Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in Berkshire
Hardens guides have spent 30 years compiling reviews of the best Berkshire restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 162 restaurants in Berkshire and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing Berkshire restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured Berkshire Restaurants
1. The French Horn French restaurant in Sonning-on-Thames
“A gorgeous aspect overlooking the river… perfect for a sunny Sunday or bank holiday lunch” creates a picture-book English scene at this Thames-valley fixture, just over the bridge from lovely Sonning. Known for its “outstanding duck, which roasts in an open fire” this “old-fashioned and traditional restaurant” is, say fans, “always a delight” and backed up by a heavyweight wine list too. Caveats? – “while the food is above average, it’s not a show-stopper”, and the occasional cynic feels that “the setting is so idyllic it is understandable that they squeeze you for every penny”.
2. The Hind’s Head British, Traditional restaurant in Bray High Street - SL6
“Still a fabulous gastropub… even if prices are a little on the high side” – Heston Blumenthal’s “very relaxing” hostelry takes a bit more flak nowadays for being expensive, but for the most part remains very highly rated by the survey. “Classic, very English pub dishes are interpreted with creative flair” and “washed down with imaginative cocktails (and mocktails)” as well as good ales and wines.
3. Caldesi in Campagna Italian restaurant in Bray Old Mill Ln - SL6
There’s an “idyllic experience” to be had at Giancarlo & Katie Caldesi's “outstanding Italian”, which was significantly spruced up two years back – especially out on the sunny patio come summer. Add in “impeccably charming service” and it makes a “delightful location for that ‘special meal’”.
4. The Vineyard at Stockcross British, Modern restaurant in Stockcross
“An extensive and esoteric wine list is the top reason to visit” Sir Peter Michael’s swish, California-style property: “a real experience, which begins when the automatic doors open, and you enter a haven of calm, efficiency and luxury”. The wine-pairings provide some “brilliant matchings (although some are seriously expensive)” to the cuisine itself, which is perhaps not as memorable as the cellar, but was slightly more highly rated last year – perhaps a good sign for Tom Scade who succeeded Robby Jenks at the stoves here just as our annual survey was getting underway.
5. Bottle and Glass Inn British, Modern restaurant in Binfield Heath Bones Lane - RG9
A “lovely” thatched pub serving a “short but excellent menu” of food “up to the standards of a London restaurant” – owners Alex Sergeant and David Holloway, graduates of stellar Fulham gastroboozer the Harwood Arms, have put their know-how to excellent effect in south Oxfordshire. “It manages to retain the atmosphere of a village pub while offering very high-quality dining” – “locals still use it for a drink”. Two years down the track, the pair have opened their second venue, Hart Street Tavern, in nearby Henley-on-Thames. Top Tip – “wonderful garden serving great pizzas from a huge pizza oven and drinks from a horsebox”.
6. The Dining Room at Cliveden International restaurant in Taplow Cliveden Rd - SL6
After the departure of André Garrett as executive head chef from this landmark destination in October 2018 (for London’s Corinthia Hotel), former head chef Paul O’Neill was promoted to take his place. This “beautiful” property has received up-and-down feedback over the years, and variability was also evident in last year’s reports: numerous “wonderful” meals are described, but there are also experiences of “slow service” and food that’s “overly grand but underwhelmingly prepared… especially at these prices!” The most consistent hit is afternoon tea in the grand hall – “exceptional” (not least “the world’s best scones”).
7. Meimo Moroccan restaurant in Windsor 69-70 Peascod St - SL4
2019 Review: “Very friendly service” won particular praise this year for this affordable café, serving Moroccan mezze and brochettes, alongside a selection of ‘Meimo Burgers’.
8. The Astor Grill British, Modern restaurant in Taplow Clivedon Road - SL6
2018 Review: Limited and mixed feedback on Cliveden’s one-year-old ‘dressed down’ option in the Stable Block. For fans it’s “a hidden gem”, tipped for either a “family lunch” or “business meal just off the M4”, but for foes “overpriced with rubbish service”.
9. The Loch & The Tyne British, Modern restaurant in Old Windsor 10 Crimp Hill - SL4
This new pub / restaurant-with-rooms from Adam Handling is aiming to be the most sustainable in the UK, with an eco-garden and orchard, solar panels and composting. "Sustainable British luxury" is the tagline; it will be run by his two chefs, Steven Kerr and Jonny McNeil, and is named after the two locations he met them in.
10. Waterside Inn French restaurant in Bray Ferry Rd - SL6
“From the moment you arrive, and someone comes to take your car away, you don’t have to think” at Alain Roux’s legendary destination (est 1972), which remains one of the most commented-on restaurants in the UK (and one of the few that has regularly been graced by Her Majesty over the years). It enjoys an “idyllic”, supremely “romantic” location on the Thames, with the option of drinks on the terrace in fine weather, or a quick tootle in the restaurant’s private launch before you eat. WIth large windows facing the water, the dining room itself is very comfortable, and most reporters adore its “old-fashioned” style (although it’s undeniably a little bit of a “time warp”). The “impeccable”, slightly “formal” service is in keeping with the setting, although – while it’s still extremely highly rated – has perhaps lost a hint of its sparkle since the retirement last year of long-term maitre d’, Diego Masciaga. “Classic” Gallic gastronomy comes “with a subtle modern twist” and on practically all accounts is “exceptional from start to finish”. But it also comes at “crazy prices” naturellement, and – in the relatively few cases that reports fall short of rapture – the gripe is typically that the “eye-watering bill and very old-school approach make it hard to understand the fuss” (but then, complaints like this have been knocking about for the last 30 years…)
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