Page 1

14th

annual edition

BERKSHIRE

A comprehensive guide to eating out in Berkshire Restaurants • Cafés • Bars • Pubs • Hotels


Top quality entertainment with the best view in the house Key Dates 2019 Betfair Super Saturday - 9 February 2019 Dubai Duty Free Spring Trials Saturday - 13 April 2019 Al Shaqab Lockinge Day - Saturday 18 May 2019 Weatherbys Super Sprint Day - Saturday 20 July 2019 Ladies Day - Saturday 17 August 2019 Dubai Duty Free International Saturday - 21 September 2019 Ladbrokes Winter Carnival - 29 & 30 November 2019 Betway Challow Hurdle Day - 28 December 2019

Superb Raceday Dining Soak up the electric atmosphere at Newbury by treating your guests to the comfort and sophistication of our newly refurbished hospitality boxes or a table in one of our award winning restaurants. Call 0844 625 0089, visit newburyracecourse.co.uk or email: restaurants@newburyracecourse.co.uk


Welcome Welcome to the Berkshire Food & Drink Guide 2018-2019. On the following pages you’ll find a wide range of options for eating out in the region. To help you make your selection, each review features a coloured tab to denote the restaurant’s location – just reference the map and key below.

Marlow

Nettlebed

WB

Woodcote

Chieveley

Pangbourne

Lambourn

Henley-onThames

Maidenhead Slough

Twyford Reading

EB

Windsor

Wokingham Bracknell

Hungerford Newbury

RW

Thatcham

Crowthorne

Highclere

WB West Berkshire

£25 to

£30

Reading & RW Wokingham

EB East Berkshire

Many of the reviews include a price tab. This is the typical cost per person you can expect to pay for two courses from the à la carte menu, plus a drink (unless otherwise stated). This is for guidance purposes only and prices may vary. Restaurants featuring this symbol have both disabled access and a toilet suitable for wheelchair users (this information has been provided by the restaurants in question and should be confirmed prior to visiting). Restaurants featuring this symbol have accommodation.

You’ll notice that some restaurants in the guide have an 084 telephone number. Calls cost 5p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge.

Berkshire

Food & Drink Guide 2018-2019 Canningford House 38 Victoria Street Bristol BS1 6BY t: 0117 927 7167 e: editor@foodanddrinkguides.com w: www.foodanddrinkguides.com Editor Hannah Burton-Grieve Senior Editorial Assistants Robbie Masters, Tori Sharpe Editorial Assistants Elle England, Jess Maples, Oli Bishop, Ella Fisher, Rosie Best Graphic Designer Ruth Harris, Jo Ley Photography Sean Dillow (thebigcheesephotography.co.uk) Contributors Ian Burton, Sue Creed, Graham Earl Project Manager Joe Packer

Just like the weather, ownership, opening times and prices are subject to change throughout the year. Have a look at our website – www.foodanddrinkguides.co.uk – to see reviews of restaurants nationwide and to request other regional Food & Drink magazines.

Advertising Sales Matt Brentley, Simon Northcott, Emma Filby, Paul Balshaw, Emma Clarke, Sam Terrett, Tara Hennell, Tim Hall

Contents

Published by Food & Drink Guides Ltd

Foreword ......................................2 Fine Dining ..................................3 Modern British .............................9 British ........................................17 Modern European .......................22 Brasserie ....................................29 Mediterranean ............................32 Italian ........................................33 Moroccan ...................................37 Gastropub ...................................38 Bar & Restaurant ........................44

Bar .............................................50 Café & Bar .................................51 Farm Shop & Café ......................52 Farm Shop & Deli .......................52 Tearoom......................................52 Traditional ..................................54 Indian .........................................67 Thai ............................................68 Pan Asian ...................................69 Chef Profiles ...............................70

Publisher Sam Collins Managing Director Robin Fry

The cost of producing this guide has been met by advertising revenues from the restaurants featured within. We only include restaurants that we know, from either experience or recommendation, provide a quality service, and our journalists review the majority of the establishments. However, some reviews are supplied by third parties, and no review in this guide should be taken as a direct recommendation by Food & Drink Guides Ltd. Printed November 2018.

Berkshire Guide 2018-2019

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You can now download the FREE Food and Drink Restaurant Guide App Foreword

Robby Jenks Though I only moved to Berkshire three years ago, this flourishing foodie county has quickly become my home. I was initially drawn to the area to undertake the head chef position at The Vineyard, and since moving here I’ve unearthed a whole new culinary world. This beautiful county, with its fantastic local produce and suppliers, is a food-lover’s dream. As chefs, we should count ourselves lucky to live in a region so rich with fine ingredients. The likes of asparagus, apples, herbs and an abundance of soft fruit are available right on my doorstep. My team and I even go blackberry picking in the autumn and these English beauties form the base for a handful of The Vineyard’s spectacular desserts and sauces. It’s not just traditional British ingredients that are so bountiful here either; local suppliers have a great understanding of excellent international ingredients, so I can easily source speciality Chinese vegetables that elevate dishes to a new level. In terms of meat, we’ve definitely got some of the UK’s finest. My love of game is most certainly catered to here; Vicars Game Ltd, T&G Wholesale Meats and Berkshire Meat Traders supply kitchens across the county with the very best deer, wild duck, rabbit, venison and pigeon, and diners can expect to find a variety of game featured regularly on the menus of Berkshire’s most popular restaurants, including my own. While I may have only been here for a few short years, within this time I have seen the foodie scene go from strength to strength. Diners now, more so than ever, are willing to be more adventurous and pay a little extra to enjoy premium cuisine and enjoy an unforgettable dining experience. Restaurants such as L’Ortolan in Shinfield, Maidenhead’s The Crown and The Woodspeen Restaurant and Cookery School have raised the bar not just for our county, but to the benefit of the wider UK dining scene. England is one of the best countries in the world for multicultural cuisine, and Berkshire is no exception. Places like Meimo, Rickshaw Road and The Sushi Maki provide us with an authentic taste of food from around the globe. I hope and expect to see many more restaurants showcasing diverse cuisine pop up in the area. There’s always room for new producers, suppliers and, of course, restaurants of all shapes and sizes, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for the Berkshire food scene. I hope you’ll use this guide to find your own favourite eateries and discover what makes Berkshire such a dynamic foodie region.

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Berkshire Guide 2018-2019


The Vineyard

Fine Dining

 Location Stockcross, Nr. Newbury, RG20 8JU t: 0844 502 2984 w: www.the-vineyard.co.uk e: reservations@the-vineyard.co.uk

WB

The Vineyard is a five-star hotel and spa, renowned for its impeccable service, three-AA-rosette restaurant and award-winning 30,000-bottle wine cellar.

*

‘...three-AA-rosette restaurant...’

£29 to

Executive chef Robby Jenks’ approach to creating a simple but perfect dining experience is to utilise local and sustainable seasonal produce to deliver a triumphant blend of Old World taste and New World values. The team here takes inspiration from this to consistently guarantee a very special gastronomic experience, producing imaginative lunch menus and iconic tasting menus, all perfectly paired with exquisite wine. When dining at The Vineyard you can choose from the à la carte or seven-course tasting menu, which can be paired with exquisitely selected wines from the hotel’s team of expert sommeliers.

£89

As one of the top wine hotels outside of London, The Vineyard is Tasting Menu and dedicated to providing guests with À La Carte: an unforgettable wine experience, Tues-Sat noon-1.45pm, whether you are a connoisseur, a 6.30pm-9pm novice or simply love a fine vintage with your dinner. *£29 represents the cost of the three-course lunch menu; £89 represents the cost of the seven-course Judgement of Paris menu.

Fredrick’s Hotel

Fine Dining

 Location Shoppenhangers Road, Maidenhead, SL6 2PZ t: 0844 625 6435 w: www.fredricks-hotel.co.uk

EB

Inside the elegantly decorated Fredrick’s Hotel is its two-AA-rosette-awarded restaurant, which holds a reputation for serving exquisite British food with a modern French twist. The team of talented chefs prides itself on crafting only the finest plates for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. At the centre of Fredrick’s Hotel is the cosy bar, where you can relax and enjoy a drink from the fine selection of wine and gin from all over the world as well as a light bar snack.

*

£35

The Wintergarden and dining room are perfect for those wishing to sample the evening à la carte menu in a spectacular setting. Salt-baked celeriac with a smoked egg yolk, truffle and hazelnuts; breast of guinea fowl served with confit Open: Mon-Fri 7am-10pm; thigh, truffled Savoy cabbage and artichoke, and peanut butter cheesecake Sat & Sun 7.30am-10pm with banana sorbet and marshmallow are just a sample of the immaculately presented dishes you can expect to see on the menu. Struggling to find the perfect wine pairing for your chosen course? Each dish is matched with a suggested grape, including a Tekena sauvignon blanc from Chile and a bold Cullinan View shiraz from Western Cape, South Africa. What’s more, the hotel is only 11 miles away from Ascot Racecourse, so why not stay the night and indulge in an evening of fabulous food and drink before you head off for a day at the races? *Price represents the cost of a two-course meal from the à la carte menu. Berkshire Guide 2018-2019

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You can now download the FREE Food and Drink Restaurant Guide App Fine Dining

Stoke Park  Location Park Road, Stoke Poges, Nr. Slough, SL2 4PG t: 0844 502 2943 w: www.stokepark.com e: reservations@stokepark.com

EB

Set in a Palladian mansion amidst 300 acres of landscaped grounds, Humphry’s is widely regarded as the crowning glory of this country club, world-class golf course, hotel and spa. It’s truly a place for special occasions, with lofty ceilings, gleaming chandeliers, floor-to-ceiling windows and lavish upholstery. During summer evenings, the high windows afford far-reaching views across the lake and of the bridge designed by the restaurant’s namesake, Humphry Repton. The adjoining lounges have plush sofas and parlour palms for cocktail lingering, and roaring log fires in winter.

£47 to

£63

‘...it’s truly a place for special occasions...’ The real focus here is on the first-class food. Chris Wheeler is now entering his 16th year as head chef. He and his team have garnered an impressive three AA rosettes for the resort thanks to their enviable skill and outstanding dishes. There is a set menu and à la carte menu, and a record is kept of guests’ dietary requirements, no matter how infrequently they visit, so that you don’t need to inform them every time. We delighted in an amuse-bouche of truffled hummus and fresh-from-the-oven bread while we dithered over the menu, which offers a wealth of choice for all diets and appetites. My starter of honeyed feta and beetroot cubes was satisfyingly sumptuous, and my partner’s scallop with mango and delicate bonito flakes was pronounced sensational. For my main course, I plumped for roast cauliflower served with kimchi and mushroom ketchup. Courgettes cooked with pesto made the perfect accompaniment. My partner sampled halibut enhanced with tarragon oil served with creamed potatoes – it was a stand-out dish. Other mains included pan-fried wood pigeon with blackberries, and local beef sirloin served with marrowbone crumb. Almost too replete for desserts, we opted for the crème caramel to share. Superbly brewed coffee followed, served with delicate petits fours that rounded off our meal perfectly. Open: Weds-Sun 7pm-10pm

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Berkshire Guide 2018-2019

There is a smartly compiled wine list, with varietals available by the glass and by the bottle. Staff are professional, knowledgeable and attentive, ensuring guests feel well looked after.


The Bull Inn at Bisham

Fine Dining

 Location Marlow Road, Bisham, SL7 1RR t: 0844 502 3065 w: www.bullinnbisham.com

EB

Buckinghamshire and Berkshire are laden with gastronomic jewels; while some come and go, the standard bearers remain thanks to their remarkable consistency. Among those illustrious few is The Bull Inn at Bisham. Today The Bull Inn is a reflection of one family’s passion for culinary excellence.

£15 to

£25

The Lopez family, boasting over 40 years’ experience in fine dining, works tirelessly to provide the shire’s culinary elite with a truly exceptional dining experience that revolves around a classic French menu with certain Spanish influences. This establishment offers a choice of dining options – you can choose either The Restaurant or the less formal Bisham Bar, or even enjoy a private family or business dinner in The Private Room. Those dining in The Restaurant are first led to the private cocktail lounge, where they are invited to sip a pre-meal aperitif while reading the lavish menu. Dishes feature the finest ingredients from Smithfield and Billingsgate markets. Offerings from the sea include the freshest selections of Dover sole, skate, lobster and rock sea oysters, while the vast meat selection ranges from T-bone steak to rack of lamb. In the dining room, flames from the flambées being prepared light up the room and the bouquets emitted from some of the finest vintage wines, which are decanted by expert sommeliers, really accentuate the theatre of the experience. The immaculately presented team conveys a sense of occasion while being very friendly and attentive. Once the main course is finished, the sweet trolley is steered towards the table, having resided up until this point in the centre of the dining room. The anticipation is now over and guests are free to make impulsive selections from an impressive array. Alongside the sweet trolley there is also a superb collection of Champagnes, Cognacs and Ports to choose from. This establishment is a rare example of a dying breed – one that upholds those time-honoured practices that are essential for a traditional fine dining experience. A simple yet focused ethos of retaining the simplicity of the food allows the ingredients to shine, and it is clear the Lopez family has a very special rapport with their clients. These unique personal touches make The Bull an exceptional dining venue, worthy of the acclaim it continues to receive.

Open: Mon-Sat 11.30am-2.30pm, 5.30pm-10.30pm; Sun noon-2.30pm, 7pm-10.30pm

Berkshire Guide 2018-2019

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The Cliveden Dining Room  Location Cliveden House, Taplow, SL6 0JF t: 0844 625 1714 w: www.clivedenhouse.co.uk e: reservations@clivedenhouse.co.uk

EB

Precisely executed and exquisitely presented dishes are what guests at The Cliveden Dining Room can expect. Situated in the beautiful Cliveden House and overlooking stunning National Trust gardens, visitors are surrounded by grace and grandeur as they enjoy a dining experience to be remembered for all the right reasons.

£36 to

£98

The tremendous talent and irrepressible drive of the team at Cliveden is evident throughout the dining experience, from the harmonious atmosphere in the kitchen to the immaculate finishes to innovative dishes. This extends into the restaurant space itself, where princely decor and attentive service create a truly incomparable dining setting. Steered by the availability of seasonal produce, the well-conceived à la carte and tasting menus are a gastronomic tour de force of outstanding English produce. Though both offerings change frequently, a sample à la carte might list starters of Portland crab and roasted cauliflower with cauliflower couscous and wild sea herbs, and twice-baked Lincolnshire Poacher soufflé. For the main event, diners might sample the likes of a fillet of skrei cod with fennel, saffron and shellfish; Jurassic Coast rose veal with sweetbread, carrot and black garlic; or a loin of locally stalked wild roe deer with salt-baked beetroot, blackberry and parsley root. Completing an already-alluring picture, Cliveden House’s luxurious rooms, enticing afternoon tea offering, informal dining option of The Astor Grill, and elite private dining facilities offer up yet more compelling reasons to investigate this one-of-a-kind Berkshire venue. The setting, architecture and interiors all speak of wonderful extravagance and extraordinary sophistication. There’s an instant sense of history from the moment you sweep down the driveway and step through the entrance into The Great Hall, with over 350 years of the house’s past having been dedicated to the pursuit of pleasure, power and politics. Food Served: Mon-Sun 12.15pm-2.30pm, 6.30pm-9.45pm

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Berkshire Guide 2018-2019

Whether you’re staying overnight for a special occasion – there’s no better way to celebrate in style – or visiting to explore the beautiful 376-acre National Trust estate, dining at The Cliveden Dining Room is an experience not to be missed.


Caprice Restaurant & Terrace

Fine Dining

 Location Wharfedale Road, Winnersh Triangle, Reading, RG41 5TS t: 0844 625 0046 w: www.hireadinghotel.com e: reservations@hireadinghotel.com

RW As a stylish two-AA-rosette-awarded establishment, the Caprice Restaurant & Terrace is the epitome of fine dining, offering immaculate service and first-rate cuisine. Located in the exceptional new four Silver Star Holiday Inn Reading M4 £17 to Junction 10, this tranquil oasis is only minutes from the bustling town centres of £27 Wokingham, Bracknell and Reading. The hotel is also conveniently located next to Winnersh Triangle train station on the Reading to Waterloo line, and 20 minutes from London Paddington. Striking colours and refreshing interior design greet you on arrival, and the Caprice Restaurant Open: talented head chef will surprise you with his delightful creations. Guests are Mon-Sun 6.30am-10pm spoilt for choice as the menu caters for all tastes, with a seasonal à la carte Monty’s Lounge Bar Open: menu featuring the finest local ingredients and a set menu priced from only £24.95. The kitchen brigade even includes pâtissiers who prepare an array of Mon-Sun 7am-11pm tempting treats that are wellworth the extra calories. At night, the hotel is transformed, with music from the talented resident pianist. For a truly relaxing experience, why not indulge in a treatment or two before your meal, at The Esprit Spa and Wellness suite? For a more informal ambience, check out Monty’s Lounge Bar. There you can choose from a selection of light bites and quality bar meals, including popular and authentic Indian specialities. The appetising afternoon high teas are also highly recommended. With complimentary Wi-Fi, secure parking and a warm welcome for both residents and non-residents, this spectacular hotel has everything you could ever need – there’s no excuse not to pay a visit.

Newbury Racecourse

Fine Dining

 Location Newbury, RG14 7PN t: 0844 625 0089 w: www.newburyracecourse.co.uk e: hospitality@newburyracecourse.co.uk

WB

After an exhilarating day at the races what better way to enjoy quality time with friends and family than a raceday dining experience in one of Newbury Racecourse’s three great restaurants?

*

£25

The Hennessy is Newbury’s flagship restaurant and the first choice for fine dining. Stylish surrounds and chic, modern design are paired with panoramic views of the racecourse, ensuring that every moment spent here leaves a lasting favourable impression. Head chef Darren Fairminer delivers seasonal menus of exquisitely presented dishes that consistently delight diners.

to

£149

Corporate events, family celebrations and private occasions hosted at The Racegoers Restaurant never fail to be endowed with a touch of class. Here, Open: visitors are treated to the same stylish surrounds and exceptional views across the racecourse as The Hennessy, but the offering favours larger group bookings. please see website for details The seasonally inspired modern British bill of fare is served with flair and precision, which is why event organisers look to the team at The Racegoers time and again. Representing yet another string in Newbury Racecourse’s bow, The Brasserie is where those looking for informal dining gravitate. The restaurant’s signature fish and chips and handmade burgers are perfect for satisfying appetites after a busy day at the races. *£25 represents the average cost of two courses and a drink at The Brasserie; £149 represents the cost of The Hennessy package. Berkshire Guide 2018-2019

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L’Ortolan  Location Church Lane, Shinfield, Nr. Reading, RG2 9BY t: 0118 988 8500 w: www.lortolan.com e: info@lortolan.com

RW

Surrounded by beautiful grounds in the elegant setting of a former vicarage, L’Ortolan is secluded yet easily accessible, being only five minutes from Junction 11 of the M4. Under the charismatic leadership of newly appointed Italian restaurant manager Marco Nardi, the front-of-house team will make your fine dining experience memorable. The restaurant has proudly held its Michelin star since 2003 under Alan Murchison, who later passed the command to Tom Clarke, who was rewarded for his culinary skill with his very own Michelin star in 2015. Head chef Clarke trained with Raymond Blanc, Jean-André Charial and Alan Murchison. Their influence can be seen in each of Clarke’s dishes, thanks to a creative blend of classical French flavours and modern techniques. Tom employs innovative combinations of flavour and texture to magical effect in starters such as seared scallops with bacon jam and textures of artichoke. Main course options include roast fillet of beef served with smoked pomme purée and bone marrow jus and, for dessert, you can look forward to dark chocolate pavé with banana and lime. L’Ortolan can ably cater for vegetarian and gluten- and dairy-free diets.

£39 to

£105

Open: Tues-Sat noon-2pm, 7pm-9pm

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Berkshire Guide 2018-2019

The dishes are all presented with precise, artistic delicacy, making a meal at L’Ortolan an experience to remember. You’ll be in good hands when it comes to libation, too, as this fine establishment featured on the AA’s Notable Wine List for 2017-2018, and for good reason. The selection includes biodynamic and organic options, and the sommelier is on-hand to select wine to perfectly accompany each course. Furthermore, a lunchtime menu du jour is available with three courses for £39, while an à la carte menu and seven- and ten-course tasting menus are available for lunch and dinner. There are numerous other tempting ways to dine at L’Ortolan, including at the chef’s table: a unique dining experience where up to four guests can dine in the heart of the kitchen and soak up the atmosphere of a busy service while enjoying ten courses with wine pairings. The restaurant has been refurbished and all dining rooms have recently been fitted with draught-free air conditioning. The three stunning private dining rooms can be hired exclusively for parties from eight to 22 with menus from £45, and private hire of the restaurant is available for up to 60 guests, making L’Ortolan the perfect destination for business entertaining or special occasions.


Esseborne Manor

Fine Dining

 Location Hurstbourne Tarrant, Nr. Newbury, SP11 0ER t: 0844 625 6348 w: www.esseborne-manor.co.uk e: info@esseborne-manor.co.uk

WB

Expect a warm welcome when at the elegant Esseborne Manor, known as a popular hotspot for lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.

