England vs Ireland, a rugby match steeped in history and excitement, drawing all eyes from around both countries. Also a match that took place this weekend, in the London suburb of Twickenham, which sprawls out for a few miles each side of the cauldron that is Twickenham Stadium, the home of English rugby. The home of Irish rugby for the best part of the last week, however, was not Twickenham. It was the Richmond Hill Hotel, a luxurious four-star establishment perched atop Richmond hill, mere metres from the emerald beauty of Richmond Park, and offering views over the River Thames and further, even to the local rugby ground where 23 Irish players would be spending their Saturday.

The hotel itself is a charming example of Georgian architecture, and features much of the typical detailing one would expect to find on such a property. A three storey brick building, the hotel exhibits cornices above each of its windows. The windows in question are double hung, and give guests the chance to experience breathtaking sights from the staggering altitude of one hundred and sixty five feet, equivalent to 50.292 metres. As well as hosting the general public, something which the hotel has been unable to do in recent weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the lodgings also offer events from weddings to business trips, and can be booked for up to 235 businesspeople at any one time. The establishment has also devoted itself to a more green and environmentally friendly future, with a list of their ‘green commandments’ available on their website.

Sadly, the verdant shirted Irish could not salvage a win in front of a Twickenham empty of spectators bar a few hundred reporters. Johnny May’s fantastic try stole the show on the day, and Ireland were defeated by 18 points to 7 despite their best efforts, and a try from Jacob Stockdale. Despite this, one hopes that they enjoyed their stay in London, and they found the living quarters on offer to be of the highest standard.