to leave – always the marker of a toddler having a brilliant time.

The Lensbury’s Watersports Centre

The Lenbury’s Watersports Centre is home to a whole host of activities. You can book a motorboat experience or take out a sculling boat, a kayak, canoe, or a sailing dinghy.

We were booked for a 3 pm motorboat ride. The kids wore life jackets complete with whistles (which they enjoyed blowing pretty much the entire trip) and my husband and I wore buoyancy aids, you know, just in case. After a quick briefing, we were soon sailing down the Thames towards Kingston, while the kids waved at passing boats and said ‘Ahoy’ to a whole range of wildlife.

Outdoor bar and restaurant

Back on solid ground and much to my husband’s delight, we spent the afternoon watching the Lions game under the garden teepee at the lively outdoor bar (yes, complete with TVs!). The kids enjoyed having time to play in the surrounding garden, and it was easy to keep an eye on them from our seats, so they enjoyed a bit of “safe” freedom. They made friends in the sunshine with the other kids at the resort, and played games of hide and seek and ‘It’, while we watched the Lions win the first test against South Africa, along with a small crowd of jubilant fans.

Teepees by the Thames

A truly idyllic setting for dinner, our very own teepee was booked for 6.30 pm.

There was a table set for four sat just outside the entrance to the teepee, but for the kids especially there was of course the opportunity to eat within the tent. We enjoyed a bottle of Prosecco at the table, overlooking the gardens and the river while the kids played happily in their teepee, patiently waiting for food. The teepees were so inviting. Filled with cushions, blankets and candles, and decorated with pastel bunting, the kids had a brilliant time playing ‘house’.

The Teepee by the Thames menu is kept sensibly simple, with a choice of family classics including burger and chips, battered cod and chips and stone-baked pizzas. Dessert choice was a brownie with ice cream (a choice of flavours) or Eaton mess. I can confirm both are delicious!

Time for bed

I was surprised at how quiet the hotel room was, considering we’d seen a couple of weddings taking place within the grounds. The kids slept really well once they’d gotten over the excitement of bedtime in a huge bed, and feeling full from dinner, we were quite happy to get an early night too.

Breakfast at The Lensbury was extremely exciting for the kids, who had never experienced a hotel buffet before. With fresh cooked food, cereals, mixed fruits and continental breakfasts available, there was so much to choose from. Our waiter, Dan, looked after us brilliantly and was an absolute star with the kids, coming to the rescue every time Billy dropped his cutlery on the floor!

All in all we had a wonderful time, and would highly recommend at Lensbury staycation.

Local attractions

The Lensbury is a brilliant base to explore many local attractions, including Hampton Court Palace, Kew Gardens, Twickenham Stadium, Chessington World of Adventures and the London Wetland Centre. For the great outdoors, Bushy Park and Richmond Park, two of London’s largest and most beautiful green spaces are also on the doorstep.

Book The Lensbury

For an afternoon or evening of family feasting, guests can enjoy private use of a teepee from 12 pm – 3 pm or 6 pm-9 pm. This unique dining experience can be enjoyed by a minimum of four and a maximum of eight guests per teepee for just £25 per adult and £15 per child.

This summer, guests and visitors can also book a teepee for a private BBQ experience cooked by one of The Lensbury’s top chefs; a stress-free way to way to get the whole family together for delicious, summer food. The private BBQ teepee experience costs £49 per person based on a minimum of two people sharing.

Rooms at The Lensbury start from £145 for a Classic Double and £225 for a Deluxe Twin / Family Room.


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