£27 The seven-course tasting menu is an indulgent way to sample the seasonal cooking to of the accomplished chefs. First up was a basket of beautifully baked breads and £55 butter. I loved the starter of Dutch-influenced crispy cheese, cauliflower and apple. Next came fish courses of miso-glazed scallop in a velvety almond sauce and juicy plaice with mussels. It was impossible to choose a favourite meat course as both the lamb and poussin dishes were accompanied by masterful combinations of textures and flavours. Sweet-toothed diners will love having two desserts, first a creamy peach mousse with mint granita and peach cake, followed by the stunning finale to the feast, mandarin panna cotta, jelly, Open: Mon-Fri 7am-9.30pm; ice cream and biscuit, which perfectly combined sweet, sharp and spicy notes in a lovely seasonal platter. All Sat & Sun 8am-9.30pm dishes were stylishly presented, with savoury courses garnished with pretty micro greens and herbs grown locally. The menu can also be accompanied by a carefully selected flight of wine. The dining experience at Esseborne is made extra special by the beautiful surroundings, peaceful atmosphere and immaculate service. This family-run country house hotel has gourmet food and customer care at its heart; visitors can look forward to being well fed and well looked after.

The Hind’s Head

Modern British

 Location High Street, Bray, SL6 2AB t: 0844 625 6303 w: www.hindsheadbray.com e: info@hindsheadbray.com

EB

Set in a venerable 15th-century building, the Michelin-starred Hind’s Head serves a spectacular range of classic British dishes. Vintage red lamps, green stained-glass windows, dark wooden tables and red leather seating transport you back to a time of medieval regality and elegance. As soon as you’re seated, you know you’re in for a treat – guests can expect a banquet-worthy meal fit for a king or queen.

£40 to

£60

‘…cooked with precision, skill and originality…’ The team of expert chefs (chef profile page 70) cooks with both respect for tradition and contemporary sensibility, combining the best of both worlds. Expect delicious seasonal food that celebrates the best of British, cooked with precision, skill and originality. A sample offering might see diners indulge in starters such as pea and ham soup, smoked chicken liver parfait and wild mushrooms on toast. Open: Mon-Sat noon-2pm, To follow, main-course options 6pm-9pm; Sun noon-4pm include the likes of roast saddle of lamb, oxtail and kidney pudding, roast plaice, 10oz Hereford rib-eye and, of course, on Sunday you can indulge in a sumptuous traditional roast. For dessert sample a dish inspired by history, such as the Eton Mess, cherry Bakewell tart or the celebrated Quaking pudding. You must also try the Scotch egg with mustard mayonnaise, which is crisp and crunchy on the outside with a lovely runny centre. You’ll never look at a Scotch egg the same way again. Berkshire Guide 2018-2019

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You can now download the FREE Food and Drink Restaurant Guide App Modern British

The Baskerville  Location 7 Station Road, Lower Shiplake, Nr. Henley-on-Thames, RG9 3NY t: 0844 502 5549 w: www.thebaskerville.com e: enquiries@thebaskerville.com

RW

This AA-rosette-awarded restaurant, run under the guidance of manager Kevin Hannah and head chef Jamie Herridge, offers modern British cuisine based on a fresh interpretation of classic recipes. The menus and daily changing specials evolve with £25 to the seasons to reflect the availability of fresh, locally and organically sourced produce, £35 which is cooked to perfection to create well-balanced, beautifully presented dishes that taste every bit as good as they look. The relaxed atmosphere is complemented by informal yet efficient service from the knowledgeable and friendly front-of-house team. You can expect the best hospitality whether you’re visiting for a drink and bar snack or a full three-course feast. During summer, fish dishes such as home-cured organic smoked salmon, Isle of Bar Open: Man scallops, Cornish mussels, seafood tagliatelle, sea bass and lemon sole are Mon-Sat 11am-11pm; served alongside the normal seasonal dishes. The beautiful garden is ideal for Sun noon-10.30pm al fresco dining when the sun shines. Restaurant Open: When the weather turns colder, take a Mon-Thurs noon-3pm, seat by one of the roaring log fires and 6pm-9.30pm; enjoy hearty fare like 30-day-aged Fri & Sat noon-10pm; Aberdeen Angus steak, venison and Sun noon-3.30pm rabbit pie, roast Chiltern pheasant, steak and kidney pie, and liver and bacon. Homemade desserts are an inviting alternative to your usual fare and are irresistible. The extensive wine list features 15 wines by the glass and there are four cask beers on offer, three of which are local, plus a selection of over 40 malt whiskies. Modern British

The Pheasant Inn  Location Ermin Street, Shefford Woodlands, Nr. Hungerford, RG17 7AA t: 0844 625 1955 w: www.thepheasant-inn.co.uk e: info@thepheasant-inn.co.uk

WB

This handsome historic free house and hotel has been refurbished to a standard that’s fitting for an establishment whose reputation for hospitality spans 450 years. An eminently popular location for get-togethers with friends and family, visitors £20 to invariably return thanks to the stellar food and superb service they receive. £25 Menus represent the very best of modern British cuisine, with the kitchen team delivering contemporary, seasonal takes on age-old recipes. I began with salt-baked beetroot and heritage carrots. Enhanced by artichoke purée, pickled onions, tuiles of potato and walnut oil, this autumnal dish was pure art on a plate and tasted as good as it looked. My partner opted for baked Camembert, which was infused with garlic and rosemary, and served with toasted sourdough and red onion marmalade. Perfectly cooked mains of plaice and venison two ways followed. My Food Served: Mon-Fri pistachio-crumbed venison loin was served alongside venison shepherd’s pie and 7.30am-10.30am, came drizzled with lashings of rich red wine sauce. My partner’s delicate plaice was noon-3pm, 6pm-9.30pm; balanced with accompaniments of Sat 8.30am-10.30am, buttered kale and torched lemon. We noon-3pm, 6pm-9.30pm; concluded proceedings with banoffee Sun 8.30am-10.30am, cheesecake with salted caramel noon-5pm, 6pm-9pm popcorn and glazed bananas. With a kitchen team this skilled, visits are entirely pleasurable. It’s therefore worth bearing in mind that rooms can be booked. A night’s stay begins at £110, but those visiting on a Sunday can stay overnight at no cost if they spend over £100. 10

Berkshire Guide 2018-2019


Donnington Grove

Modern British

 Location Grove Road, Newbury, RG14 2LA t: 0844 625 6694 w: www.donnington-grove.com e: enquiries@donnington-grove.com

WB

Surrounded by rolling green hills, the 18th-century Donnington Grove is a Gothic treasure sitting on the outskirts of Newbury, yet seems a lifetime away from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Framed by woodland, the striking nature of its architecture and supporting scenery make it an idyllic backdrop for weddings. Prolong your stay in one of the cosy lodges overlooking the lake and surrounded by wildlife.

£25 to

£33

‘...a Gothic treasure...’ 2018 was a momentous year for Donnington Grove as it saw refurbishments to the grounds and facilities that have amplified the hotel’s luxurious quality. Just a stone’s throw from the hotel’s bar and restaurant are the golf facilities, which now boast a covered and floodlit driving range, allowing you to practise and perfect your swing all year round. If you’re looking to experience a day of ultimate relaxation, The Avalon Retreat will become your haven. The three new treatment and beauty rooms are designed to help you de-stress and unwind in a sanctuary from the outside world; it’s the place to be for a lazy weekend away from the city.

‘...sure to impress...’ For foodies, the spectacular Beau’s Bar and Restaurant, launched in late 2018, is sure to impress. The newly refurbished dining space was named after the famous Beau Brummel, son of William Brummel, who lived at Donnington Grove in the late 18th century. Beau was known as a dandy and a fashion icon of his time – he even introduced the fashion for wearing a shirt and cravat to the nation. The interior pays homage to Beau as well as 18th-century British fashion and tradition, and it’s this mix of style and heritage that inspires the new menus. Only the region’s finest produce – including cured fish from John Ross Jr and the highest quality meat from Thatcham Butchers – is used to create exciting dishes. Pay a visit to Donnington Grove where a day of pure luxury awaits.

Open: please see website for details

Berkshire Guide 2018-2019

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Macdonald Compleat Angler  Location Bisham Road, Marlow, SL7 1RG t: 0844 625 6273 w: www.macdonaldhotels.co.uk/compleatangler

EB

Combining luxury with style and convenience, the Macdonald Compleat Angler is a must-visit destination. The hotel’s four-star status speaks for itself, while the stunning views of Marlow weir will delight visitors from all over the country. The hotel also welcomes those travelling to Heathrow airport and London – its tranquil setting provides welcome respite before or after a busy trip.

£25 to

£40

‘...stunning views of Marlow weir...’ Riverside Restaurant Open: Mon-Fri 7am-10pm; Sat & Sun 7.30am-10pm Sindhu by Atul Kochhar Open: Mon-Sat noon-10pm; Sun noon-9.30pm The Walton Bar & Lounge Open: Mon-Sun 8am-late On The Lawn Open: Mon-Sun 11am-7pm

What makes this venue truly stand out is its culinary offering and with four different eateries, every taste is catered for. For a taste of high-quality, sustainably sourced British food and an exquisite outlook onto the Thames, try the newly refurbished Riverside Restaurant. The seafood medley is especially popular, while the truffle gnocchi provides a tasty vegetarian option. Meanwhile, Sindhu restaurant by renowned chef Atul Kochhar specialises in traditional Indian cuisine and serves a variety of menus, including five- and seven-course tasting menus.

The Walton Bar and Lounge – once a favourite with F. Scott Fitzgerald and T.S. Eliot – also offers a relaxed spot for a drink or light meal, while outdoor restaurant On The Lawn is perfect for a warm summer’s day.

Modern British

The Crown Inn  Location Crown Lane, Farnham Royal, SL2 3SQ t: 0844 502 3302 w: www.crowninnpub.co.uk e: ed@crowninnpub.co.uk

EB

The Crown Inn is nestled in an idyllic spot on the outskirts of the Burnham Beeches Nature Reserve, just ten minutes from Slough. Owner Edward offers something to interest everyone, and service is attentively provided by his friendly front-of-house team.

£15 to

£37

Open: Mon-Thurs 9am-11.30pm; Fri & Sat 9am-1am; Sun 10am-10pm

Perfectly located for a hearty meal after a walk in the woodlands or for a family get-together in the vast garden, this traditionally furnished 230-year-old inn boasts a comfortable atmosphere that’s ideal for any occasion, whatever the time of day. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful breakfast, a quick and easy lunch, a child-friendly evening dining experience or the perfect space in which to host your party, the impressive number of artistically presented and tasty dishes will leave you spoilt for choice, but never overwhelmed. Particular menu highlights include the sharing choices of fried halloumi and paprika whitebait, and the unique and flavoursome Loch Duart salmon fishcakes were also enjoyed.

The Crown Inn’s hospitality does not limit itself to the kitchen, thanks to the enviable cellar of award-winning wine, selection of classic ales and seasonal cocktail menu. The Crown Inn boasts all of the trappings you’d expect of a traditional pub and more, including a large garden and outside bar that make it perfect for weddings and corporate events. 12

Berkshire Guide 2018-2019


Blandy’s at Inglewood

Modern British

 Location Audley Inglewood, Templeton Road, Kintbury, RG17 9AA t: 0844 625 1738 w: www.blandysbistro.co.uk e: info@blandysbistro.co.uk

WB

Inglewood House is a peaceful and incredibly beautiful countryside retreat just three miles from Hungerford and eight miles from central Newbury, and is home to Blandy’s restaurant, bar and bistro. With all of the grandeur of a quintessentially British stately home and luxurious decor to rival the region’s finest hotels and restaurants, Blandy’s is perfectly poised to relax and enchant diners.

£25 to

£30

The stylish surroundings are echoed in the menu. Head chef Gert Pienaar has designed a fine selection of seasonal dishes that showcase seasonal ingredients and seamlessly combine classical flavours with modern techniques to tantalise your tastebuds. Perhaps you’ll start with ham hock terrine with pea and broad bean salad and shallot vinaigrette or be tempted by crispy duck egg with confit duck leg, smoked mashed potato and watercress salad. Sample Blandy’s take on a classic, with Ramsbury beer-battered fish accompanied by bistro fries and crushed garden peas, or select something that celebrates the venue’s countryside location, such as pan-fried guinea fowl, roasted cauliflower, sweetheart cabbage and truffle cream. The list of desserts presents a deliciously difficult decision with the likes of white chocolate mousse with almond biscotti and raspberry, and chocolate fondant enhanced by poached cherries and black cherry ice cream jostling for your attention. If you have any dietary requirements, the staff are always on-hand to help you select a gluten-free or allergen-free option. With something to tempt every palate, the food offering at Blandy’s is second to none. There’s always something new for regulars to get excited about. To enhance your meal, you might like to enjoy a glass of wine from the cellars of Berry Bros. & Rudd or choose to dine al fresco should the weather allow it. The beautiful sun terrace affords picturesque views of the gardens. Whether you’re treating yourself to lunch, visiting the Health & Wellbeing Centre at Inglewood House, or are looking for a peaceful spot for your next family meal or special occasion, Blandy’s comes highly recommended.

Open: Mon-Sun 9am-9pm Food Served: Mon-Sat 9am-8pm; Sun 9am-4pm (last orders)

Berkshire Guide 2018-2019

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The Crown & Garter  Location Great Common Road, Inkpen Common, RG17 9QR t: 0844 625 1781 w: www.crownandgarter.co.uk e: crownandgarter@honestygroup.co.uk

WB

Set in the quaint hamlet of Inkpen Common, The Crown & Garter is a wonderful slice of escapism and a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Following sympathetic refurbishment in 2014, this well-loved community focal point has kept every inch of its charm, becoming a cosy meeting point for many local residents. A popular watering hole among ramblers and cyclists, weary travellers can warm their cockles beside the roaring fire during the winter months, or enjoy the beautiful views of Berkshire countryside on a summer’s day.

£24 to

£35

‘...beautiful views of Berkshire countryside...’ From catch-ups over wholesome lunches, to scrumptious evening meals with friends and family, The Crown & Garter is an establishment for all occasions. Laden with locally sourced produce and showcasing fresh food created from scratch, visitors are sure to find something that takes their fancy on the eclectic menu. The menu changes every four to six weeks, based on the seasons and the availability of local produce and ingredients. Stand-out options include fresh mullet with minted fennel salsa, cornichons and lemon purée, fried hake enhanced by tomato relish, sautéed potatoes and crispy fennel, and pan-fried duck breast accompanied by fondant potato, kale, celeriac purée and juniper jus. Why not end your meal on a sweet note? All of The Crown & Garter’s desserts are delightfully enticing and come with expertly selected wine recommendations. The coconut, mango and lemon panna cotta pairs especially well with a glass of 2011 Monbazillac. Whatever meal you choose, the wine list is exceptional, so you’re sure to find a tipple to suit your tastes. If you can’t find space to squeeze much more in, the petits fours come with tea or coffee and are the perfect miniature end to a feast.

Food Served: Mon-Sat noon-2.30pm, 6.30pm-9pm; Sun noon-9pm

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Berkshire Guide 2018-2019

After your meal, retire to one of the many luxury rooms at The Crown & Garter, which are stunningly decorated and exude class. Each one is complete with a super-king-size bed, television and a spacious shower. All rooms are situated in a separate courtyard, affording them complete tranquillity. For a weekend getaway filled with fine food and much-needed respite, The Crown & Garter is well worth a visit.


The Miller of Mansfield

Modern British

 Location High Street, Goring-on-Thames, RG8 9AW t: 0844 502 5568 w: www.millerofmansfield.com e: reservations@millerofmansfield.com

WB

Make yourself at home at The Miller of Mansfield, an inn respectful of its 18th-century coaching inn roots but boasting a 21st-century twist. Sleep in one of 13 individually and boldly designed bedrooms after enjoying award-winning fine food in an informal setting – this is fine food but not fine dining. Pair your meal with local real ale, Miller-devised cocktails, or a glass from the hand-picked wine list.

£24 to

£27

At The Miller all appetites are catered for – pop in for a pint, have nibbles at the bar, dine from the à la carte menu, or savour a wine flight alongside a five-course dinner. There are numerous menus to choose from, and children can also be catered for. Nick, Mary and the staff at The Miller strive to accommodate all in a friendly, welcoming environment. Nick (chef profile page 70) believes that showcasing the quality of raw produce is the most important thing. He painstakingly selects his suppliers and ingredients, choosing the best he can find. Sample his cooking and savour ingredient balance, flavour combinations and techniques that you can’t recreate at home. Mary’s wine list has been personally tasted and selected, so each bottle has a story behind it. The list has been fully revamped this year to include more top-end vintages, and a diverse array of wine sourced from English to Argentine and Greek vineyards. You’ll also find a greater selection of wine available by the glass to suit each course of your meal. Rooms at The Miller are boldly bespoke in their design and supremely comfortable thanks to the high-quality mattresses provided. You’ll find a blend of feature architecture with characterful and antique pieces alongside modern touches – there’s always a little amuse-bouche from the kitchen awaiting you on arrival. If you’re into accolades, The Miller has two AA rosettes and four stars. It was the readers’ Restaurant of the Year in The Good Food Guide 2016 and Muddy Stilettos’ Best Destination Pub for 2016. The Times recently heralded it one of 30 best summer pubs at which to eat, drink and stay. Most prestigiously, it was shortlisted for Best Newcomer 2016 at industry awards The Cateys.

Open: Mon-Fri 7am-11pm; Sat 8am-11pm; Sun 8am-10.30pm Food Served: Mon-Sat noon-2pm, 6pm-9pm; Sun noon-2pm, 5pm-7pm

Berkshire Guide 2018-2019

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The Elm Tree  Location Beech Hill Road, Beech Hill, Nr. Reading, RG7 2AZ t: 0844 502 2686 w: www.theelmtreebeechhill.co.uk e: elmtreebeechhill@hotmail.com The Elm Tree lies at the heart of the picturesque village of Beech Hill and is frequented by locals and passersby alike, all of whom come for the outstanding views, well-kept real ales and exciting food. With a varied and interesting menu that draws influence from around the globe, The Elm Tree caters to many tastes while also staying true to its British roots.

WB £17 to

£40

‘…outstanding views, well-kept real ales and exciting food…’ Old favourites such as the signature Elm Tree burger sit alongside more diverse options like duck ragu served with parpardelle and duck skin pangritata, and pork belly served with mashed potato, buttered cabbage and black garlic purée. The team at The Elm Tree delights with accomplished, hearty fare. This is most evident on Sunday, when diners flock to this charming gastropub for some of the finest roasts in Berkshire. Starters and desserts are equally good. Begin your meal with the locally renowned chicken liver parfait or spicy panko Brie with Port reduction, and opt to finish with sticky toffee pudding or autumnal-spiced posset. For a midday meal, plump for the daily catch fishcake, or perhaps the beetroot, carrot and goat’s cheese salad, topped with candied walnuts. The wine list complements the cuisine, with everything from classics from the Old World such as Chablis and Saint-Émilion Grand Cru, to the New World’s excellent pinot noirs and sauvignon blancs. Open: Mon-Sun noon-midnight Food Served: Mon-Sat noon-2.30pm, 6.30pm-9.30pm; Sun noon-5pm

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Berkshire Guide 2018-2019

‘…accomplished, hearty fare…’ The decking area offers fantastic views best enjoyed with a cold pint and barbecue fare in the summer. In the winter the cosy atmosphere afforded by the three open fires offers welcome respite from the cold. The pub also caters for parties of all sizes. The Elm Tree offers traditional, homemade food in pleasant surroundings come rain or shine.


London Street Brasserie

Modern British

 Location Riverside, The Oracle, 2-4 London Street, Reading, RG1 4PN t: 0844 502 2869 w: www.londonstbrasserie.co.uk

RW London Street Brasserie is a little culinary oasis on the outskirts of The Oracle shopping development in Reading. The Brasserie enjoys a riverside location, with an outdoor terrace where you can sip Champagne and watch the narrowboats £30 to drift by. £40 Housed in one of Reading’s oldest buildings, London Street Brasserie appears charmingly drunk; lopsided and leaning towards the river. Despite its many guidebook accolades, the food appeals to a wide audience and is well priced – a popular two-course menu is just £16.50, and there’s an enormous à la carte choice. Expect brasserie-style food with contemporary twists on British classics and Mediterranean influences. Dishes like pink carved venison with haggis and grilled stone bass with Champagne jus are sure to impress. At this restaurant, sexiness is everywhere – in the laid-back elegance of the decor, the wonderful service and the food. Crucially, no less attention is paid Open: Mon-Sun noon-midnight to the wine; there are 80 different bins, and 20 are available by the glass. The service is polished and friendly, and the decor includes original artwork – even the ladies’ toilets have been given the special LSB feel, with walls painted in opulent Farrow & Ball Brinjal. Chef and owner Paul Clerehugh’s passion for his vocation is evident – you might have seen him on TV’s Market Kitchen or at the BBC Good Food Show. Don’t leave LSB without sampling one of his puds – they are sensational.

The Catherine Wheel

British

 Location Station Road, Goring-on-Thames, RG8 9HB t: 0844 502 2941 w: www.tcwgoring.co.uk e: info@tcwgoring.co.uk

WB

The picturesque village of Goring-on-Thames has been home to The Catherine Wheel for over 350 years. Roaring open fireplaces and aging wooden beams give the venue olde-worlde charm, and walls lined with local memorabilia tell the story of days gone by. Add to this a charming garden, a 16th-century barn and English roses, and you’ve got an award-winning West Berkshire pub that must be visited. Local businesswomen Katrena Derricourt-Gibson and Vanessa Cooke positively jumped at the opportunity to run their own venue. Along with their charming and established staff, the team is rising admirably to the task. Starting with Cornish hot smoked mackerel salad and horseradish dressing, I was struck by the attention that had gone into pairing each element. My husband chose the creamy feta and pesto dip accompanied by pitta bread – the delightful combination of flavours worked beautifully and certainly caught us off guard.

