Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in Bray
Hardens guides have spent 30 years compiling reviews of the best Bray restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 6 restaurants in Bray and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing Bray restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured Bray Restaurants
1. 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.
2. 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’”.
3. 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…)
4. The Fat Duck British, Modern restaurant in Bray High St - SL6
Is Heston Blumenthal’s world-famous HQ starting to look “a bit old hat”? Or is it just “too bloody expensive”? What’s for sure is that over half of reporters commenting on this renowned ex-pub nominated it as their most overpriced meal of the year, while only a quarter say it was their best. Truly, it’s “a unique gastronomic experience, unlike any other”: “more of an event than a meal” (“it’s a long evening”), with a series of courses “very theatrically presented” based on your past experiences (as researched at the time of booking). To a majority, it’s “Alice in Wonderland on steroids” and in a good way – “yes, absurdly expensive” (“half the price would be too much!”), but not the disappointment we had feared: “joyful, engaging and oddly emotional…”, with “exquisite tastes and textures, extraordinary flavours and surprising sensory phenomena…”, “…in short we loved it; a bravura performance all round”. But even those who “fared very well on the food” can feel that “it would not be for everyone, as the approach is somewhat a production line, with neighbouring tables either behind or ahead in their journey to Cornwall or wherever”. And “the dining room is very stark which detracts from the ambience”. And then there are the few folk who plain loathe the whole set-up. “This place is a performance art commentary on capitalism. If you’ve ever read ‘120 Days of Sodom’ and want to eat something that gives you the same feeling as that book, come here!”.
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