£19 to

£35

Open: Mon-Sat noon-11pm; Sun noon-10.30pm Food Served: Mon-Fri noon-3pm, 6pm-9pm; Sat noon-9pm; Sun noon-4pm

The same attentive treatment was applied to the mains, with the highlight proving to be pan-fried sea bass served with a light and flavoursome pea and potato salad. Katrena and Vanessa have hit upon a winning formula here, with a combination of invention and pragmatism, which makes for a unique experience – we can’t recommend this pub highly enough. Berkshire Guide 2018-2019

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The Waterside  Location Fairwater Drive, Woodley, RG5 3EZ t: 0844 625 6637 w: www.tmdining.co.uk e: waterside@tmdining.co.uk

RW

Waterside drinking and dining doesn’t get much better than this. Previously Known as Thatchers – owing to the striking thatched roof that the pub still retains – The Waterside plays host to relaxed get-togethers with family and £20 to friends throughout the year, ensuring that first-rate food is served and quality £25 drinks flow. There’s a playground for children, and plenty of space for groups of diners to head outdoors in the summer months. The Waterside’s contemporary interior boasts an open fireplace, as well as plenty of other nooks and crannies for diners to retreat to for intimate, laid-back meals all year round. To start, order a selection of breads and olives, which comes with confit Open: garlic, balsamic vinegar and olive oil before moving onto your next course. Mon-Thurs noon-11pm; For the main course why not try a dish from the legendary grill menu? Fri & Sat noon-midnight; Mouth-wateringly tender baby Sun noon-10.30pm back ribs, fillet mignon and piri piri chicken served with an assortment of sides are ideal choices for even the most discerning meat connoisseur. If you prefer the fruits of the sea, the seafood platter of garlic prawns, Thai fishcake, blackened hake fillet, coconut rice, fries, garlic butter and tartare sauce is the perfect dish for you. With delicious vegetarian options, sandwiches and burgers, indulgent desserts, traditional Sunday roasts and delectable classic British fare on offer, time spent dining at The Waterside is always time well spent. British

The Crown at Bray  Location High Street, Bray, SL6 2AH t: 0844 502 3302 w: www.thecrownatbray.com e: info@thecrownatbray.co.uk

EB

Twice crowned Best Pub in Berkshire, The Crown at Bray is, quite simply, the perfect country pub, offering a warm welcome to everyone so even first-time visitors are treated like returning regulars. This is a place that brings people together. A roaring fire, low ceiling with exposed black beams and vintage paintings adorning every wall add to the cosy and relaxed atmosphere.

£31 to

£40

The Crown offers a great range of whiskey and gin from the traditional to the artisanal, and the well-crafted wine list caters to all tastes and pockets. As well as an excellent selection of drinks, The Crown also serves superbly executed traditional and seasonal pub food. To start, we’d recommend opting for the smoked potted mackerel served with cornichons and chargrilled bread, or if you fancy really indulging, the crispy cauliflower cheese is divine. For a quick lunch, tuck into the perfect ploughman’s lunch or smoked chicken Caesar salad. If a light bite won’t suffice, you’ll be pleased to find heartier dishes such as fish and chips, treacle- and ale-cured bacon burger, and chargrilled Hereford sirloin steak with marrowbone sauce. You’ll want to save room for dessert, with options like sticky toffee pudding and chocolate cranachan providing the perfect end to any meal. Be sure to take time out of your day to sample The Crown’s delicious fare; it’s pub food at its finest – rich, indulgent and comforting. Food Served: Mon-Thurs noon-2.15pm, 6pm-9.15pm; Fri noon-2.15pm, 6pm-9.45pm; Sat noon-2.45pm, 6pm-9.45pm; Sun noon-4.45pm, 7pm-9pm

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Berkshire Guide 2018-2019


The Tutti Pole

British

 Location 3 High Street, Hungerford, RG17 0DN t: 0844 502 2841 w: www.thetuttipole.co.uk e: fiona@thetuttipole.co.uk

WB

After a leisurely barge trip on The Rose of Hungerford, what better way to regroup and refuel with friends or family than with homemade, often homegrown refreshment at The Tutti Pole? Visitors can cosy up within the confines of the relaxed, delightfully appointed restaurant – which is the perfect spot if you’re looking to unwind with a book or newspaper – or dine on the sun-drenched patio when the weather permits.

£12 to

£22

The menu at The Tutti Pole caters to practically all appetites. Breakfast and brunch might come in the form of the classic full English, eggs Benedict, or the comforting bacon and cheese crumpets, with many other options also available. At lunchtime, hearty homemade fare takes centre stage as diners pick from the likes of freshly prepared soup of the day with a roll or sandwich. There is also a large selection of dishes to choose from on the menu, including daily specials. On Sunday, The Tutti Pole’s roasts are particularly popular. The selection of Mövenpick ice creams for afters never fails to put smiles on faces. For the truly sweet-toothed, the opportunity to enjoy a delightful Open: Mon-Fri 9am-5.30pm; Tutti Pole cream tea or afternoon Sat & Sun 9am-6pm tea shouldn’t be missed. Tuck into freshly prepared sandwiches, homemade scones with clotted cream and homemade jam with a pot of tea. What could be better?

The Greyhound

British

 Location The Street, Tidmarsh, RG8 8ER t: 0844 625 1594 w: www.greyhoundtidmarsh.co.uk e: talktous@greyhoundtidmarsh.pub

WB

Following extensive refurbishment, The Greyhound at Tidmarsh has been given a new lease of life with stunning new decor and an uplifting family-friendly atmosphere. Stuart and Natasha have ensured The Greyhound retains its charm, but have brought the community pub back to the village with a Great British menu and enviable range of drinks.

£20 to

£30

Focusing on fresh, seasonal produce and consistency, the food offering is second to none. Start with the likes of smoked duck with honey-glazed pak choi, pickled cucumber and black cherries, or spiced cauliflower bhaji with tzatziki and grilled pitta bread. For a comforting main, we recommend sampling the slow-cooked beef blade on truffle mash with Bourguignon jus. Desserts at The Greyhound are as tempting as their savoury counterparts. The white wine and vanilla poached pear tarte Tatin with salted caramel ice cream is a particular highlight. Perfect for family meals, lunchtime Open: Mon-Sat noon-11pm; snacks, and drinks on the terrace Sun noon-10.30pm or by the fire alike, The Greyhound is fit for all occasions. With such delightful food and friendly service, you’ll be a regular visitor in no time. The Greyhound’s combination of top-notch food, gorgeous interior and first-rate setting is hard to beat.

Berkshire Guide 2018-2019

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The Crown  Location Playhatch, Nr. Reading, RG4 9QN t: 0844 625 6502 w: www.tmdining.co.uk e: crown@tmdining.co.uk

RW

The image of a picturesque English hamlet – much like Playhatch – isn’t complete without an historic, beautifully kept watering hole for villagers to gravitate towards. Cue The Crown – a 16th-century inn with all the hallmarks of its era. It’s easy to feel relaxed and at home in front of the open fireplace amid The Crown’s interior of cosy corners, exposed wood and brickwork, and comfortable furnishings, which goes some way towards explaining its success.

£20 to

£25

A pub for all seasons serving fare to match, visitors flock to The Crown to enjoy a drink and a meal beside the fire in winter just as readily as they do to relax with a pint in the garden during the fairer months. Start your meal with Open: the gorgeously gooey baked Camembert with red onion marmalade, ciabatta, Mon-Thurs 7am-11pm; rosemary, garlic and honey; it’s perfect for sharing. For mains, the lamb rump Fri 7am-midnight; comes highly recommended, served with an impressive goat’s cheese soufflé, Sat 8am-midnight; baba ganoush and rosemary jus. Sun 8am-10.30pm The pan-fried sea bream with asparagus risotto is equally popular, served with roasted cherry tomatoes and finished with a drizzle of herb oil. Finally, round off your meal with one of the spectacular desserts. With a barn that can be hired for private functions and stunning letting rooms completing an already desirable picture, it’s no wonder The Crown is one of the area’s go-to hotspots.

British

The Blackwood Arms  Location Common Lane, Burnham, Nr. Slough, SL1 8PP t: 0844 625 6346 w: www.theblackwoodarms.net e: theblackwoodarms@gmail.com

EB

You’ll find The Blackwood Arms nestled in the peaceful village of Burnham, just outside Slough. Its rural location and dog-friendly policy makes it ideal for a mid-ramble lunch. Rest assured you and your four-legged companion will receive a warm welcome from staff and locals. With its well-stocked bar and inviting interior, The Blackwood Arms offers a cosy setting for warm wintery dinners, while the outdoor seating and beer garden are perfect for drinks on those hot summer days. The menu focuses on offering quality and variety and there’s a dish here to suit everyone’s taste.

£19 to

£29

Open: Tues-Sat noon-11pm; Sun noon-7.30pm Food Served: Tues-Thurs noon-2pm, 6pm-9pm; Fri & Sat noon-2.30pm, 6pm-9pm; Sun noon-5pm

‘…ideal for a mid-ramble lunch…’

A starter is a great way to whet your appetite – begin with garden-fresh soup of the day, or perhaps some crispy breaded whitebait. The baked Camembert is served with breadsticks and makes a great sharing option for smaller parties, who can tuck into this tasty treat together. The chef’s seasonal dishes are consistently fresh and satisfying – the mixed seafood grill comes highly recommended, comprising salmon, cod, smoked haddock, red mullet and mussels. Meanwhile, the pub classics menu offers scrumptious plates such as a Cajun chicken cheese melt burger, a Mediterranean vegetable lasagne and a flavoursome fish pie. 20

Berkshire Guide 2018-2019


The Castle

British

 Location Oxford Road, Donnington, Nr. Newbury, RG14 3AA t: 0844 625 2025 w: www.thecastlenewbury.com e: info@thecastlenewbury.com

WB From the outside, this recently refurbished establishment has the look of a traditional British pub. Upon entering, however, it becomes immediately apparent – from the handsome interior and mouth-watering aromas of food £15 to permeating the restaurant – that there’s much more to The Castle than £25 perhaps first meets the eye. Firmly entrenched within the local community as a first-rate local, The Castle is regarded as a real foodie haven where good times and superb food and drink go hand in hand. Menus represent a well-executed and flavour-focused take on British cuisine, with seasonal produce kept at the forefront of what’s on offer. The Castle’s small plates are perfect for sharing or light grazing, and feature the likes of smoked haddock, spinach and Cheddar croquettes with garlic aioli and truffle macaroni cheese with Portobello mushroom ragout. The à la carte, meanwhile, showcases the exceptional breadth of first-rate Open: Mon-Sun 7.30am-11pm produce available to the team, exemplified in dishes ranging from pub classics like fish and chips and burgers to Chateaubriand, the ultimate steak for two. Daytime visitors’ appetites are sated with hearty, generously filled sandwiches and delectable cream teas, while early birds can start their day with something from the range of breakfast dishes. With a great menu and regular special events, there’s always a compelling reason to visit, no matter the time of day.

The Oak & Saw Village Inn

British

 Location Rectory Road, Taplow, Nr. Maidenhead, SL6 0ET t: 0844 625 6519 w: www.oakandsaw.co.uk e: info@oakandsaw.co.uk

EB

If you’re looking for beautifully prepared food in a traditional English village pub, The Oak & Saw ticks every box. Set in the very heart of historic Taplow village opposite the 17th-century church and picturesque village green, its proprietors Ian and Karen have transformed the pub since taking it over in 2004, making it a great destination venue in which to eat, drink and relax. The chefs produce daily specials using locally sourced ingredients, and the à la carte menu changes with the seasons, but they always have a choice of award-winning British steaks and fresh fish delivered daily from Devon and Cornwall. I thoroughly enjoyed the rib-eye steak, which was cooked to perfection and served with gourmet chips, giant homemade onion rings, Portobello mushrooms and roasted vine cherry tomatoes. My companion loved his pan-roasted sea bass fillet with crushed Jersey Royal new potatoes, rich green samphire and a delicious caper butter sauce. Landlord Ian Burne told us the Sunday roasts are legendary and are known by many as the best in Berkshire.

£24 to

£30

Open: Mon 4.30pm-10pm; Tues-Sat noon-11pm; Sun noon-10.30pm Food Served: Tues-Sat noon-2.30pm, 6pm-9pm; Sun noon-3.30pm

As winners of the National Pubs in Bloom competition every year since 2014, The Oak & Saw has the most colourful sun-drenched south-facing patio and beer garden for al fresco dining. An understandably popular establishment, it’s wise to book ahead to avoid disappointment. Berkshire Guide 2018-2019

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The Red House  Location Marsh Benham, Nr. Newbury, RG20 8LY t: 0844 625 2019 w: www.theredhousepub.com e: info@theredhousepub.com

WB

The country lane approach to The Red House aptly sets the scene for what is a quintessentially British dining experience in every sense. The pub’s traditional, countrified building – most notably exhibited in its striking thatched roof and lush garden – paves the way to an inviting, rustic interior of exposed brickwork, handsome banquette seating and a gallimaufry of rural artwork.

£20 to

£30

Chef-patron Laurent’s menus reflect 25 years’ experience in the industry, cooking in brasseries, bars and Michelin-starred restaurants. His superb British fare takes seasonality and provenance into account, and he masters both to create dishes that are an ode to traditional cooking and a breath of fresh air. To start, you might try the Old Winchester cheese soufflé with Parmesan crisp, Open: Mon-Sun noon-11pm or crispy tempura tiger prawns and tempura vegetables, with homemade sweet chilli sauce. For the main event, dishes such as roasted Icelandic cod steak with baby spinach, creamy lobster sauce and spring vegetables represent masterful use of the highest quality ingredients. In addition to contemporary British fare, diners will also find a number of classic pub dishes on the menu, and there’s also a stellar afternoon tea offering for those in search of a daytime treat. Given the beauty of the setting, it stands to reason that The Red House is considered a first-rate venue for weddings and celebrations. With space to accommodate 100 guests and specially designed menus, occasion organisers are assured of an event that’s tailored to their every need. Modern European

Oxford Street Kitchen & Bar  Location Chequers Hotel, 6-8 Oxford Street, Newbury, RG14 1JB t: 0844 625 6420 w: www.chequershotelnewbury.co.uk/restaurant e: reservations@chequershotelnewbury.co.uk

WB

Situated in the heart of Newbury is Oxford Street Kitchen & Bar, the Chequers Hotel’s impressive restaurant. An elegant yet tranquil space is created by the combination of blue, gold and cream walls, patterned seating, dark wooden tables and hanging lights. After being shown to your table by the friendly and attentive staff, take your time to pore over the extensive menu. Opt for some nibbles to keep you entertained while you decided on your mains – perhaps breads, olives or the moreish pork scratchings with apple sauce.

£20 to

£30

Tempting starters include the likes of cauliflower velouté, smoked haddock and pea croquette and stuffed saffron arancini. You might follow with a highly recommended dish such as wild mushroom linguine served with a confit egg Open: yolk, or the venison loin with caramelised parsnip purée, braised red cabbage, Mon-Fri 6.30am-10pm; charred sprouts and potato puffs. Sat 8am-10pm; Both are rich and indulgent – the Sun 8am-8pm perfect plates for those cooler months. Save room for dessert, where mango and coconut soufflé, chocolate fondant and amaretto brûlée are just a few of the sublime puddings on the menu. There’s also a bar in which guests are invited to enjoy fine wine, ale, spirits and stunning cocktails. A warm welcome, beautiful food, excellent service and a stellar drinks selection awaits at Oxford Street Kitchen & Bar. 22

Berkshire Guide 2018-2019


Add a sprinkle of theatrical splendour to your special day

Photos: zoewarboysphotography.co.uk

Enjoy a complete wedding package at South Hill Park

To host your ceremony, reception and party celebrations contact hospitality@southhillpark.org.uk 0844 625 6540 For weddings in the Haversham Room visit bracknell-forest.gov.uk

Looking for a place to dine?

Visit South Hill Pa rk’s Atrium Restaura nt and Bar For good quality, loc ally sourced, fresh food at great prices To re To rve resse erv your e you table r tab le 08444 4 625 08 654 625 8,48 tex, ttex 65 084 4 625 t 07 77655 4 7 cat eri ng@ thhillpark.org.uk 311910 caterin g@sou sout hhillpark.org.uk

south hill park arts Centre and Wilde theatre ringmead, Bracknell, Berkshire, rg12 7pa southhiLLpark.org.uk

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Windsor Grill  Location 65 St Leonards Road, Windsor, SL4 3BX t: 0844 625 1197 w: www.windsorgrill.co.uk e: info@windsorgrill.co.uk

EB

The interior of Windsor Grill blends modern comfort with traditional, country rustic features, and the result is an inviting and relaxed dining space that foodies return to again and again. Chef-patron David Wilby’s influence can be seen in £30 to every aspect of Windsor Grill’s offering, from the wealth of world-class produce £40 used – which includes locally sourced steak, crab from Devon, and scallops from the Scottish west coast – to the creative plates that grace diners’ tables. Steak is what the restaurant is known for. However, other dishes change seasonally, so you might sample locally smoked Scottish salmon with capers and soda bread, or salt and chilli squid garnished with spring onions and garlic. For the main course, even the most ardent of carnivores won’t fail to be impressed by Windsor Grill’s pork five ways; a medley of six-hour slow-cooked pork belly, grilled Iberico black leg loin, sweet potato and chorizo gratin, bacon greens and crackling with apple purée. If you’re feeling Open: Mon-Sun 5.30pm-late a little more reserved, opt for the Food Served: likes of pan-fried calf’s liver with Mon-Sun 5.30pm-10pm colcannon mash, grilled bacon, caramelised onions and gravy, or jumbo prawn and chorizo jambalaya. The team at Windsor Grill is particularly adept at hosting private occasions. Two dedicated function spaces are available for exclusive hire, and for larger occasions such as wedding breakfasts and family milestones, the entire venue can be hired for private use with a cover of up to 55 seated and 100 standing. Modern European

Acanthus Restaurant  Location MacDonald Berystede Hotel & Spa, Bagshot Road, Sunninghill, Nr. Ascot, SL5 9JH t: 0844 625 6316 w: www.macdonaldhotels.co.uk

EB £15 to

£55

Food Served: Mon-Fri 7am-9.30am, 7pm-9.45pm; Sat 8am-10am, 7pm-9.45pm; Sun 8am-10am, 7pm-9pm

Located within the four-star MacDonald Berystede Hotel & Spa is the superb Acanthus Restaurant. The jewel in Berystede’s crown, this AA rosette-awarded establishment serves stellar modern European cuisine in elegant and contemporary surrounds. Large windows afford a breathtaking backdrop of the hotel’s idyllic landscaped gardens, showcasing Berystede’s stunning natural surrounds and bringing a sense of the beautiful outdoors inside. The restaurant dining room centres around a striking ornamental tree and seats up to 90 diners, while the terrace is the place to be for sun-seeking guests with a penchant for al fresco dining.

The menus have been artfully crafted to offer a selection of seamlessly executed modern European dishes. You might start your meal with tempura fritto misto, or soft-poached crispy duck egg with Parma ham and crushed peas. The mains are equally impressive and include mouth-watering dishes such as Chateaubriand served with Portobello mushrooms, beef tomato, hand-cut chips and truffle jus, or freshly caught fish of the day with fennel, chilli, ginger and soy dressing. As well as exceptional gourmet fare, Acanthus serves delicious lighter bites that hotel guests and visiting diners can enjoy at any time of day. The Acanthus is perfectly suited to large dining parties. The snug can accommodate up to 18 guests, while the library and drawing room is ideal for groups of up to 50. The hotel also offers several more casual dining locations. 24

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Thames Lido

Modern European

 Location Napier Road, Reading, RG1 8FR t: 0844 625 2008 w: www.thameslido.com If you’re looking for something new, exciting and entirely original, look no further than Thames Lido. Close to King’s Meadow and adjacent to the River Thames, the restaurant sits alongside an open-air pool originally built in 1902 as an enclosed swimming bath to allow Edwardian ladies to bathe in privacy. The renovations are simply stunning, incorporating the original brickwork, iron pillars and bargeboards with blue tiled floors, beautiful handmade wooden tables and a handsome bar area. As the steam rises from the pool, the atmosphere is sophisticated, tranquil and fun. What makes the project so special is the friendliness and enthusiasm of the team. It was their inspiration and energy that drove the success of Bristol’s Lido, and our fortune that they spotted the potential for something similar here. The food also demonstrates the passion poured into this project. Executive chef Freddy Bird and head chef Mark Holland’s love for the flavours of the Med – primarily Spanish but with Italian, Portuguese and Lebanese influences too – offers a daily choice of temptations. Be prepared to explore and experiment – that’s the fun of the Lido. Meals are served for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and there’s a poolside tapas bar if you’re after something lighter. The wine list offers excellent variety with options mainly sourced from small Spanish vintners. From the dinner menu I started with esqueixada – a freshly prepared salad with delicate morsels of salt cod in an exquisite orange dressing. My husband discovered lamb manti: Turkish dumplings in brown butter and yoghurt sauce with pepper flakes. For my main course I chose hake from the wood oven. Its delicacy was complemented by a creamy, rich mushroom sauce to be mopped up with fresh bread. From the charcoal grill my husband selected a sweet, seared Iberico pork collar with a deliciously nutty, red pepper romesco sauce. We finished with ice cream. Not any old ice cream but homemade, thick, soft cream flavoured with salted butter and caramel, and chocolate and Estrella – two flavours from a selection of eight. Even the delightful blue serving bowls were homemade. This amazing venue transports you to another world where Edwardian grandeur meets a simple-but-stylish Mediterranean atmosphere. You’ll find nothing like it for miles around.

RW £20 to

£30

Bar Food Served: Mon-Sat 8am-11.30am, noon-10pm; Sun 9am-11.30am, noon-10pm Restaurant Food Served: Mon-Sun noon-3pm, 6pm-10pm

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WinePress Restaurant

 Location Donnington Valley Hotel & Spa, Old Oxford Road, Donnington, Nr. Newbury, RG14 3AG t: 0844 502 3018 WB w: www.donningtonvalley.co.uk e: reservations@donningtonvalley.co.uk Acres of picturesque green hills and manicured parkland provide an exceptional backdrop for Donnington Valley Hotel and its flagship dining establishment, WinePress £28 to Restaurant. For guests arriving here, the frenetic hustle and bustle of modern life £50 swiftly melts away, leaving behind undisturbed charm and effortless elegance. Donnington’s dining spaces and bar are relaxed yet sophisticated, and service Restaurant Open: succeeds in being simultaneously attentive and unobtrusive, allowing meticulously sourced seasonal produce and the chefs’ skills to speak for themselves. Menus at the Mon-Sun 7pm-10pm award-winning WinePress showcase good, honest food prepared to an impeccable (last orders 9.30pm) standard. The à la carte menu, designed by award-winning chef Darren Booker-Wilson Bar Open: (chef profile page 70), places emphasis on sharing dishes and small plates that can be Mon-Sun 11am-10pm enjoyed by the whole table. Darren’s penchant for hearty home-cooking is reflected (last orders 9.30pm) in the ‘home from home’ selection, featuring British staples such gourmet burgers, bangers and mash, and fish and chips. Appropriately, the restaurant’s menus are paired with equally enticing dessert offerings. Think exquisitely crafted sweets such as Champagne and strawberry iced parfait. For those craving something a little less sweet for their dessert, a delicious selection of five cheeses makes for the perfect finish. Donnington’s collection of over 400 wines is unsurprisingly world-class. Waiting staff are poised to help guests select a bottle from the cellar or provide recommendations for pairings by the glass – of which there are 40 to choose from. Modern European

Atrium Bar & Restaurant  Location South Hill Park, Bracknell, RG12 7PA t: 0844 625 6686 w: www.southhillpark.org.uk e: catering@southhillpark.org.uk

EB

There’s something rather glamorous about dining in a stately home. Expect a warm welcome at the Atrium Bar & Restaurant in South Hill Park Arts Centre. When we visited, the walls of this airy space were decorated with attractive £15 to paintings of staff members, making a weekday lunch seem extra special. £25 The Atrium offers breakfast, lunch and dinner, with something to suit all tastes. The Sunday roast is especially popular. For lunch you’ll find lighter bites including traditional sandwiches and Middle Eastern-influenced flatbreads. Burgers and pizzas are specialities at the Atrium. For dinner, choose from Food Served: additional specials such as sea bream, lamb rump or teriyaki salmon. Mon-Thurs 9.30am-11.30am, Our starter of goat’s cheese and beetroot served atop crunchy slices of radish noon-3pm, 5pm-8pm; and rocket leaves drizzled with a balsamic glaze had the perfect blend of Fri & Sat 9.30am-11.30am, sweet and sharp flavours – it was simply delicious. For the main course, we noon-8pm; selected beer-battered cod and the Sun 9.30am-11.30am, Mexican burger with jalapeños, noon-5pm salsa and smoked cheese. Both dishes came with chips and it has to be said that the chef at the Atrium has mastered the perfect chip: chunky, crisp and golden. We barely had room for dessert, but the offer of such treats as chocolate waffle tower and apple pie proved too tempting to miss. We enjoyed the cherry and almond tart with ginger ice cream to complete our meal. This expertly run establishment offers excellent hospitality and wonderful fare – it’s well worth seeking out. 26

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Cerise Bar & Restaurant

Modern European

 Location The Roseate, 26 The Forbury, Reading, RG1 3EJ t: 0844 625 6670 w: www.roseatehotels.com e: reception.TFLR@roseatehotels.com Residing in one of Reading’s most iconic hotels, The Roseate, Cerise Bar & Restaurant has long been known as one of the most intimate and sophisticated drinking and dining dens in the city. With its stylish decor, quality service, superb drinks list, discreet glamour and cool clientele, this exclusive address is the place to be. As soon as you enter the restaurant, you know you’re in for a one-of-a-kind dining experience. The low lighting, red-striped walls and varnished wooden flooring make for a space that exudes elegance and sophistication, while the outside seating area – complete with trees adorned with fairy lights and a beautiful water feature – adds a touch of splendour to the restaurant. At Cerise Restaurant, head chef Rajesh Maharjan leads a masterful team of chefs who all share a passion for producing amazing and unforgettable food. Modern European cuisine made using the best British produce is exactly what you’ll find showcased on the menu, which is regularly updated to reflect the ever-changing seasons. Whether you’re looking to take your time and enjoy a three-course meal or are craving a quick bite to eat at lunchtime, your needs will be catered for. As well as the fabulous seasonal à la carte selection, Cerise offers tasting menus and wine suppers that present a varietal paired perfectly with each course. The Cerise Bar is a haven for any occasion. Here you can enjoy a fine selection of wine and Champagne and peruse the stunning cocktail menu, which is composed of classics as well as delicious new creations. If you’re stopping by between meals or for a special occasion, why not treat yourself to afternoon tea? Cerise also offers a spectacular range of sandwiches and savoury treats made with bread from the in-house bakery, fresh scones served with clotted cream and homemade jams, and patisserie all served alongside the highest quality tea from around the world. You can add a glass of Pommery Champagne to your afternoon tea, if you fancy pushing the boat out. What’s more, the hotel is available to hire and can accommodate up to 150 guests. Whatever the reason for your visit to this fine establishment, prepare yourself for a day, afternoon or evening of pure indulgence.

RW £32 to

£35

Open: Mon-Sun 7am-11pm

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Berry’s Restaurant & Terrace  Location Taplow House Hotel, Berry Hill, Taplow, SL6 0DA t: 0844 625 6253 w: www.taplowhouse.com e: reception@taplowhouse.com

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The historic Taplow House Hotel, set in impressive grounds overlooking the Thames Valley, combines the best of English tradition with first-class contemporary style. Begin a visit by enjoying a drink in the cosy bar or on the suntrap outdoor terrace before settling in the elegant dining room with views over sloping lawns and ancient tulip trees. Here, guests dine under sparkling chandeliers at tables dressed in crisp white linen. Immaculate service and magnificent food completes a sensational experience.

*

£26 to

£29

‘...first-class contemporary style...’ The menu has been expertly curated so that there’s something on offer for every palate. The chef’s intention is to create classic cuisine refined by modern cooking techniques. Each stunningly presented plate is a feast for the senses, throwing visitors’ decision-making skills into a whir.

‘...Taplow House Hotel excels in every aspect, which makes for a truly memorable dining experience...’ The menus are frequently changed to reflect the seasons and all dishes are made from high-quality fresh ingredients that are sourced locally whenever possible. Head chef Konstantinos Kritikos leads a talented kitchen brigade that includes the expert pastry chef David Bakowski. Afternoon tea is always a firm favourite at Taplow House and is served from noon until 5pm each day. Berry’s Restaurant at Taplow House Hotel excels in every aspect, which makes for a truly memorable dining experience. It’s a sophisticated venue with superb seasonal food and an extensive wine list. Staff are charming, expert and committed. This outstanding restaurant is not to be missed; it’s beautifully British, naturally individual, and marvellously Taplow. *£26 represents the cost of a two-course meal; £29 represents the cost of a three-course meal. Open: Mon-Sun 7pm-9.30pm

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Bill’s Bracknell

Brasserie

 Location 20 Braccan Walk, Bracknell, RG12 1BE t: 0844 625 6658 w: www.bills-website.co.uk e: bracknell@bills-email.co.uk EB Occupying a convenient location adjacent to The Lexicon Shopping Centre is Bill’s Bracknell. Thanks to its location, and the beautiful outside terrace, this branch of Bill’s has become a popular hotspot for diners looking to take a break from a busy £15 to day shopping. £25 The extensive menu is packed with delectable options. Start your meal right by ordering a few nibbles for the table; the beetroot and goat’s cheese arancini with purple basil and pine nut pesto are incredibly moreish. The selection of starters boasts flavours from around the world, including pork and sesame dumplings accompanied by a punchy smoked chilli and soy dip, and devilled chicken skewers coated in a spicy Open: Mon-Thurs 8am-10pm; barbecue glaze and served with crisp spring onion and cooling tzatziki. Fri & Sat 8am-11pm; When it comes to the main course, you’ll be spoilt for choice. You might want to Sun 9am-10pm opt for a tried-and-tested classic: the fish finger sandwich. Comprising homemade cod goujons, baby gem lettuce, tartare sauce, ketchup, toasted sourdough and fries, this sandwich is the ultimate lunchtime treat. If you’re looking for something comforting, plump for the carrot, cashew and mushroom Wellington served with butterbean mash, tenderstem broccoli and rich vegetable gravy – the perfect hearty vegetarian dish for the cooler months. Desserts such as mini cinnamon doughnuts, triple chocolate brownie and sticky toffee pudding make for a great end to a delicious meal. Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and everything in between, Bill’s Bracknell will always be there to satisfy your cravings.

Browns Brasserie & Bar

Brasserie

 Location Unit 5a Oracle Centre, Reading, RG1 2AG t: 0844 625 1968 w: www.browns-restaurants.co.uk e: reading@browns-restaurants.co.uk

RW

Situated just a stone’s throw from shopping mecca the Oracle Centre, Browns Brasserie & Bar has long been a firm favourite among Reading’s foodies, with a reputation that has soared ever since it first opened. Offering first-rate food and drink in the heart of this historic, culture-rich city, Browns is a social hotspot complete with stylish decor and a whole host of sumptuous dishes gracing its menu. Whether you’re an early riser after a bumper breakfast, a social butterfly searching for the perfect spot for brunch, or just love a delicious evening meal with great company, the delightfully attentive and knowledgeable team at Browns has all bases covered. Kick-start your day with one of the vegan-friendly smoothies such as kale, spinach and apple, or if your taste is more traditional, the scrambled eggs and smoked salmon, and eggs Florentine, are sure to provide enticing alternatives. A bountiful main menu offers options to suit every palate. Award-winning fillet steaks, slow-cooked salted pork belly, and seasonal mushroom tagliatelle are just three options, with a dedicated gluten-free menu available for those with intolerances. Those with a sweet-tooth are amply catered for with the likes of caramelised lemon tart with blueberry Eton Mess, and salted caramel profiteroles.

£21 to

£40

Open: Mon-Thurs 9am-11pm; Fri & Sat 9am-midnight; Sun 9am-10.30am Food Served: Mon-Thurs 9am-10pm; Fri & Sat 9am-11pm; Sun 9am-9.30pm

With exquisite afternoon teas and expertly crafted cocktails available all week long, Browns certainly is the go-to place for every occasion. Berkshire Guide 2018-2019

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Caleys Brasserie  Location Macdonald Windsor Hotel, 23 High Street, Windsor, SL4 1LH t: 0844 625 6525 w: www.macdonaldhotels.co.uk

EB

We thoroughly recommend that you explore Macdonald Windsor Hotel’s brand-new restaurant, Caley’s Brasserie, in the heart of Windsor. The dedicated team of kitchen staff shares the same passion to use the best quality ingredients in order to prepare the perfect dishes, whilst adding innovative twists to your dining experience. Chef Daniel Woodhouse has added delicious and fresh new flavours to the new menu, and uses top-notch ingredients from around the UK. Upon arrival, you will notice the restaurant’s relaxed and contemporary surroundings mixed with warm and welcoming service.

£30 to

£40

Open: Mon-Fri 5pm-10pm; Sat noon-10pm; Sun noon-9.30pm

‘...culinary delights...’

Diners can expect to find culinary delights on the menu, which has previously featured the likes of chicken terrine with chorizo mayonnaise; salt-baked beetroot with dill and soft cheese mousse; roast garlic gnocchi with grilled courgettes, deep-fried truffle Brie and soft herb velouté; and mango Pavlova with lime curd and raspberries. If the occasion demands it, why not splash out by booking one of the private dining rooms? You can experience the benefits of excellent service, mouth-watering menus and contemporary decor, all in your own private space. For family gatherings, celebrations, business dinners or supper-club soirées, you’ll want to keep Windsor’s best-kept secret to yourself. Brasserie

Bill’s Windsor  Location 64-67 Windsor Royal Station, Jubilee Arch, Windsor, SL4 1PJ t: 0844 625 6654 w: www.bills-website.co.uk e: windsor@bills-email.co.uk

EB

Quirky decor, ample outdoor and indoor seating, great service and delicious food make Bill’s Windsor a restaurant worth visiting. Its location – right next to the Windsor & Eton railway station – makes Bill’s an ideal venue for those looking to enjoy a much-needed meal in a relaxing environment after a long day’s travel.

£15 to

£25

Open: Mon-Thurs 8am-10.30pm; Fri & Sat 8am-11pm; Sun 9am-10.30pm

Bill’s holds a reputation for serving spectacular breakfast dishes. The Bill’s brunch, comprising smoked streaky bacon, Cumberland sausage, fried eggs, roasted plum tomatoes, mushrooms, a crispy potato rosti and more, is a particular favourite of mine. The buttermilk pancakes are legendary. Light and fluffy, these pancakes come in stacks of three or five served alongside a generous helping of maple syrup and topped with your choice of banana, strawberry and blueberry, or crispy streaky bacon. They’re the perfect weekend treat.

If you’re stopping by for a lazy lunch, I would advise sampling the sharing plates. The veggie plate, which comes with halloumi sticks, beetroot and goat’s cheese arancini, Niçoise olives, toasted focaccia, smashed avocado, hummus, purple basil and pine nut pesto, red pepper tapenade and mixed seeds is a great dish to share with a friend, glass of wine in hand. With the famous Bill’s hamburger and desserts such as Eton Mess and apple and salted caramel crumble also on offer, as well as an extensive drinks menu, Bill’s Windsor has all your foodie needs covered. 30

Berkshire Guide 2018-2019


Pinewood Hotel

Brasserie

 Location Wexham Park Lane, George Green, SL3 6AP t: 0844 625 6679 w: www.pinewoodhotel.co.uk e: info@pinewoodhotel.co.uk

EB

Set in its own extensive grounds, the Pinewood Hotel is a contemporary venue boasting sleek, stylish interiors and a welcoming atmosphere. Its location in George Green means the hotel is easily accessible from the M25, M40 and M4 and it provides the perfect peaceful stopover for those on their way to or from Heathrow Airport. Why not book in for a weekend break with friends, family or your partner?

£19 to

£35

The Pinewood is well known for its comfortable rooms and excellent service. However, the jewel in the hotel’s crown is the exquisite Pinewood Brasserie – a beautiful restaurant that’s perfect for small groups and larger parties alike. Take a seat and see your food prepared fresh to order in the theatre kitchen – a true culinary spectacle – or, during summer, gather loved ones in the al fresco dining area to make the most of fine weather. The chefs prioritise the use of seasonal, local produce and friendly staff will be more than happy to assist those with dietary requirements. Sit down, relax and begin by browsing the range of starters: the avocado and crab is a light but flavoursome dish, while the ham and cheese croquette is deliciously indulgent. The list of mains is wonderfully varied, with everything from beer-battered haddock and chips to spicy Thai red chicken curry. The aged rib-eye steak and the seared duck breast are beautifully cooked too, and continue to prove popular with visitors. If you’re looking for a lunchtime bite to eat, check out the lighter dishes – a classic BLT is guaranteed to energise an afternoon of exploring, while the grilled swordfish and pesto salad packs a healthy punch. Finally, to round off your meal, sample one of the mouth-watering desserts available at the equally tempting price of £6. Kids and big kids will be delighted by the sweet pizza topped with Nutella, marshmallows, banana and ice cream, while the cheeseboard provides a delicious savoury alternative. On Sundays, Pinewood Brasserie also plays host to a weekly roast. For just £14.95, diners can enjoy a roast, all the trimmings and the chance to relax before the working week recommences.

Food Served: Mon-Sun noon-9.30pm

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Bill’s Marlow  Location 40 West Street, Marlow, SL7 2NB t: 0844 625 6417 w: www.bills-website.co.uk e: marlow@bills-email.co.uk

EB

The warm welcome and friendly atmosphere that greeted us upon entering Bill’s ensured that we instantly felt at home. After spending a long time deciding what to order from the exceptionally varied menu, I chose to start with the ancient grain bowl. The combination of various grains, seeds, and colourful veg dressed with red pepper tapenade and pesto made for a nourishing appetiser with a satisfying combination of textures and flavours. Meanwhile my dining partner tucked into succulent mini Cumberland sausages with an exquisite honey and mustard dip.

£15 to

£25

As something of a steak aficionado, I was delighted that my steak was cooked exactly as requested and served with deliciously crispy French fries and pea shoots. My dining partner opted for the halloumi burger with tomato hummus, sweet chilli sauce, roasted red peppers and red onion and lime aioli, which we both agreed was a beautifully Open: Mon-Sat 8am-11pm; executed dish. To end the meal, Sun 9am-10.30pm we shared the pecan pie and hot chocolate bombe. The pecan pie with ice cream, cinnamon cream and hazelnut crumb was sticky, crunchy and smooth; each spoonful was a pleasure to eat. The grand finale was the chocolate bombe – pouring hot salted caramel sauce over the glossy chocolate dome and seeing it melt over the ice cream and brownie chunks was a delightful experience. A visit to Bill’s is an absolute must. Mediterranean

Meimo  Location 69-70 Peascod Street, Windsor, SL4 1DE t: 0844 502 3052 w: www.meimo.co.uk e: eat@meimo.co.uk

EB

Meimo sits at the heart of Windsor at the end of Peascod Street, just five minutes from the majestic Windsor Castle. The restaurant offers the chance to experience the vibrant colours and fusion of flavours present in Moroccan and Mediterranean cuisine, all in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Dishes are freshly prepared by highly experienced chefs and include Moroccan tagines, couscous, meat and fish, all infused with authentic spices. If you’re a fan of Mediterranean food, there are flavoursome meze platters as well as a wide range of grilled fish and meat dishes to choose from. Why not try the roasted butterfly sea bass with fennel, green beans and pink grapefruit butter sauce, or a chicken or lamb tagine with raisins, caramelised onions, fresh vegetables and either prunes or apricots?

£20 to

£25

To accompany the fresh, fragrant and deliciously seasoned cuisine, Meimo serves a comprehensive wine list, which comprises carefully selected bottles that are well matched to the dishes on the menu. The restaurant hosts popular live entertainment nights on a regular basis, always sure to draw a crowd and making it wise to book ahead. As proven by countless positive TripAdvisor reviews, if you’re looking for a friendly meeting place, an enjoyable night out, or simply a great spot in which to enjoy Moroccan food in the Windsor area, you need look no further than Meimo. Open: Sun-Thurs 11am-10pm; Fri & Sat 10am-11pm

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Bianco Nero

Italian

 Location 12-14 Bridge Street, Maidenhead, SL6 8BJ t: 0844 625 6770 w: www.bianco-nero.co.uk e: info@bianco-nero.co.uk

EB

In 2012 Piero and his family opened Bianco Nero, and six years on the family-run restaurant is still serving an authentic taste of Italy to the ever-so-grateful locals of Maidenhead. The name Bianco Nero – which translates to black and white – was chosen by the family to reflect the beautiful simplicity of the menu.

£20 to

£25

You won’t find overly styled, pretentious plates here; Bianco Nero showcases no-nonsense authentic Italian cooking at its finest. All dishes are lovingly prepared by Piero’s wife Emanuela, who draws on the knowledge and experience of both of their families to create a menu full of rustic Italian delights. You might choose to start your meal with prawns cooked in tomato, chilli and spinach sauce alongside toasted fresh bread from the local bakery, calamari with tartare sauce, or mushrooms stuffed with Gorgonzola. Those who enjoy variety will be delighted by the antipasti, which comprises a selection of cured meats, mozzarella, grilled vegetables and bruschetta. Each bite is a flavour sensation that indicates the high quality of the ingredients sourced. Both the pizza and pasta dough are made fresh, and act as the base for some exceptional main courses. I would strongly recommend trying the orecchiette: a traditional style of pasta from Piero’s village in Puglia. This pasta is as authentic as you can get, as Piero’s mother hand-shapes every piece to ensure it retains its unique ear shape. The orecchiette come with your choice of sauce: garlic, broccoli and olive oil, or rich beef ragù, which Piero’s father makes in-house from scratch. For pizza-lovers, a range of Italian classics are available. The Rustica pizza topped with cured ham, rocket, Parmesan shavings and mozzarella will transport you to sun-dappled Italian piazzas, while the Parmigiana pizza is the ultimate indulgence. To wash it all down, Bianco Nero offers a great range of Italian beers and wine, as well as a local Rebellion lager from Marlow. If you’re looking for authentic Italian cuisine, an intimate atmosphere and attentive service, pay a visit to Bianco Nero; you won’t regret it.

Open: Mon-Thurs 11.30am-2.30pm, 6pm-10pm; Fri & Sat 11.30am-2.30pm, 6pm-10.30pm

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Caldesi in Campagna  Location Old Mill Lane, Bray, Nr. Maidenhead, SL6 2BG t: 0844 502 2902 w: www.caldesi.com e: campagna@caldesi.com

EB

Nestled in a leafy lane in Bray is Caldesi in Campagna, the fine dining restaurant of Giancarlo and Katie Caldesi in the country. Mixing Italian contemporary chic style with rural values, the restaurant combines the Caldesis’ passion for quality local produce and the power of simplicity to create a menu that simultaneously showcases the very best of Italy and Berkshire.

£32 to

£60

Having recently undergone refurbishment which included stunning designer wall coverings, a swanky new bar area and an extended conservatory which is ideal for parties, the restaurant is a favourite of both locals and visitors alike.

‘...a menu that simultaneously showcases the very best of Italy and Berkshire...’ Soak up the convivial atmosphere as you peruse the impressive wine menu, which offers an oenological tour of Italy’s provincial vineyards, while excellently complementing the exquisite dishes available. Carefully put together, the menu of perfectly executed simple dishes reads like a love letter to the finest Italian flavours. Our choice of Carpaccio of tuna and octopus melted on the tongue, leaving us reminiscing of far-away coastlines. The intricate and subtle flavours of the popular sea bass ravioli were matched by the tender texture of the delightfully flaky fish enveloped in buttery pasta. A notable highlight for us was the tender pan-fried veal stuffed with Pienza pecorino cheese – an Italian classic. Our experience was brought to an indulgent end with a smooth espresso and an Italian-style doughnut served with creamy vanilla custard and sambuca jam – a dessert that came highly recommended by the staff, and it’s not hard to see why.

‘...a love letter to the finest Italian flavours...’ Open: Tues-Sat noon-3.30pm, 6pm-11.30pm; Sun noon-3.30pm (last orders Tues-Fri 9.30pm; Sat 10pm; Sun 2.30pm)

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Berkshire Guide 2018-2019

The talent of the team here is evident in the attention to detail in everything from the warm welcome to the sublime cuisine. Although Bray may be known for The Fat Duck, Caldesi in Campagna is making its own, very individual, mark on the Berkshire gourmet map for all the right reasons. One visit will leave you in no doubt that this is a special place to be returned to again and again – something the packed tables of regulars will attest to.


Franco Manca

Italian

 Location The Oracle, Reading, RG1 2AT t: 0844 625 6328 w: www.francomanca.co.uk/restaurants/reading e: askus@francomanca.co.uk

RW

We stopped by Franco Manca’s in Reading and pulled up a pew by the open kitchen, where we could see chefs busy working the famed sourdough that’s put this pizza restaurant on the culinary map. The sourdough is made with a 200-year-old starter culture from Naples and takes 20-30 hours to rise before being kneaded and stretched, covered with delicious toppings and blasted in the custom-made oven. The result is astounding. While our toppings of Gloucester Old Spot ham, mozzarella, buffalo ricotta and wild mushrooms were delicious, the dough was a treat in its own right. The accompanying selection of organic wine was both delicious and interesting. As with everything else, the team behind Franco Manca takes a personal approach to their wine, working directly with small organic wine producers in Italy.

£10 to

£15

Open: Mon-Fri noon-11pm; Sat 11.30am-11pm; Sun 11.30am-10pm

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Catering Away Take us home! The chefs behind two of the region’s favourite restaurants, The Crooked Billet and London Street Brasserie can cater events away. We’ll work from any venue – stately homes, marquees, function suites, castles, barns and back gardens! Nothing’s a problem – weddings, festivals, birthdays and corporate affairs. Paul Clerehugh, our chef, creates a menu to fit the bill, from laid-back, informal comfort food to elegant gourmet dinners, and from funky theatre food stalls to exquisite hot and cold buffets. Our party team can assist with any elements of your event – marquees, venue suggestions, delicious food, bars, bands and smart, personality-driven waiting staff from our restaurants. The Crooked Billet near Henley-on-Thames has been voted Favourite Food Pub by Waitrose while the Michelin-acclaimed London Street Brasserie in Reading has been listed among The Times’ Top Restaurants. Our event catering is sure to make your guests feel like VIPs.

Email enquiries to paulclerehugh@l-s-b.co.uk www.londonstbrasserie.co.uk www.thecrookedbillet.co.uk


Al Fassia

Moroccan

 Location 27 St Leonards Road, Windsor, SL4 3BP t: 0844 625 1984 w: www.alfassiarestaurant.com e: admin@alfassiarestaurant.com

EB

With a long-established reputation and well-forged client base, the family-run Al Fassia restaurant, situated in the heart of Windsor, serves classic, home-cooked Moroccan dishes, both rich and diverse in flavour. The dining room draws on Moroccan design with handcrafted wooden furnishings contrasting with the contemporary black and white images of Berber women adorning the walls. Candlelit tables generate an inviting atmosphere that is further enhanced by the Andalusian music playing softly in the background. Upstairs, Amina Lounge offers a more authentic setting and seats up to 40. Strewn with cushions, ornate rugs and a deep red carpet, regular belly dancing demonstrations further add to the sultry allure of the space.

£25 to

£30

With a hotel and restaurant chain in Marrakesh, the family that runs Al Fassia has garnered an undeniable wealth of experience and an impeccable understanding of Moroccan hospitality and gastronomy. The result are menus that enable diners to chart paths through Morocco by way of its varied flavours, aromas and textures. Delicate savoury pastries, sweet tagines and fine-grain couscous are all showcased on the Al Fassia bill of fare. Starters of tiger king prawns with a spicy tomato and garlic sauce served on a bed of saffron rice, and the more traditional homemade filo pastry – or bastilla – filled with chicken and almonds introduce a melange of fresh ingredients and complex flavours. Main courses present a real taste of the Med, suffused with spices and tender meats. The lamb tagine was mouth-wateringly good, with succulent stewed lamb in a tagine sweetened by prunes and apricots and accompanied by fluffy couscous. The brochettes d’agneau were equally delicious. The skewered lamb coated in traditional herbs and spices offered a roundness of flavour – as good to eat as it was to look at. The feast was rounded off with a delicate, yet sumptuous dessert of bastilla à la glace comprising layers of handmade filo pastry coated with almonds and cinnamon and accompanied by a scoop of ice cream. If the food alone is not enough to entice you inside, the family reputation, welcoming staff and soothing ambience surely will.

Open: Mon-Thurs 6pm-10pm; Fri 6pm-10.30pm; Sat noon-10.30pm; Sun noon-9pm

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The Boatman  Location 10 Thames Side, Windsor, SL4 1QN t: 0844 502 2838 w: www.boatmanwindsor.com e: boatmanwindsor@slhuk.com

EB

Situated on the picturesque riverside between Windsor and Eton, The Boatman is hidden away from the bustle of the town centre, and boasts some of the best views in Windsor. We visited on a very busy Saturday evening and were delighted to be welcomed by friendly, professional staff and a fresh menu.

£22 to

£37

This popular venue features a large, sun-drenched terrace, half covered by a conservatory with a retractable roof. You might be lucky enough to grab a spot right by the riverside, and as the evening cools, staff provide blankets for added comfort. Such an idyllic location makes this a desirable place for an event, and it’s available for private hire.

‘...whether you’re visiting for lunch or dinner, you’re in for a treat...’ Step inside The Boatman and you’ll discover an interior that’s just as delightful as the setting. A relaxed pub, complete with nautical quirks, is home to a menu that goes above and beyond your usual pub grub. The talented kitchen team creates freshly made appealing choices for all kinds of appetites. Whether you’re visiting for lunch or dinner, you’re in for a treat. My spiced crab, crayfish and avocado timbale starter was a particular delight and the fresh seafood flavours made it the perfect light bite for a summer’s evening. On the dinner menu you’ll find dishes that are more than generous in size, all cooked perfectly. My main of slow-cooked duck leg fell away from the bone and was the star of the evening. If you have space for dessert, consider tucking into the signature Eton Mess while overlooking the namesake town.

‘...you may stay longer than you originally intended...’ Food Served: Mon-Sun noon-10pm

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If you are looking to catch up with friends over a bottle of wine, a day out with family or to hold a large event, make The Boatman your first stop – you may stay longer than you originally intended.


Chequers

Gastropub

 Location 53 High Street, Marlow, SL7 1BA t: 0844 625 1843 w: www.thechequersmarlow.co.uk e: info@thechequersmarlow.co.uk

EB

Chequers was inducted into the Brakspear brewing and free holding family in 1893, but parts of the building date back to the 16th century, and evidence suggests that it has always served as a local pub. With such history behind this pub and steakhouse, it comes as little surprise that the Chequers is an establishment that boasts first-rate food, world-class drinks, and a host of returning visitors who readily sing its praises. The restaurant interior is a harmonious blend of old and new, with handsome, well-kept wooden wall panelling and flooring, and plush contemporary furnishings, all atmospherically lit by hanging pendant lights, ensuring visitors dine in a warm and inviting space that makes them feel instantly at home.

£20 to

£30

‘...dine in a warm and inviting space...’ Aged native grass-fed beef is the order of the day here, though there’s plenty on offer for all manner of appetites. Diners select their cut and size from a choice of fillet, rib-eye, sirloin and rump steak, adding garnishes, sides and sauces according to taste. If you’re looking to go all out, you could strike for the 16oz Chateaubriand served with triple-cooked chips, vine tomatoes, rocket and a choice of sauce. Beyond beef, there’s an enticing range of à la carte dishes that showcase the best seasonal produce that the expert kitchen team can get its hands on. Start with curried cod cheeks with butternut squash purée, mint riata and radish and potato crisps, or whiskey and chicken liver parfait. For mains, try king prawn and chorizo linguine with chilli, garlic, lemon and olive oil or for a veggie option, take cèpe mushroom and truffle risotto with Paris browns, slow-roasted shallots, chives and Grana Padano. For afters, indulge in the likes of warm apple, pear and almond frangipane slice or sticky toffee pudding with milk ice cream. With a reputation for outstanding hospitality to uphold, a stay at one of the Chequers’ nine boutique rooms is sure to leave a favourable impression. Each room is furnished with a luxurious double or twin bed, an en-suite bathroom, and a Nespresso coffee machine, and a night’s stay is completed with a freshly prepared English or Continental breakfast as standard when booked direct.

Open: Mon-Thurs 8am-11pm; Fri & Sat 8am-midnight; Sun 8am-10pm Food Served: Mon-Thurs 8am-10am, noon-9.30pm; Fri 8am-10am, noon-10pm; Sat 8am-11am, noon-10pm; Sun 8am-11am, noon-8.30pm

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Bird in Hand

 Location Peppard Road, Sonning Common, Nr. Reading, RG4 9NP t: 0844 625 2032 w: www.birdinhandsonningcommon.com e: hello@bihsc.com Since it opened in 2014, the Bird in Hand has established itself as a highly regarded foodie destination. The ever-changing à la carte menu and fabulous weekly changing set lunch menu offer a wide range of choice and excellent value for money. Sundays are especially popular at the Bird in Hand, with meats such as beef roasted on the bone sitting alongside a range of regular dishes, many with a Sicilian twist. Seasonal food is cooked from scratch with wonderful ingredients like daily delivered Cornish fish, and local meat and cheese. The restaurant’s wood-fired oven delivers authentic Italian pizza in the summer, and is very popular with families with children who enjoy playing in the spacious garden. Pie Wednesday, fillet Thursday and lobster Friday promotions invariably draw in crowds, and the hand-picked wine list and selection of local cask ale ensure all bases are covered.

RW £25 to

£35

Open: Weds-Sun noon-close (please call for details of seasonal opening hours, including Bank Holiday Mondays) Gastropub

The Greene Oak

 Location Oakley Green, Windsor, SL4 5UW t: 0844 625 6487 w: www.thegreeneoak.co.uk e: info@thegreeneoak.co.uk You’re guaranteed a warm welcome at The Greene Oak; a charming pub run by James Lyon-Shaw and Jamie Dobbin, who met working in the kitchen at the world-famous Ivy restaurant. Expect to find a daily changing menu full of quality dishes, simply prepared using market-fresh produce with a focus on nose-to-tail dining. Brixham king scallops with Bath chaps, Hebridean shepherd’s pie, chargrilled cauliflower steak, steamed Elberry Cove mussels and the surprisingly enticing cornflake milk crème caramel are a handful of the superb dishes created by Jamie and his masterful brigade. The Greene Oak also boasts a diverse selection of wine, beer, cider, cask ale and soft drinks, which you’re invited to enjoy in the quirky horse trailers, sun-drenched terrace, or on the Chesterfield sofas next to the roaring fire. Come rain or shine this delightful neighbourhood pub is the ideal setting for a delicious meal, or late night drink.

EB £28 to

£40

Open: Mon-Sat 11am-11pm; Sun noon-10pm Gastropub

The Butt Inn

 Location Station Road, Aldermaston Wharf, Nr. Reading, RG7 4LA t: 0844 502 3051 w: www.thebuttinn.biz e: info@thebuttinn.biz All who visit this eminently popular pub receive a warm welcome. The bar bustles with customers, many heading with their drinks to the attractive outdoor seating area. We relaxed alongside other diners in the spacious and elegant dining room. The Butt Inn offers a varied menu at good value. I enjoyed a starter salad of soft crabmeat on rocket, with the fresh tastes and added crunch of apples, walnuts and celery. My dining partner tucked into smoked haddock fishcake paired with an intriguing beetroot tzatziki dip. For mains, we sampled some hearty dishes served with great flair. I had pork belly with a touch of mustard, and served with beautifully cooked vegetables. My companion enjoyed a delectable steak and Guinness open pie, again accompanied by lovely fresh vegetables. To finish we shared a very decorative meringue and berry assembly, as attractive to the eye as to the palate. Everything about our visit, from the food to the service, was delightful. We will certainly be back soon.

WB £20 to

£25

Open: Mon-Sat 11.30am-11pm; Sun noon-9pm 40

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The Little Angel

Gastropub

 Location Remenham Lane, Henley-on-Thames, RG9 2LS t: 0844 625 1768 w: www.thelittleangel.co.uk e: book@thelittleangel.co.uk

RW

Occupying a princely spot at the foot of Remenham Hill, just a stone’s throw from the River Thames and Henley Bridge, The Little Angel is an atmospheric and historic countryside establishment. From leisurely post-ramble lunches and romantic evenings for two, to large family get-togethers over good food and drink, it’s an establishment that delivers on all fronts.

£20 to

£30

Cosy and well-kept, the restaurant interior centres around a large bar that’s typically kept propped up by a host of locals – the pub’s community atmosphere wouldn’t be the same without the sound of their convivial chatter.

‘…an atmospheric and historic countryside establishment…’ Menus at The Little Angel reflect both seasonality and a revival of Great British cuisine. Produce is sourced insightfully, with quality, value and environmental impact all taken into account. Though menus change seasonally, the range of starters might include the likes of pigeon breast served alongside pearl barley, French beans and curly endive with blackberry vinaigrette and crispy cauliflower florets with white bean pistachio houmous, nasturtium oil and baby herbs. Mains offer something for all appetites with the likes of pan-roasted halibut served with a chive and lobster bisque risotto, concasse tomatoes and apple cider butter and braised Mount Grace Yorkshire lamb accompanied by slow-roasted shallots, colcannon creamed potatoes and redcurrant and Port jus. Sweets of treacle tart with raspberry compote and milk ice cream, and lemon Bavarois with praline, blackberries, crushed meringue and basil will always please crowds when the weather turns colder, and those featuring on the menu in the summer are equally enticing. Given that The Little Angel is regarded as a cornerstone of the Henley-on-Thames community, it comes as no surprise that the pub is host to a busy calendar of events, both public and private, throughout the year. The team has helped plan all manner of occasions from corporate lunches to private dinner parties and wedding breakfasts, and the live music, comedy and special tasting evenings always go down a storm.

Open: Mon-Sat 11am-midnight; Sun noon-10.30pm Food Served: Mon-Fri noon-3pm, 6.30pm-10pm; Sat noon-10pm; Sun noon-9pm

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The Royal Oak  Location The Square, Yattendon, RG18 0UF t: 0844 625 2046 w: www.royaloakyattendon.co.uk e: info@royaloakyattendon.com

WB £25 to

£40

Open: Mon-Sat 11am-11pm; Sun noon-10.30pm Food Served: Mon-Fri noon-2.30pm, 6pm-9.30pm; Sat noon-3pm, 6pm-9.30pm; Sun noon-3.30pm, 6pm-9pm

Here’s an establishment where you’re just as likely to find dog-walkers and weekend ramblers kicking off muddy wellies as you are smartly dressed groups of revelers arriving for an evening of first-rate food and drink. Yattendon is known for its game shooting and The Royal Oak sports the look and feel of a handsome hunting lodge. Head chef Nick MacGregor’s skill and mastery of the kitchen is evident and no doubt stems from 18 years in the industry. His time with Japanese restaurant family Bone Daddies has been instrumental so you’ll find no shortage of Asian influences on the menu. You might start with chicken satay with peanut dipping sauce before pressing on to mains of banana leaf roasted brill flavoured with turmeric, lime and coconut served with choi sum and basmati rice. Alternatively, plump for buttermilk fried chicken escalope served with bacon and thyme gravy and fries, or 12-hour slow-roast lamb shoulder with rosemary new potatoes, green beans and a lamb jus – these dishes from the autumnal menu showcase Nick’s use of seasonal and local produce and are washed down well with a pint of Ramsbury Gold.

Despite the olde-worlde feel of the place, the team running it keeps an eye firmly focused on the future. They’ve created several gorgeous, award-winning bedrooms and have drawn up plans for a beautiful, light-flooded orangery to open in winter 2018.

As the UK’s largest producer of eating-out publications, we’re always looking to snap up new photographers.

If you’re talented with a camera, organised and personable, send your CV and examples of your work to photojobs@foodanddrinkguides.com

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The Bull on Bell Street

Gastropub

 Location 57-59 Bell Street, Henley-on-Thames, RG9 2BA t: 0844 625 1965 w: www.bullonbell.co.uk e: book@bullonbell.co.uk Top-quality fare and a crowd-pleasing range of on-site brewed cask ales only partly explain why diners’ first visits to The Bull on Bell Street are rarely their last. In fact, many returning visitors have their favourite table and stop by regularly to see what’s new on the varied menu. The smart and airy, rustic yet modern restaurant and bar are flooded with natural light, and are adjacent to The Bull’s on-site microbrewery where, if you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the Brakspear brewers doing what they do best. Menus at The Bull have been crafted with the utmost care and attention, taking into account seasonality and provenance to ensure that the best produce is being used all year round. You might start with tempura fried broccoli with kimchi, miso and sesame dressing and coriander or pan-fried scallops served with pea velouté, pancetta crisp and nasturtium oil. For the main event, opt for the Old Spot pork rib-eye accompanied by caramelised apples, honey-glazed root vegetables and cèpe mushroom jus or Brakspear beer and chorizo steamed mussels served with artisan bread. Alternatively, opt for one of The Bull’s freshly baked sourdough pizzas. The kitchen team has gone to great lengths to refine the recipe and improve the techniques used. The wood-fired oven enhances the flavour of each creation, and carefully sourced ingredients ensure a top-quality finish. The Milano, topped with fennel salami, prosciutto and oregano is a meat-lover’s dream, while the Giardiniera, laden with olives, red onions, artichokes, mozzarella, and semi-dried cherry tomatoes is a veggie crowd-pleaser. Lighter appetites are catered for with fresh, seasonally inspired salads, and the sweet-toothed are invariably delighted by the range of desserts, all of which are set to throw diners’ decision-making skills into a whir. Think double chocolate torte with passion fruit crème fraîche and honeycomb and sticky toffee pudding with milk ice cream. The Bull plays host to a stellar calendar of events and occasions throughout the week, such as two-for-one cocktail evenings, gourmet burger nights, and Saturday and Sunday bottomless brunches. If you have your own occasion to host, get in touch with the team to discuss exclusive hire of the restaurant’s stylish private dining room.

RW £20 to

£30

Open: Sun-Thurs 10am-11pm; Fri & Sat 10am-1am Food Served: Mon-Fri noon-10pm; Sat 10am-10pm; Sun 10am-9pm

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Bar Fifty Six  Location 56-58 Rose Street, Wokingham, RG40 1XU t: 0844 625 1901 w: www.barfiftysix.co.uk e: contact@barfiftysix.co.uk

RW

Bar Fifty Six is an individual drinking experience in the heart of Wokingham. The team behind it has created a professional, sophisticated wine bar concept, but with a very local and relaxed atmosphere that makes visitors feel instantly £15 to at home. £25 The concept is simple but alluring. The team – who are all ardent wine fanatics – has sourced 56 different wines from producers that they’ve researched and have grown to trust as first-rate winemakers. The impressive list features wines from across the globe. Food is an offering of fine meat and cheese – served with fresh salad and artisan bread – all with a story and many with tasting notes. The charcuterie platters are Open: out of this world and offer fantastic value for money. Staff are knowledgeable Mon-Weds noon-11pm; and will happily share their expertise with guests who are unfamiliar with the Thurs-Sat noon-midnight; wine world. Booking in advance Sun noon-10.30pm is advised, however if tables are available, the team is more than happy to accommodate, and will gladly see to your wine needs. What’s more, Fifty Six holds regular events including live music nights and wine tasting – you can even book your own private wine tasting event for up to 30 guests. Open from noon, Fifty Six is an ideal meeting place for corporate occasions or just a quiet catch-up over some fizz. Comfortable and classy, expect plenty of Instagram opportunities.

Bar & Restaurant

Zerodegrees  Location 9 Bridge Street, Reading, RG1 2LR t: 0844 502 2717 w: www.zerodegrees.co.uk/reading e: reading@zerodegrees.co.uk

RW

Zerodegrees is very much at the helm of the craft beer scene in Reading. The venue hosts Reading’s only microbrewery and occupies a prime position next to the Oracle shopping centre. The open-plan brewery can be seen from both levels of the award-winning pizza restaurant and if you dine during the day you may even see the master brewer at work. Zerodegrees never filters, pasteurises or uses additives in their brews, ensuring all are vegan-friendly and full of flavour.

£18 to

£22

Open: Mon-Sat noon-midnight; Sun noon-11pm

Diners will love looking into the open-plan kitchen, from which fresh and contemporary dishes are delivered to various dining areas, including a raised outdoor area on the first floor, which is a real suntrap. Zerodegrees is well-known for its eclectic wood-fired pizza menu and fresh mussels served in kilo pots with fries. For those with a sweet-tooth, the famous mango beer is a delicious introduction to the Zerodegrees range and can perfectly balance the bold flavours of a spicy pizza, or accompany a sweet treat.

The team has crafted an innovative menu, comprising dishes that complement the beer that’s produced on-site. Zerodegrees is set to spread its success further across the country, having already encouraged the British public to rekindle a love of fresh, local produce. Beer and pizza made on-site and in sight – it doesn’t get much fresher than that. 44

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The Wheatsheaf

Bar & Restaurant

 Location Chilton Foliat, Nr. Hungerford, RG17 0TE t: 0844 502 6716 w: www.thewheatsheafchiltonfoliat.co.uk e: hello@thewheatsheafchiltonfoliat.co.uk

WB

Since taking over The Wheatsheaf two years ago, MasterChef semifinalist Ollie and singer-songwriter Lauren Hunter have totally transformed what was previously a struggling local into an award-winning destination renowned for its first-rate food and crowd-pleasing music nights. The beautifully restored building ensures that guests feel right at home from the get-go. The thatched roof exterior leads to a cosy, comfortable interior that centres on a handsome, amply stocked bar and offers many a nook and cranny to retreat to. Live music, art exhibitions, cookery classes and breakfast clubs take place throughout the week, so it’s always worth consulting the calendar to see what’s in store.

£15 to

£25

When it comes to food, don’t miss out on the wood-fired pizzas. Ollie and Lauren shipped their terracotta oven from Florence a year ago and have been preparing Italian-inspired pizza ever since. They’ve perfected the dough recipe, which is prepared fresh every day and allowed to prove for at least 24 hours before it’s ready to be cooked to perfection. Like much of the produce that makes its way into The Wheatsheaf’s kitchen, many of the generous pizza toppings are sourced from Ollie’s parents’ farmstead and gardens at Hungerford Park, just three miles away. If you prefer to enjoy pizza from the comfort of your own home, thankfully you can order one of The Wheatsheaf’s pizzas to take away – you’ll just have to pick up a bottle of wine on the way home. As far as the rest of the offering goes, the team maintains a keen focus on an organic ethos as well as seasonality and provenance. The superb-quality produce sourced from Ollie’s mum’s farm is used in The Wheatsheaf’s main menu and is supported by a cast of hand-picked veg, fish and charcuterie obtained from a cadre of trusted suppliers, guaranteeing quality. Expect seasonal dishes such as venison with homemade tagliatelle and pan-fried wild gurnard with wild mushroom spelt risotto. All of the above has resulted in The Wheatsheaf winning a Sawday’s 2017/18 Pub Award for Local, Seasonal & Organic Produce, and receiving the highest possible rating from the Sustainable Restaurant Association – an altogether impressive list of accolades after just two years in business.

Open: Tues-Thurs noon-3pm, 5.30pm-11.30pm; Fri noon-11.30pm; Sat 9.30am-11.30pm; Sun noon-6pm

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The Grenfell Arms Location 22 Oldfield Road, Maidenhead, SL6 1TW t: 0844 625 6510 w: www.grenfellarmsmaidenhead.co.uk e: gfareservations@icloud.com

EB

The Grenfell Arms is a pub full of charm. The whole place has a warm welcome, and the friendly staff and open spaces put you at ease as soon as you walk through the door. It feels like somewhere you just want to be.

£22 to

‘...a pub full of charm...’

£28

Upon arrival the first thing you will notice is the well-stocked bar, which has an extensive range of gin as well as fabulous cask ale, craft beer and exceptional cocktails, the variety of which is sure to impress. The care the bar team takes in making a simple G&T or pulling a tasty pint is evident – this team doesn’t just throw drinks at people, real care and attention to detail is given to every tipple. The Grenfell Arms also has a big, welcoming outdoor seating area, which most certainly has a Riviera feel to it. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a few pints with friends or a bottle of Prosecco in the warmer months.

‘...you’ll find yourself wanting to return with friends...’ Once seated in the beautiful dining room, take time to peruse the diverse menu, as you’ll find a mix of pub classics as well as eclectic dishes showcasing flavours from around the world. All diets are well catered for here, with great vegetarian and even vegan offerings alongside the likes of steak and kidney suet pudding and even Sri Lankan curry; the choice is great. I would highly recommend the baked Camembert with red onion marmalade and ciabatta croutons. Make sure you save room for dessert; the salted caramel affogato is a must-have for anyone who has a sweet-tooth.

Open: Mon-Thurs noon-11.30pm; Fri & Sat noon-1.30am; Sun noon-10.30pm

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After you’ve finished your spectacular meal, why not extend your stay at The Grenfell Arms? All eight rooms have been recently refurbished and come with high-definition smart screen TVs and comfy beds to ensure you have the most relaxing stay possible. We can assure you once you’ve paid a visit to The Grenfell Arms you’ll find yourself wanting to return with friends and loved ones time and time again.


Taproom & Kitchen

Bar & Restaurant

 Location West Berkshire Brewery, The Old Dairy, Yattendon, RG18 0XT t: 0844 625 6698 w: www.wbbrew.com e: taproomandkitchen@wbbrew.co.uk

WB

The West Berkshire Brewery Taproom & Kitchen sits alongside the impressive brewing tanks of the West Berkshire Brewery, separated only by ceiling-high glass. Although off the beaten track in the heart of the beautiful rolling hills of the West Berkshire countryside, it’s a bustling spot for beer-enthusiasts and foodies alike, providing a great destination for relaxed dining.

*

£12 to

£15

‘...impressive brewing tanks...’ Alongside the array of cheese, chicken and vegetarian burgers, you’ll find many varieties of pizza, salads and snacks. Lunchtime specials are also available, like the Jamaican pie filled with potato, pea and black bean curry served alongside mash and greens. On our visit, I was delighted by my choice of the Good Old Boy pie. Tender pieces of steak were cooked in ale and a dash of horseradish, and encased in crisp pastry, which tasted amazing. To complete the plate, the pie was served with creamy mash, shallots and a selection of green vegetables. From the many pizzas on offer, we opted to try the crispy thin-crust Flying Hawaiian. With its lemon and pepper roast chicken, pineapple and coriander salsa topping, the pizza was refreshingly light but bold in flavour.

‘...see the magic happen first-hand...’ As a brewery-based restaurant, it stands to reason that there’s a varied choice of ale and beer from both the keg and bottle. After sampling the refreshing Good Old Boy – a malty best bitter – we decided to try Mr Swift’s pale ale. This light, hoppy ale was a delight. We then chose drinks to accompany the main course. Mr Chubb’s Lunchtime Bitter, with its light and fruity profile, was perfectly paired with the Hawaiian pizza. In contrast, the stout-like Black IPA really complemented the Good Old Boy pie. You can make this a great day out if you combine your lunch with a tour of the brewery – why not see the magic happen first-hand before trying a few glasses for yourself? *Price range represents the cost of a main meal and a drink.

Food Served: Tues noon-3pm; Weds-Sat noon-3pm, 6pm-9pm; Sun noon-3pm

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The Watermill Theatre  Location Bagnor, Nr. Newbury, RG20 8AE t: 0844 502 2713 w: www.watermill.org.uk e: boxoffice@watermill.org.uk

WB

The Watermill Theatre creates great shows that audiences love. From its home in a converted watermill in rural Berkshire, it produces award-winning work that has been recognised throughout the UK and abroad. In a rural setting on the banks of the River Lambourn just outside Newbury, the theatre has gained an outstanding reputation, which continues into its restaurant, with The Daily Telegraph describing it as a ‘paradisal theatre with an excellent restaurant, delightful bar and exceptionally friendly staff’.

£13 to

£27

The restaurant is housed in a beautiful 19th-century barn with a large inglenook fireplace. It’s a great place to socialise with friends, enjoy good food and watch a West End-standard show at a fraction of the price. A salad bar is available before the show, and hot dishes and desserts are also on offer. Candlelit dinners are served after the show on Friday and Saturday evenings. Cream tea is available after the Thursday and Saturday matinée performances, and sharing platters and other snacks are available from the bar before and after the performance. If possible, please make your restaurant reservations at the time of booking your theatre tickets. Open: Mon-Sat evening meals from 5.30pm; Fri & Sat post-show meals from 9.45pm; Thurs & Sat pre-matinée meals from 12.30pm (please call for details)

This beautiful venue is also available to hire for weddings, parties, meetings and seminars. Make a trip to The Watermill, treat yourself to a pre-show supper and a great play in idyllic surroundings, and find out for yourself why this venue is so popular. Bar & Restaurant

Holiday Inn Reading South  Location Basingstoke Road, Reading, RG2 0SL t: 0844 625 6588 w: www.ihg.com

RW

The Holiday Inn Reading South is situated only ten minutes from Reading town centre and a short walk from Madjeski Stadium. Having recently undergone a complete transformation, the newly refurbished hotel boasts a contemporary and flexible environment where guests can eat, drink, work, meet, relax and socialise.

£24 to

£28

Whether you’re staying over or just visiting, you can expect top-notch food for breakfast, lunch and dinner at the Holiday Inn Reading South. Make sure to stop by the bar – on offer is a wide selection of spectacular wine from all around the world, as well as beer, ales, spirits and soft drinks. The dining zone is open to all for breakfast, and from 11am the Open Lobby serves delicious food every day. The hotel has put together a selection of mouth-watering dishes for all tastes and appetites, from steaks cooked to order to healthy salads and lighter alternatives. Enjoy your Food Served: meal in the contemporary dining Mon-Sun 11am-11pm zone, or head outside for a spot of al fresco dining in the warmer months. The Holiday Inn also boasts exciting seasonal dining options like festive feasts for Valentine’s Day and Christmas. If you’re looking for a restaurant in Reading for a special get-together, speak to the friendly team and they’ll help you put together a menu all your invitees will love.

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Berkshire Guide 2018-2019


Royal Windsor Racecourse

Bar & Restaurant

 Location Maidenhead Road, Windsor, SL4 5JJ t: 0844 625 6630 w: www.windsor-racecourse.co.uk e: hospitality@windsor-racecourse.co.uk Located on the River Thames, just a stone’s throw from Windsor Castle, is Royal Windsor Racecourse. Spanning 165 acres of rolling Berkshire countryside, this racecourse is known across the country as the go-to destination for horse racing and events. Open from April to October, the racecourse holds 27 fixtures including the Best of British Festival and Ladies’ Day. While Royal Windsor Racecourse offers guests thrilling races within a spectacular setting, the expansive venue also has a sterling reputation for providing world-class food and a variety of hospitality packages. If you’re looking to enjoy a refined à la carte menu within an elegant space that boasts panoramic views of the racetrack, you must book yourself a seat at The 1866 Restaurant. For just £89 you’ll be treated to a fabulous three-course meal with dishes such as butternut squash mousse with roasted chestnuts, parsnip crisps and pumpkin oil; poached skate and shrimp stuffing, accompanied by a scallop served in its shell, fresh samphire and caper butter; and desserts like toffee apple tarte Tatin, blackberry crème brûlée and rhubarb crumble. On top of your meal, you will also receive a private table reserved for the entire day and discreet table service, betting facility and TV screens to ensure you don’t miss any of the action, as well as a racecard and hospitality car parking pass. If you’re a lover of al fresco dining, pay a visit to The Deck when the sun is shining. Open from June to August, this unique restaurant is located just metres away from the finishing post, making it the perfect venue in which to enjoy a summer’s night. As well as providing a delightful buffet – with mouth-watering selections of meat, fish and vegetarian sharing platters on offer – a Champagne reception will also await you at The Deck. New for 2019, Royal Windsor Racecourse will become home to a first-rate steakhouse, where you can expect to be served divine prime cuts of steak within a beautiful dining space. Make your day at the races one to remember by dining at any one of Royal Windsor Racecourse’s stunning restaurants; you won’t regret it. Visit the website for more information on the hospitality packages and events available. *Price represents the cost of the 1866 Restaurant package.

EB

*

£89

Open: April-October, please see website for details

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The Fox & Hounds

Bar & Restaurant

 Location Donnington, Nr. Newbury, RG14 3AP t: 0844 502 2982 w: www.foxandhoundsnewbury.co.uk e: info@foxandhoundsnewbury.co.uk The close-knit team at The Fox & Hounds creates a relaxed atmosphere in which to enjoy beautifully presented fresh food. Key to the success of this popular, family-run free house is the partnership with Newbury butchers Griffins, who supply the restaurant with all of their meat produce. The steak comes highly recommended, with care taken to serve traditional cuts to your exact preference. What’s more, the steak special offers great value, with wine included in the price. The extensive menu provides plenty of other appetising options including chicken, vegetarian and fish dishes, with rotating specials. Imaginative starters and luscious puddings ensure that visitors are in for a real feast. Complete your meal with a tipple from the well-stocked bar. With a comfortable and welcoming interior and an equally attractive al fresco dining area, there’s every reason to visit The Fox & Hounds.

WB £18 to

£35

Open: Tues-Sat 11am-11pm; Sun 11am-6pm Food Served: Tues-Thurs noon-2.30pm, 6pm-9pm; Fri & Sat noon-9.30pm; Sun noon-4pm

The Redan

Bar

 Location 24 Peach Street, Wokingham, RG40 1XG t: 0844 502 2989 w: www.theredan.bar e: info@theredan.bar The Redan has flourished in the 12 years since it opened, maintaining the popularity it earned as the intriguing new cocktail bar on the block to become an institution, known throughout Berkshire and beyond. A strictly 21-and-over venue, it attracts a mixed clientele, with early-evening and post-work promotions bringing guests in to unwind after a hard day’s grind. Cocktail training is not just for bartenders – it can make for a spectacular party or team-building exercise, and add skills to your arsenal. With over 50 cocktails on the menu, The Redan prides itself on having something for everyone, and there’s always fine wine and great beer to be appreciated, too. Constantly changing and evolving, The Redan is a venue to return to time and again. *Price range represents the cost of a cocktail.

RW

*

£5 to

£10

Open: Mon-Weds 4pm-11pm; Thurs 4pm-midnight; Fri 4pm-1am; Sat noon-1am; Sun noon-11pm

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Berkshire Guide 2018-2019


Coffee Barker Vino & Cocktails

Café & Bar

 Location The Avenue, The Lexicon, Bracknell, RG12 1BD t: 0844 625 1190

EB

Owners Charlotte and Steven Barker’s shared passion for amazing coffee led to them opening Coffee Barker Vino & Cocktails in autumn 2017. Taking inspiration from the coffee houses of New York and stylish bistros of Paris, this all-round venue combines class and style with comfort. Known for its fantastic range of loose-leaf teas, organic coffee, refreshing juices and fun cocktails, Coffee Barker Vino & Cocktails is also something of a foodie haven. It’s open seven days a week, so you can drop in for anything from a quick coffee to a lazy supper.

£20 to

£35

‘...something of a foodie haven...’ Simple, fresh produce takes the lead on the menu and everything is prepared fresh to order. As the evenings draw in, the lights are dimmed and the candles are lit. The focus shifts to sharing plates, wine and cocktails, with a special collection of 50 different gins having been designed to complement the rustic-style food.

Open: Mon-Weds 8.30am-6pm; Thurs-Sat 8.30am-11pm; Sun 9am-7pm

It’s the perfect place to put your feet up with a book and a glass of wine, or relax with friends over good food. Whichever you choose, you’ll be glad you stumbled upon Coffee Barker Vino & Cocktails. Easy-going tunes, a vibrant atmosphere and great company are what make this place really stand out.

CALLING ALL BLOGGERS, WRITERS AND JOURNALISTS WE NEED YOU! We’re always looking for exceptional talent to join our UK-wide network of writers, so if you’re passionate about great food and are a talented wordsmith, get in touch. We need top-notch writers to help us out across a broad spectrum of creative projects that includes printed guides, our blog and a number of exciting websites. Drop us a line at writers@foodanddrinkguides.com for more information Berkshire Guide 2018-2019

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You can now download the FREE Food and Drink Restaurant Guide App Farm Shop & Café

Cobbs Farm Shop & Kitchen

 Location Bath Road, Hungerford, RG17 0SP t: 0844 502 2405 w: www.cobbsfarmshop.co.uk e: cobbs@cobbsfarmshop.co.uk Cobbs, surrounded by 55 acres of farmland including an eight-acre vineyard, is serious about offering the best home-grown seasonal produce, which lands on the shelves often just minutes after being hand-picked in nearby fields. But it’s not just fresh fruit and vegetables on offer; fresh bread, dairy, local chutneys, preserves, artisan cheese, local ale and their own award-winning home-grown English sparkling wine can all be purchased here too. You will also find an on-site butchery, fishmonger and florist. Make sure you stop by the charming café, where the seasonal menu is as fresh and inventive as they come. There’s also a bespoke wooden indoor play barn at Cobbs. Little ones can burn off some energy here and parents can enjoy the same delicious coffee and cake that they would find downstairs in the farm shop café. Make sure you keep an eye out for the fun events held at Cobbs throughout the year, as well as news from their vineyard, Alder Ridge.

WB £10 to

£15

Café Open: Mon-Sat 9am-5pm; Sun 10am-4pm Shop Open: Mon-Sat 9am-6pm; Sun 10am-5pm Farm Shop & Deli

Cobbs at Englefield

 Location Wickcroft Farm, Pangbourne Road, Theale, RG7 5EA t: 0844 502 2840 w: www.cobbsatenglefield.co.uk e: info@fieldersfarmshop.co.uk Formerly known as Fielders Farm Shop, Cobbs at Englefield is a popular farm shop and delicatessen situated five minutes from the M4 at Junction 12, on the edge of Englefield Estate between Theale and Pangbourne. This cheerful establishment offers a fantastic array of local and British food. It sells everything from fresh fruit and vegetables, eggs, honey and bread to cakes, local beers, cider and wine. Visit the delicatessen for a wide range of quality British cheese, free-range pies and Scotch eggs. Always well stocked with British meat; you’ll find pork, beef and lamb from across the south of England, free-range chicken, sausages, dry-cured bacon and locally shot game (when in season). To top it all off, homemade soup, sandwiches and delicious coffee are all available to take away for lunch on the go. Keep an eye out in 2019, as their new build Cobbs at Englefield is planned to open early in the year and will include a new delicatessen, butchery, café and florist.

WB

Open: Mon-Sat 9am-6pm; Sun 10am-4pm Tearoom

Burgers Artisan Bakery

 Location The Causeway, Marlow, SL7 1NF t: 0844 502 2872 w: www.burgersartisanbakery.com The Burger family has been baking since 1942, when Eric and Marie Burger – who originate from the French-speaking region of Neuchâtel in Switzerland – moved to Marlow to set up a confectionary business. It has remained in the family for three generations; sons Phillippe and Bernard learned the family trade, and Bernard and his daughter Rachel manage the business today. Burgers is filled with all manner of tempting aromas – the smell of fresh artisan bread from the bakery and the chocolatier’s hand-crafted chocolates make it hard to resist treating yourself to something. Perhaps purchase stylishly wrapped chocolates for someone special, indulge in chocolate éclairs or macaroons, or enjoy a fluffy scone and a cup of tea in this Grade II listed building’s charming tearoom. Those in need of a cake for that special occasion should give Burgers a call – their expert team can create beautifully decorated cakes to order. *Price range represents the cost of lunch and a drink.

EB

*

£8 to

£12

Open: Mon-Fri 8am-5pm; Sat 8.30am-5pm 52

Berkshire Guide 2018-2019


Honesty coffee shops are located Our Honesty coffee shops are located in in Berkshire and Hampshire and Berkshire and Hampshire. They provide provide a great environment in a great environment in which to relax, which to relax, chat, eat, drink and chat, eat, drink and watch the world watch the world go by. All produce go by. We use rainforest alliance coffee sold is handmade by Honesty beans, ethically produced teas and using traditional methods with our produce is made using traditional no additives, chemical avour methods with no additives, chemical enhancers or preservatives so that flavour enhancers fresh means fresh.or preservatives.

OVERTON

LAMBOURN 0844 625 6528 01488 71011

HUNGERFORD HUNGERFORD 0844 6483 01488625 684515

INKPEN INKPEN

01488 668325 0844 625 6484

KINGSCLERE KINGSCLERE 01635 298510

0844 625 6488 www.honestygroup.co.uk www.honestygroup.co.uk

honesty coffee shops more than just coffee shops


You can now download the FREE Food and Drink Restaurant Guide App Traditional

The Queens Head

 Location Pound Lane, Little Marlow, SL7 3SR t: 0844 502 2957 w: www.marlowslittlesecret.co.uk e: info@marlowslittlesecret.co.uk Marlow’s best-kept secret is this 16th-century, rose-clad village pub. The stylish interior houses an exciting selection of wine, ale and beer, along with inventive cuisine, making this a great stop for lunch or dinner. A comprehensive menu complements the strong selection of daily specialities, with light lunch bites served in the bar. Owner Daniel prides himself on the quality of the cuisine served, creating impeccable modern fare from local produce. Dishes such as slow-cooked pork belly confit and lamb Wellington use meat from farms within five miles of the venue, and fresh fish is brought in daily from a local supplier. With walking routes along the River Thames leading to The Queens Head and a menu that changes with the seasons, we’ve every reason to return to sample whatever else Daniel and his team have to offer.

EB £20 to

£30

Food Served: Mon-Fri noon-2.30pm, 6.30pm-9.30pm; Sat & Sun noon-4pm, 6.30pm-9.30pm Traditional

The White Hart

 Location 2 High Street, Thatcham, RG19 3JD t: 0844 502 2810 w: www.thewhitehartthatcham.com This beautiful English pub evokes memories of a different era. Exposed wooden beams and traditional furnishings add to the already charming atmosphere, and the inviting decor is matched by an equally homely menu. You’ll find a range of characteristically British meals, reasonably priced and cooked to perfection. Warm your cockles with the steak and Stilton pie or the horseshoe gammon – just two examples of the hearty fare available. For those looking for a little entertainment, bingo and pub quizzes feature weekly, while regular Saturday night live music provides the perfect excuse to slip on your dancing shoes. So visit The White Hart today and fill your tum with some glorious grub and your soul with some melodic music – all without breaking the bank. If you fancy staying the night, there are six lovely bed-and-breakfast rooms to choose from.

WB £13 to

£30

Food Served: Tues-Fri noon-2pm, 5.30pm-9pm; Sat noon-3pm, 5.30pm-9pm (group bookings of eight or more only in evening, to be booked before 3pm); Sun noon-4pm Traditional

The Stag & Huntsman Inn

 Location Hambleden, Nr. Henley-on-Thames, RG9 6RP t: 0844 502 3015 w: www.thestagandhuntsman.co.uk e: enquiries@thestagandhuntsman.co.uk Central to the allure of the 650-acre Culden Faw estate, The Stag & Huntsman Inn has undergone loving restoration under the keen eye of British-heritage architect Ptolemy Dean. Maintaining its olde-worlde charm to fit in with the rest of this charming little town, the inn presents a slice of quaint English life amid the rolling hills of the Chilterns.

RW £20 to

£30

Of course, nowhere of this ilk could be complete without serving a seasonal selection of game, all caught on the estate. A range of fine pub classics completes the menu, with sumptuous favourites sure to please everyone in your party. Round off your meal with a pint of real ale from the ever-changing selection, or a glass of fine wine from the selection of Old and New World choices. Open: Mon-Sun 8am-11pm 54

Berkshire Guide 2018-2019


The Royal Oak

Traditional

 Location Ecchinswell, Nr. Newbury, RG20 4UH t: 0845 468 1451 w: www.royaloakecchinswell.co.uk e: info@royaloak-ecchinswell.co.uk

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If you’re planning a relaxing Sunday stroll through the Downs or a weekend drive through the countryside, why not begin or end at The Royal Oak? Ideally located in Ecchinswell, The Royal Oak is a country pub par excellence. Situated just a stone’s throw from the well-traversed Watership Down and taking advantage of the area’s charming, picture-postcard scenery, the team can assure guests of a warm welcome and stellar pub fare. What better way to round off the weekend?

£20 to

£30

The team that runs this countryside inn does so with pride and passion, upholding the pub’s reputation as the go-to haunt for unpretentious, exceptional-quality food and drink. Authentic to a tee, guests can expect real ale, real food and real atmosphere.

‘…guests can expect real ale, real food and real atmosphere…’ Everything on the menu is made in-house by a team of talented chefs. The bill of fare changes regularly, keeping pace with the seasons and taking advantage of the best Hampshire produce available. Think starters of slow-roasted pork belly with cider and honey reduction, crab and risotto cakes, and whitebait in light and crispy batter. Taking daily deliveries of freshly landed fish from Brixham Market, the talented kitchen team has earned a reputation for their stand-out signature fish and chips, usually made with haddock in crisp, golden lager batter, and served with triple-cooked chips, petits pois and homemade tartare sauce. You could instead opt for the homemade Stilton and caramelised onion burger, prepared with mince from local family butcher Wyatts and served on a brioche bun with gourmet chips; hunter’s chicken with smoked bacon, barbecue sauce, gourmet chips and tenderstem broccoli, or perhaps spinach and pine nut risotto with Parmesan shavings. The Royal Oak’s bar is stocked with an expertly chosen range of wine, cider and premium spirits, and a selection of real ale fit to impress even the most ardent aficionado. Additionally, there are always at least two craft ales on tap at any given time, sourced from the region’s local brewers.

Open: Tues-Thurs noon-3pm, 5pm-11pm; Fri & Sat noon-midnight; Sun noon-10pm Food Served: Tues-Fri noon-2.30pm, 6pm-9pm; Sat noon-9pm; Sun noon-4pm

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The New Inn  Location Chalkhouse Green Road, Kidmore End, Nr. Reading, RG4 9AU t: 0844 625 2115 w: www.thenewinnkidmoreend.co.uk e: info@thenewinnkidmoreend.co.uk Everything about The New Inn at Kidmore End entices diners to linger just a little bit longer. From the expertly cooked traditional British fare and broad selection of Brakspear tipples, to the luxuriously appointed countryside accommodation and matching bucolic setting, guests rarely make just one visit here. Inside the light and airy restaurant old blends with new, with period architectural features overlaid with modern fabrics and textures, and comfortable furnishings.

RW £17 to

£25

The menus showcase the best of Britain. Every effort has been made to source produce as locally as possible, and the kitchen team uses these ingredients with skill and precision. To start, you might share a whole Camembert baked with roasted garlic and rosemary and accompanied by warm bread. Main dishes comprise the likes of calf’s liver with black pudding mash and red wine jus, and pan-seared stone bass with sundried tomato polenta. There is also a selection of pub favourites such as Brakspear beer-battered haddock with minted peas, tartare sauce and chunky chips. Open: Mon 6pm-10pm; Tues & Weds noon-3pm, 6pm-10pm; Thurs-Sat noon-11pm; Sun noon-9pm

Planning a stay in the region? Each of The New Inn’s six beautifully appointed en-suite rooms has been finished to an impeccable standard with plenty of contemporary comforts. The New Inn is the perfect home away from home.

Traditional

Peacock Farm  Location Peacock Lane, Bracknell, RG12 8SS t: 0844 502 2891 w: www.peacockfarm.co.uk e: peacock.farm@hall-woodhouse.co.uk

EB

Housed in an expansive converted barn, Peacock Farm is great for any occasion. With intimate tables perfect for couples and large spaces that can accommodate party banqueting, this popular venue is a welcoming haven. £18 to The seasonal menu is extensive enough to satisfy all tastes. We opted to start with £28 a mixed sharing platter comprising lamb kofte, hummus, baba ganoush, calamari, falafel and tzatziki. The variety of tastes and textures were perfectly matched, and provided a great opening to the meal. Next came a succulent chicken Caesar burger made with chargrilled chicken breast stacked with plenty of bacon, Monterey Jack Open: Mon-Sat 10am-11pm; cheese, Caesar mayo and salad, all served in a brioche bun. The burger itself had a Sun 10am-10.30pm wonderful smoky flavour, and the accompanying triple-cooked chips were a delight. Food Served: My companion’s Moroccan-style lamb tagine was a treat for all the senses, and came Mon-Thurs noon-9.30pm; with pickled red onion and toasted pitta bread. Fri & Sat noon-10pm; To round things off we indulged in Sun noon-9pm two sumptuous puddings. The oaty crumble was packed with chunky apple and beer-soaked sultanas, enhanced by an out-of-this-world salted toffee and Badger Beer sauce. My partner’s sticky toffee and rum sponge was equally decadent. The light, moist sponge with crunchy sweet topping was beautiful, and as if that wasn’t enough, it was served with rum and raisin ice cream and an oat crumb. Peacock Farm also hosts regular open mic nights and quiz nights – the perfect excuse for an evening out accompanied by top-notch food and drink. 56

Berkshire Guide 2018-2019


Maltsters Arms

Traditional

 Location Rotherfield Greys, Nr. Henley-on-Thames, RG9 4QD t: 0844 502 2979 w: www.maltstersarms.com e: hello@maltstersarms.com

RW

The Maltsters Arms resides in a 250-year-old coach house, attracting customers from near and far. Sitting in the idyllic space next to a Saxon church, this traditional venue in the small village of Rotherfield Greys boasts a covered courtyard and beer garden.

£21 to

£31

With passionate landlords George and Calum at the helm, the past two years have been spent transforming the ethos of the venue to actualise their own vision of the long-fabled perfect pub. A trim and tailored menu of regularly changing favourites, such as a great pie and lovely fish and chips, complements a specials board that offers a range of exciting additions. A fantastic three-course roast is available every Sunday, which features delights such as roast beef and Yorkshire pudding as well as roast leg of lamb and mint sauce served with all the trimmings.

‘...friendly staff are always on-hand...’ The exceptionally knowledgeable and friendly staff are always on-hand to share the provenance of the ingredients. The level of service at Maltsters Arms really sets it apart, as does the team’s commitment to catering for all dietary requirements, providing options for vegan and gluten-free diners. To start I chose the smoked mackerel with chive and new potato salad – a light and flavoursome summer dish. My dining partner chose the pigeon breast served with shallot and apple confit and Calvados cream sauce. The lamb rump with hasselback potato, roasted courgette, tomato and salsa verde was a delightful, seasonal treat. The pan-fried cod with cannellini bean and spinach cassoulet left my dining partner suitably sated. Our desserts arrived in resplendent style. Two firm favourites were chosen: blackberry and apple crumble with custard, and the sticky toffee pudding with salted caramel ice cream, and both exceeded even our high standards. If you’re not sweet-toothed, perhaps plump for a selection of British cheese to conclude your meal.

Open: Mon-Thurs 11am-3pm, 5pm-11pm; Fri & Sat 11am-midnight; Sun noon-8pm

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The Downgate  Location Park Street, Hungerford, RG17 0ED t: 0844 625 1693 w: www.thedowngate.com e: info@the-downgate.co.uk

WB

The Downgate is every bit the quintessential British country pub. Set on the edge of Port Down Common, The Downgate’s decor is sympathetic to its stunning setting, retaining handsome original features and pairing these with a light and airy feel that ensures diners feel at home from the moment they arrive. The pub’s lush natural surrounds create a relaxed backdrop and owner Lauren Weir and partner Dennis Andersson have taken plenty of cues from this, establishing an easy-going and unpretentious atmosphere where everyone is made to feel welcome – especially friends of the four-legged variety.

£10 to

£20

Daytime visitors can expect to tuck into light bites and hearty lunches such as generously filled sandwiches, fish and chips, and the Downgate beefburger. Evening menus mean traditional British dishes prepared with care. The pub’s seasonal fare Open: consistently leaves smiles on faces thanks to carefully sourced quality produce and Tues-Sat 11.30am-11pm; skilful execution. Think beef stew Sun noon-9pm with warm French stick and butter, and smoked haddock with poached egg, new potatoes, wilted spinach and Hollandaise sauce. The Downgate’s stellar Sunday roast is a surefire way to please the whole family and the range of on-tap tipples available is certain to impress ale aficionados. Supplied by Arkell’s, the breadth and quality of real ales available has earned The Downgate a feature in both the CAMRA Good Beer Guide and the Real Ale Guide, as well as Cask Marque accreditation. Traditional

The Cross Keys  Location Church Road, Pangbourne, RG8 7AR t: 0844 625 1961 w: www.crosskeyspangbourne.com e: info@crosskeyspangbourne.com

WB

A popular country inn boasting an inviting atmosphere, smartly appointed interior and superb traditional fare, The Cross Keys in Pangbourne has rightly earned its position as a community cornerstone serving first-rate food and drink. Inside, countryside charm abounds. The exposed wood and brick masonry adds to The Cross Keys’ rustic appeal while comfortable furnishings and splashes of artwork establish a pleasant, cosy ambience that’s well-suited to all kinds of gatherings.

£15 to

£25

The Cross Keys’ menus feature a range of crowd-pleasing traditional British fare. Think starters of chicken liver parfait served with red onion chutney and wholemeal toast, and Loch Fyne mussels cooked in white wine, shallots and cream. For the main event, you might take hand-battered cod Open: Mon-Sun 11am-11pm served with chunky chips and homemade tartare sauce, or grilled Cajun tuna accompanied by sour cream, salad and fries. Supporting the pub’s winning fare is a top-notch wine list, curated to offer unrivalled breadth of choice and varietals from around the world. Hosting a summer event? The Cross Keys’ new outdoor barbecue grill and kitchen means that you can take full advantage of the season’s fair weather. The gazebo can seat up to 100 guests for summertime shindigs and the team has devised several set menus that are perfectly suited for catering en masse. 58

Berkshire Guide 2018-2019


The Dog & Duck

Traditional

 Location Matthewsgreen Road, Emmbrook, Wokingham, RG41 1JT t: 0844 625 6259 w: www.dogandduckemmbrook.co.uk e: info@dogandduckemmbrook.co.uk

RW

Visitors to The Dog & Duck will be delighted by the pub’s recent renovation. The restaurant dates back to the 1770s and now boasts a tasteful interior that blends traditional aesthetics like oak beams, exposed brickwork and large sash windows with modern comfort and a welcoming atmosphere. When it’s cold outside you can stay warm thanks to the pub’s wood-burning stove, and during summer guests enjoy barbecues in the pub’s tranquil garden.

£19 to

£37

‘...modern comfort and a welcoming atmosphere...’ Upon entering, take a seat in one of the cosy booths and peruse the varied menu of British pub classics. Sharers are a great way to begin a meal with friends – the greengrocer’s board is a firm favourite and comprises vegetarian dishes such as marinated courgette, aubergine, borretane onions, artichoke and hummus. Other tempting appetisers include the pulled pork, sage and mustard croquette, gluten-free curried salmon fishcakes, and salt and pepper squid.

‘...take a seat in one of the cosy booths and peruse the varied menu of British pub classics...’ All of the pizzas are made fresh to order in the pub’s own pizza oven, guaranteeing freshness and flavour. The burgers are also a popular option with many diners, with a classic beefburger and a buttermilk chicken burger on offer, as well as a vegetarian mushroom and halloumi option. Other tasty mains include haddock and chips, king prawn and chorizo linguine and vegan spiced chickpea and potato cakes. On Sunday, you can bring the whole family for a delicious carvery, where a selection of meat served with all the trimmings is served with lashings of gravy. The Dog & Duck also regularly plays host to special events and evenings including quiz nights and an after-school pizza deal both parents and kids can get stuck into.

Food Served: Mon-Thurs noon-10pm; Fri noon-10.30pm; Sat 11.30am-10.30pm; Sun 11.30am-9.30pm

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The Hare & Hounds at Speen  Location Bath Road, Speen, Nr. Newbury, RG14 1QY t: 0844 502 2764 w: www.hareandhoundshotel.net e: reservations@hareandhoundshotel.net

WB £12 to

£20

Food Served: Mon-Sat noon-2.30pm, 5pm-9pm; Sun noon-9pm

Since 1753, The Hare & Hounds has been serving traditional ales and quality food. Under the ownership of Jonathan and Jean Nelsey for over ten years, the recently refurbished inn has gone from strength to strength and is now among Newbury’s most popular dining venues. The Barn, a truly stunning oak-framed construction that has to be seen to be fully appreciated, is a light and airy restaurant, which opens onto a heated terrace, deck and garden. The bar remains a true pub bar, while The Library is a casual dining and drinking area. The kitchen’s new charcoal Bertha oven enhances the flavour of all grilled food to give a true barbecue taste. Whilst grilled food is a speciality, menus are varied and seasonal. The famous fish pie is a must try and is made to a recipe that Jonathan has been using for 25 years, with fresh fish sourced from day-boats in Brixham.

All meat, fruit and vegetables are from the area’s leading suppliers. Food is served all day on Saturday and Sunday, with traditional Sunday roasts established as firm favourites. The team is best known for its Friday steak and grill nights, and the amazing value two-course midweek lunch at just £10.95. Whether you visit to eat, drink or stay in one of the 30 bedrooms, you’re assured of a warm welcome; so do give The Hare & Hounds a try – you won’t be disappointed. Traditional

The Horse & Groom

 Location Bath Road, Hare Hatch, Nr. Twyford, RG10 9SB t: 0844 502 2867 w: www.horseandgroom-harehatch.co.uk e: horse.and.groom@brunningandprice.co.uk As you step through the door of this beautiful 300-year-old coaching house, you’ll find low beams, real fires and intimate tables. The walls are lined with antique £19 to pictures that cast you back to the time of highwaymen and lend the interior a feeling £31 of olde-worlde charm. The atmosphere is warm and friendly, the staff attentive and the extensive food choice varied, inventive and exciting – we couldn’t wait to tuck in. Both starters were immaculately presented, showing impressive attention to detail. We enjoyed pan-fried scallops with black pudding fritters, pea purée and Open: lemon dressing, and extremely light and crispy salt and pepper squid. Each dish Mon-Sat 11.30am-11pm; demonstrated a balance of subtle flavours that set the precedent for our main courses, Sun 11.30am-10.30pm which did not disappoint. My crispy beef salad with sweet chilli sauce and roasted Food Served: cashews was like a party on a plate. The braised lamb shoulder with Dauphinoise Mon-Sat noon-10pm; potatoes, seasonal veg and rosemary Sun noon-9.30pm gravy was a perfectly hearty dish. Although a traditional meal, it was prepared with the same care and understanding as the more adventurous dishes on the menu – no matter what you order at The Horse & Groom, the look, flavours and textures have wow-factor. The sticky toffee pudding, with its coating of toffee sauce and honeycomb ice cream accompaniment, was as light and fluffy as the brownie’s top was crisp. Underneath that satisfyingly crisp top was a soft, gooey centre. There was no better way to bring our meal to an end. RW

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The Thatched Tavern

Traditional

 Location Cheapside Road, Ascot, SL5 7QG t: 0844 502 3876 w: www.thethatchedtavern.co.uk e: enquiries@thethatchedtavern.co.uk

EB

This pretty 15th-century tavern exudes olde-worlde charm, with low-beamed ceilings, flagstone flooring and plenty of nooks and crannies. In the chilly months the real log fires make it super cosy and the whole pub is suffused with the delicious smell of mulled wine. For warmer weather there’s ample space outside, with a pretty leafy garden, sheltered patio and an attractive decking area.

£20 to

£45

‘...attentive staff, coupled with a friendly, relaxed atmosphere...’ A warm welcome from attentive staff, coupled with a friendly, relaxed atmosphere has much to do with The Thatched Tavern’s appeal, as does the varied menu and wine list. I was delighted to find a range of fish courses available, and chose the Cornish crab, chilli, garlic and chervil linguine, which had all the trademarks of a future classic. If you want to try something a little different, the Scottish smoked salmon with beetroot, potato pancake, lemon balm and watercress sounds incredibly tempting. My companion opted for the soft duck Scotch egg with creamed peas, lettuce and bacon, which was perfectly runny and did not disappoint. For my main course, I chose a juicy 8oz Surrey Farm rib-eye steak which was served alongside a bountiful portion of crispy triple-cooked chips, mushrooms, tomato and a rich peppercorn sauce, while my companion plumped for the succulent roasted haunch of venison. Both were delicious and cooked with precision. For dessert, a beautifully presented creamy lemon posset went down a treat, as did the sumptuous triple chocolate brownie, which my companion told me was the best she’d ever tasted. For those seeking a quick bite to eat, The Thatched Tavern has a bar menu full of delights. The meat and cheeseboards are perfect for sharing with friends over a lazy lunch, as are the small plates which include the likes of deep-fried whitebait with tartare sauce, cauliflower and sumac salad, chicken wings covered in Jack Daniels barbecue sauce and Welsh rarebit. Feeling rather spoilt and pleasantly full after our meal, we concluded that we must visit again soon.

Open: Mon-Sat 11am-11pm; Sun 11am-10.30pm

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You can now download the FREE Food and Drink Restaurant Guide App Traditional

The Crown  Location The Street, Swallowfield, Nr. Reading, RG7 1QY t: 0844 502 3028 If you’re looking for an old-fashioned country pub with free house beer, outdoor summer seating and open fires in the winter, The Crown at Swallowfield is certain to delight. Owners Wayne and Dawn took over the establishment two years ago, bringing with them extensive hospitality experience.

RW £17 to

£25

Open: Mon-Thurs 5pm-11pm; Fri noon-3pm, 5pm-midnight; Sat & Sun noon-11pm

For the past two years the owners have taken great pride in the creation of their menu which consists of well-conceived, traditional pub fare that’s exceedingly pocket-friendly. We opted for breaded Alaskan pollock with tartare sauce and grilled mushrooms in a sumptuously creamy white wine and Parmesan sauce served with crusty bread. For the main course we tucked into some of the house specialities, the steak and ale pie served with mashed potatoes, peas and rich red wine gravy, which was sensational, and the chilli-glazed pork escalope with a generous helping of crispy skin-on fries which was perfectly cooked and tasted absolutely divine.

We simply couldn’t resist the pudding menu and devoured the gluten-free chocolate, coffee and almond brownie with ice cream, and the gloriously unctuous chocolate fudge cake with chocolate sauce and cream. A beautifully made latte and macchiato made for a perfect ending to our delightful three-course meal. We’re looking forward to coming back here to try even more of the delicious dishes that feature on the menu.

Traditional

The Jack O’Newbury  Location Terrace Road North, Binfield, Nr. Bracknell, RG42 5PH t: 0844 502 3048 w: www.jackonewbury.co.uk e: info@jackonewbury.co.uk

EB

Ideally situated in the bucolic space between Reading and London, The Jack O’Newbury takes its name from Berkshire folklore. Indeed its setting seems to come straight from the pages of a story, thanks to the lush garden, welcoming atmosphere and traditional setting. Inside you’ll find a quintessentially British pub, where a roaring fire welcomes you into a warm room of red cushioned benches and varnished oak tables.

£15 to

£25

‘…a quintessentially British pub, where a roaring fire welcomes you…’ The menu showcases fine pub fare, which is made using locally sourced and free-range ingredients. All appetites are catered for here. For those looking to graze, there is a selection of light bites and lunchtime baguettes. Meanwhile, more Open: Mon-Thurs 11am-11pm; substantial evening mains such as Fri & Sat 11am-midnight; home-baked ham and free-range Sun noon-6pm eggs, Stilton mash-topped cottage pie, and traditional beer-battered haddock fillet with chips, mushy peas and tartare sauce are guaranteed to entice hungry visitors. Accompanying the food offering is a great selection of real ale and lager. A visit here is made complete by the friendly yet efficient service, making The Jack O’Newbury a venue that lives up to its reputation. 64

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The Hungerford Arms

Traditional

 Location 113 High Street, Hungerford, RG17 0NB t: 0844 625 2011 w: www.hungerfordarmspub.co.uk

WB

The Hungerford Arms is a delightful traditional pub that’s ideally located on the High Street in the heart of Hungerford – a pretty market town known for its beautiful canals, antique shops and horse-racing heritage. The latter is clear as you enter the pub; jockey silks and racing pictures adorn the walls, indicating the team’s pride and enthusiasm for the sport. It’s also evident that the staff are warm and attentive, as they offer friendly welcomes and efficient service. This family-orientated and dog-friendly pub welcomes everyone and serves a fantastic bill of fare featuring dishes made using top-quality local ingredients. The pub is normally filled with regulars, visitors and families all enjoying the laid-back atmosphere and delicious grub. Feast on classic British dishes like the house-battered fish and chips, homemade hamburger, or chargrilled chicken breast burger with optional toppings of Cheddar, bacon and avocado. Alternatively, ask about the pie of the day, or opt for a sandwich, wrap, or a stone-baked pizza.

£20 to

£30

Open: Mon-Thurs noon-11pm; Fri & Sat noon-11.45pm; Sun noon-10pm Food Served: Sun & Mon noon-3pm; Tues-Sat noon-3pm, 6pm-9pm

Live music nights are aplenty, and with Lambourn – dubbed the Valley of the Racehorse – just a few miles away, The Hungerford Arms is a regular meeting spot for trainers, jockeys and racing enthusiasts alike. It’s the ideal place to stop and relax after a day spent cruising the canals or an afternoon exploring the historic town.

The Alma

Traditional

 Location 61 Springfield Road, Windsor, SL4 3PP t: 0844 625 6387 w: www.thealmawindsor.com e: bookthealma@gmail.com

EB

Located in the beautiful town of Windsor, The Alma is a popular destination with visitors and locals alike. The menu offers generous portions at affordable prices and on select evenings you can even enjoy live music with your meal. The menu features a fantastic selection of comforting classics and refined British dishes, so whether you’re looking for a traditional favourite or something different, The Alma will always have a dish to take your fancy. For groups of friends looking for a snack to enjoy with their beer, the sharing menu is perfect – the gooey baked Camembert is a cheese-lover’s dream, while the chilli beef nachos bring a taste of Mexico to this quintessentially British pub.

£15 to

£30

Mains at The Alma range from simple but tasty battered haddock, to the indulgent rack of ribs – a dish comprising pork ribs marinated in a rich barbecue sauce and a generous portion of chips. The chefs also pride themselves on providing a delicious selection of Open: vegan and vegetarian dishes, which Mon-Thurs noon-11pm; includes a veggie burger and a Fri & Sat noon-midnight; spicy sweet potato, chickpea and Sun noon-10.30pm spinach curry. On Sundays, you can even choose from a selection of roasts, with both meat and vegetarian options available. To round things off, treat yourself to one of the pub’s delicious desserts. The cinnamon doughnuts are popular with kids, while parents might prefer the shared cheese platter. Berkshire Guide 2018-2019

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You can now download the FREE Food and Drink Restaurant Guide App Traditional

The Packhorse  Location Woodcote Road, Chazey Heath, Mapledurham, RG4 7UG t: 0844 502 2486 w: www.packhorsepub.co.uk e: packhorse@brunningandprice.co.uk The Packhorse looks and feels like a rambling country house, and its cosy rooms are filled with the comfortable chatter of its many guests. The rapport that the staff have with customers is refreshing in these busy modern times.

RW £20 to

£32

Open: Mon-Sat 11.30am-11pm; Sun 11.30am-10.30pm Food Served: Mon-Thurs noon-9pm; Fri & Sat noon-9.30pm; Sun noon-9pm

If you enjoy dining al fresco, there’s seating for up to 120 people in the immaculate garden, which overlooks open countryside. This formed the perfect setting for my starter of crab and prawn filo parcel served with pak choi, ginger salad and mango salsa. My wife’s roasted tomato, red pepper and basil soup was packed with flavour. Both of the mains were works of art. The braised shoulder of lamb was meltingly tender and came with Dauphinoise potatoes, vegetables and rosemary gravy. My partner’s Chinese-style pork ribs were sticky, sweet and admirably different, and the accompanying fries and Chinese salad went down a treat.

It would have been wrong to leave without sampling the desserts. The dark chocolate torte with chocolate ice cream was rich and moreish and the vanilla cheesecake with its blood orange sorbet accompaniment was absolutely beautiful, so we had to share both. This CAMRA Pub of the Season has over 100 different gins to discover, as well as a great range of ale.

Traditional

The Rowbarge  Location Station Road, Woolhampton, RG7 5SH t: 0844 502 2784 w: www.rowbarge-woolhampton.co.uk e: rowbarge@brunningandprice.co.uk

WB

A heartbeat from Midgham Station in the beautiful village of Woolhampton, The Rowbarge is a former cottage that now prides itself on being a traditional country pub. It’s in an enviable position next to the River Kennet, with plenty of £20 to picturesque al fresco drinking and dining areas, and an interior that’s cosy but £28 elegant, and charmingly decorated. It’s no surprise that The Rowbarge is adored; it hosts regular wine- and ale-sampling evenings, and Mikron outdoor theatre performs there in summer. The convivial atmosphere the team creates means that the place was crammed with families and couples when we visited. Menus change with the seasons to make the most of the produce available. The crab Open: Mon-Sat 11am-11pm; gnocchi with wild mushrooms and horseradish and chive velouté was a sumptuous Sun 11am-10.30pm and unique appetiser and the main course that followed was equally exquisite. Food Served: I sampled the mozzarella arancini, which came with griddled Mediterranean Mon-Sat noon-10pm; vegetables, tomato sauce and fresh basil leaves. My companion’s braised shoulder Sun noon-9pm of lamb was accompanied by creamy Dauphinoise potatoes, carrot and swede mash and rosemary gravy. Indeed, the dishes raised oohs and aahs throughout the meal, particularly the finishing flourishes – a glorious gluten-free sticky toffee pudding with toffee sauce and Salcombe Dairy vanilla ice cream and a generous cheeseboard that included Oxford Blue, Brie and sublime chutney. A five-mile canal and river trail takes in The Rowbarge, and I can’t imagine anything better than a pleasant country stroll rounded off with such gorgeous food. 66

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Rickshaw Road

Indian

 Location 4-6 William Street, Slough, SL1 1XY t: 0844 625 6478 w: www.rickshawroad.co.uk e: info@rickshawroad.co.uk

EB

As you enter Rickshaw Road you are transported to the streets of the Indian sub-continent, which have provided the inspiration for the food on offer. A rickshaw in one corner and an ox cart loaded with urns and produce in another add to the decor, while the wooden floors, wall panelling and rough wooden tables capture the essence of a bustling Indian city. This is a busy and vibrant place, full of diners enjoying their meals and cocktails, so booking is essential, especially at weekends.

£20 to

£30

‘…a busy and vibrant place…’ Once seated, I enjoyed the spectacle of the open kitchen, where we watched the kitchen staff working hard. The delectable food will have you returning again and again. You’ll find dishes not usually found in Indian restaurants, with delectable dishes from Sri Lanka and further afield, as well as traditional favourites.

‘...Rickshaw Road offers a different approach to Indian food, within a fun and enjoyable atmosphere...’ We shared a plate of starters including tandoori salmon, which I can honestly say was the tastiest I’ve ever eaten, as well as Gilafi seekh kebab, chicken tikka, chicken wings and tulsi jinga, a large king prawn cooked in the tandoor. The flavours were exceptional and all components were cooked beautifully. A bowl of kurkuri bhindi was also delivered to the table as an accompaniment. The thinly sliced, battered and deep-fried okra proved delicious and totally moreish. The methi chicken did not disappoint. Like the starters, this dish was full of flavour, as was the malabar prawn curry that my partner chose, comprising succulent tiger prawns cooked with roasted spices and coconut milk. This is in no way a typical Indian restaurant. Rickshaw Road offers a different approach to Indian food, within a fun and enjoyable atmosphere that’s more like a bistro. The food is exquisite; try it once and you are sure to return.

Open: Mon-Fri noon-3pm, 5pm-11pm; Sat noon-11.30pm; Sun noon-11pm

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The Palm  Location Bath Road, Froxfield, Nr. Marlborough, SN8 3HT t: 0844 502 3538 w: www.thepalmindian.com

WB

Nestled in the Wiltshire countryside, the critically acclaimed Palm Indian restaurant in Marlborough is a restaurant like no other. The spacious restaurant boasts ample car parking, cocktail and lounge bars, and two distinct dining zones to suit your preferences; alongside a menu that bursts with flavour from the onset. The Palm promises an exciting and vibrant dining experience, with elegant white leather booths providing an intimate setting for your meal.

£21 to

£29

The unique collection of dishes is inspired by Indian and Asian cuisine, with a strong focus on seafood. Presented with flair and creativity, each dish looks just as delicious as it tastes. Choose from a full range of innovative starters; the menu is divided between seafood, chicken, lamb and signature dishes. Plenty of choice is provided for the main courses, with tandoori favourites and classic curries available alongside an intriguing selection of dishes unique to The Palm. Open: Mon-Sun noon-2.30pm, Thanks to the wealth of choice, 5.30pm-11.30pm there are plenty of options for vegetarians, and those wishing to steer clear of heat. If choosing what to enjoy proves too difficult, why not opt for one of the set banquet menus? These are available with four, five and six courses, and prices begin at just £25.50 per head. The Palm restaurant is something that needs to be experienced to be believed.

Thai Corner

Thai

 Location 47 West Street, Reading, RG1 1TZ t: 0844 502 3069 w: www.thaicornerreading.co.uk e: info@thaicornerreading.co.uk

RW

The chefs at Thai Corner have all tastes covered – they skilfully mix spicy, sweet and sour flavours to create some of the most exciting Thai cuisine to be found in the area. The team strives to make your experience authentic, unique and memorable. The decor and service speak volumes of the team’s attention to detail – the interior is sleek and modern, and the serving staff are efficient, courteous and always on-hand to help.

£20 to

£25

‘...certainly worth considering next time you’re looking for a party venue...’

Open: Mon-Fri noon-3pm, 6pm-11pm; Sat noon-11pm; Sun noon-3pm, 6pm-10.30pm

Perhaps try the seared scallops with spicy and sour dressing, or order the mixed starter for two to share and tuck into chicken satay, spring rolls, prawn toast and fishcakes. Curries, stir-fries and noodle dishes are available for mains, and there’s a range of house specialities and a fantastic choice for vegetarians. Try the fragrant gang kiew wan: a classic green curry with coconut milk, bamboo shoots, aubergine, sweet basil leaves and your choice of meat, fish or vegetables.

Stir-fried beef with oyster sauce and vegetables is another tasty choice, as is the Thai rice noodle dish with egg, beansprouts, crushed peanuts and bean curd, chicken or prawns. Set menus are available for groups of four diners or more. Thai Corner is certainly worth considering next time you’re looking for a party venue, as they can expertly cater for up to 60 people. 68

Berkshire Guide 2018-2019


Coconut Bar & Kitchen

Pan Asian

 Location 62-63 St Marys Butts, Reading, RG1 2LG t: 0844 625 6324 w: www.coconutbarkitchen.co.uk e: enquiries@coconutbarkitchen.co.uk

RW

Upon entering Coconut Bar & Kitchen, we were struck by the lively, buzzing atmosphere, chic industrial decor and quirky coconut palms. Venturing past the comprehensively stocked cocktail bar we discovered the dedicated dining area, which was full when we visited on a Tuesday evening. It’s clear that this is a popular destination for local foodies. Inviting individual booths line the walls, while larger parties are catered for on long tables in the centre of the room.

£20 to

£30

‘...lively, buzzing atmosphere...’ The menu comprises an interesting fusion of flavours from across Asia, with exotic dishes from such varied places as Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Korea and Japan. I started with chicken gyoza – tasty little dumpling parcels served with sesame soy sauce – while my partner chose tempura king prawns. The huge, perfectly fried prawns were accompanied by homemade dashi dipping sauce, which was mouth-wateringly good. To follow, I opted for unagi fried rice, a recipe that originates in Japan. This delicious dish impressed with its tantalising combination of flavours, and the fillet of eel was sensational; it melted in the mouth and was undoubtedly the nicest freshwater fish I’ve ever eaten. With homemade eel sauce drizzled over the top, the dish was full of subtlety and nuance, satisfying in every sense. My companion was equally enthralled with her main course of Vietnamese beef, which was incredibly tender and was accompanied by choi sum, rice and an aromatic and flavoursome ginger and garlic sauce. The combination of ingredients excited the tastebuds, and each mouthful left a lasting impression.

‘...fusion of flavours from across Asia...’ Replete and fully satisfied, we couldn’t manage dessert, but if you do still have room there’s a host of offerings featuring plenty of chocolate, lemon and other classic favourites, and the cocktail waiters are only too happy to mix something bespoke for you. We’ll certainly be returning to sample more of this excellent fare.

Open: Mon-Thurs 11am-1am; Fri & Sat 11am-2am; Sun 11.30am-midnight

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You can now download the FREE Food and Drink Restaurant Guide App Chef Profile

Pete Gray – The Hind’s Head – Pg 9 Pete’s career in hospitably began at the age of 16 when he worked as a kitchen porter at Middlethorpe Hall. It wasn’t long before he moved up the ranks and took on the role of commis chef at the hotel’s fine dining restaurant, discovering an aptitude for cooking and a love for kitchen life.

‘...four AA rosettes and a Michelin star...’ In 2007, Pete moved south to work under the helm of chef Adam Simmonds at his restaurant within Danesfield House Hotel in Marlow. During his four years there, the restaurant received four AA rosettes and a Michelin star. In 2013 Pete took on the junior sous chef role at The Hind’s Head, and in 2017, he stepped up to take on the position of head chef. Pete strives daily to uphold Heston Blumenthal’s philosophy of ‘question everything’, which is integral to the working ethos at The Hind’s Head.

Chef Profile

Nick Galer – The Miller of Mansfield – Pg 15 Nick Galer discovered his passion for cooking and began his career as a chef when he combined his love of skiing with working in hotel kitchens during a ski season in France. What started as the opportunity to have the best of both worlds developed into a fascination with the creative opportunities available in the kitchen, and an enthusiasm for the fine food of France. Nick trained with Thierry Chanson during that period and later with Matthew Tomkinson, whose cooking ethos he really identified with. Nick’s time as head chef at The Crown at Bray further enhanced the creativity and finesse of his creations.

‘...creativity and finesse...’ Quality ingredients and the ability to use as much of an ingredient as possible are at the core of Nick’s food ethos, alongside delivering plates that you couldn’t easily reproduce at home, and encouraging people to savour the flavours of a dish.

Chef Profile

Darren Booker-Wilson – WinePress Restaurant– Pg 26 Darren Booker-Wilson became head chef at WinePress Restaurant in Donnington Valley Hotel in the summer of 2018. The appointment marked a return to familiar territory for Darren, as he previously worked as a chef at Donnington Valley Hotel from 1995 until 2002. Since returning to the hotel, Darren has redesigned the menus, creating dishes that can be enjoyed socially, such as sharing platters and carve-your-own Sunday roasts.

‘...crowned Chef of the Year...’ Prior to re-joining Donnington Valley Hotel, Darren headed up the kitchen at popular gastropub The Newbury, where he earned a string of awards for his culinary prowess. His accolades include being crowned Chef of the Year at the Berkshire & Buckinghamshire Life Food and Drink Awards 2017. He has also appeared on the BBC’s Great British Menu, serving as sous chef during the Olympic banquet special in 2012. 70

Berkshire Guide 2018-2019


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You can now download the FREE Food and Drink Restaurant Guide App Index Acanthus Restaurant – Sunninghill ................................... 24 Al Fassia – Windsor ........................................................ 37 Alma, The – Windsor ....................................................... 65 Atrium Bar & Restaurant – Bracknell .............................. 26 Bar Fifty Six – Wokingham ............................................. 44 Baskerville, The – Lower Shiplake ................................... 10 Berry’s Restaurant & Terrace – Taplow............................. 28 Bianco Nero – Maidenhead .............................................. 33 Bill’s Bracknell – Bracknell ............................................. 29 Bill’s Marlow – Marlow ................................................... 32 Bill’s Windsor – Windsor ................................................. 30 Bird in Hand – Sonning Common ..................................... 40 Blackwood Arms, The – Burnham .................................... 20 Blandy’s at Inglewood – Kintbury..................................... 13 Boatman, The – Windsor ................................................. 38 Browns Brasserie & Bar – Reading .................................. 29 Bull Inn at Bisham, The – Bisham ...................................... 5 Bull on Bell Street, The – Henley-on-Thames .................... 43 Burgers Artisan Bakery – Marlow .................................... 52 Butt Inn, The – Aldermaston Wharf ................................. 40 Caldesi in Campagna – Bray ............................................ 34 Caleys Brasserie – Windsor.............................................. 30 Caprice Restaurant & Terrace – Reading............................. 7 Castle, The – Donnington ................................................. 21 Catherine Wheel, The – Goring-on-Thames ....................... 17 Cerise Bar & Restaurant – Reading .................................. 27 Chequers – Marlow.......................................................... 39 Cliveden Dining Room, The – Taplow .................................. 6 Cobbs at Englefield – Theale ............................................ 52 Cobbs Farm Shop & Kitchen – Hungerford ....................... 52 Coconut Bar & Kitchen – Reading .................................... 69 Coffee Barker Vino & Cocktails – Bracknell ..................... 51 Cross Keys, The – Pangbourne .......................................... 58 Crown & Garter, The – Inkpen Common............................ 14 Crown at Bray, The – Bray ............................................... 18 Crown Inn, The – Farnham Royal ..................................... 12 Crown, The – Playhatch ................................................... 20 Crown, The – Swallowfield ............................................... 64 Dog & Duck, The – Wokingham........................................ 59 Donnington Grove – Newbury ........................................... 11 Downgate, The – Hungerford............................................ 58 Elm Tree, The – Beech Hill .............................................. 16 Esseborne Manor – Hurstbourne Tarrant ............................ 9 Fox & Hounds, The – Donnington ..................................... 50 Franco Manca – Reading ................................................. 35 Fredrick’s Hotel – Maidenhead .......................................... 3 Greene Oak, The – Windsor .............................................. 40 Grenfell Arms, The – Maidenhead .................................... 46 Greyhound, The – Tidmarsh.............................................. 19 72

Berkshire Guide 2018-2019

Hare & Hounds at Speen, The – Speen ............................. 60 Hind’s Head, The – Bray .................................................... 9 Holiday Inn Reading South – Reading .............................. 48 Honesty – Overton, Hungerford, Inkpen, Kingsclere .......... 53 Horse & Groom, The – Hare Hatch................................... 60 Hungerford Arms, The – Hungerford ................................ 65 Jack O’Newbury, The – Binfield ....................................... 64 L’Ortolan – Shinfield .......................................................... 8 Little Angel, The – Henley-on-Thames .............................. 41 London Street Brasserie – Reading................................... 17 London Street Brasserie & The Crooked Billet Catering Away ... 36 Macdonald Compleat Angler – Marlow............................. 12 Maltsters Arms – Rotherfield Greys.................................. 57 Meimo – Windsor ............................................................ 32 Miller of Mansfield, The – Goring-on-Thames ................... 15 New Inn, The – Kidmore End ........................................... 56 Newbury Racecourse – Newbury ........................................ 7 Oak & Saw Village Inn, The – Taplow............................... 21 Oracle, The – Reading ...................................................... 62 Oxford Street Kitchen & Bar – Newbury........................... 22 Packhorse, The – Chazey Heath........................................ 66 Palm, The – Froxfield ...................................................... 68 Peacock Farm – Bracknell ............................................... 56 Pheasant Inn, The – Shefford Woodlands.......................... 10 Pinewood Hotel – George Green ....................................... 31 Queens Head, The – Little Marlow.................................... 54 Red House, The – Marsh Benham ..................................... 22 Redan, The – Wokingham ................................................ 50 Rickshaw Road – Slough .................................................. 67 Rowbarge, The – Woolhampton ........................................ 66 Royal Oak, The – Ecchinswell ........................................... 55 Royal Oak, The – Yattendon ............................................. 42 Royal Windsor Racecourse – Windsor............................... 49 South Hill Park Arts Centre – Bracknell ........................... 23 Stag & Huntman Inn, The – Hambleden ........................... 54 Stoke Park – Stoke Poges .................................................. 4 Taproom & Kitchen – Yattendon ....................................... 47 Thai Corner – Reading ..................................................... 68 Thames Lido – Reading .................................................... 25 Thatched Tavern, The – Ascot........................................... 61 Tutti Pole, The – Hungerford ............................................ 19 Vineyard, The – Stockcross ................................................ 3 Watermill Theatre, The – Bagnor ..................................... 48 Waterside, The – Woodley ............................................... 18 Wheatsheaf, The – Chilton Foliat...................................... 45 White Hart, The – Thatcham ............................................ 54 Windsor Grill – Windsor .................................................. 24 WinePress Restaurant – Donnington ................................. 26 Zerodegrees – Reading..................................................... 44


Join us at The Blackwood Arms country pub, right in the heart of Burnham Beeches. At this dog friendly pub, you can enjoy superb pub food as well as a fine selection of real ales and beautiful wine, all served in a stunning setting year-round.

For more information please contact 0844 625 6346 www.theblackwoodarms.net theblackwoodarms@gmail.com Common Lane, Burnham, Nr. Slough, SL1 8PP


0844 625 6630

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Berkshire Food & Drink Guide 2018-2019  

A comprehensive guide to eating out in Berkshire

Berkshire Food & Drink Guide 2018-2019  

A comprehensive guide to eating out in Berkshire

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