Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in Bray
Hardens guides have spent 15 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. Caldesi in Campagna Italian restaurant in Bray Old Mill Ln - SL6
“Transporting you to Italy” – Giancarlo Caldesi’s “lovely” Thames-side venture is a huge local favourite, and even if some feel “it’s the charm of the place” that’s perhaps central to its appeal, its “hearty Italian cuisine” is “reasonably priced (for Bray at least)” and on most accounts “excellent”. It recently celebrated its 10th year with a major revamp, including an enlargement of its dining conservatory.
2. Waterside Inn French restaurant in Bray Ferry Rd - SL6
A leading light in the UK’s gastronomic constellation since it first opened in 1972 – this famous Thames-sider (a favourite of the Royal Family) is run nowadays by Alain Roux (with father, Michel, still sometimes popping up in the dining room). “Swans are usually in view” in its “glorious” and “peaceful” riverside location, and in particular the location is “unsurpassable on a warm evening in summer”, when a meal typically starts off with a glass of champagne on the terrace, or even a jaunt in the restaurant’s private launch. The meal itself at any time of year takes place in a plush conservatory overlooking the river. Stylewise, you could be in rural France, and to some tastes this classic temple of Gallic gastronomy “feels a bit of a time warp” with perennial calls in some quarters for “a bit more risk and creativity” in the cuisine. For the vast majority of reporters however, the overriding impression is that “attention to detail is a way of life here”, with the kitchen’s “classical French perfection” judged “absolutely outstanding in every way”, and service likewise – overseen by long-term general manager Diego Masciaga is “unmatched”.
3. The Hind’s Head British, Traditional restaurant in Bray High Street - SL6
“Retaining its old world feel, with wooden beams, uneven floors and walls and a roaring fireplace” – Heston’s mega-popular gastropub next door to the Fat Duck “continues to offer an imaginative take on classic British dishes”, “perfectly executed” and “packed with flavour” (“I challenge anyone to find better bar snacks than they do here!”). “The cocktails are just amazing” too. “When molecular gastronomy has gone the way of cassis, kale and the dodo, everyone will still want to eat the actually delicious food here”.
4. The Fat Duck British, Modern restaurant in Bray High St - SL6
“Inspiration, as much as food: a conversation-starting, memory-rousing tour de force!” – Heston Blumenthal’s world-famous pub-conversion a short drive outside London delivers “a fairytale journey back to childhood” (they call you in advance to ask about your memories), and its “personalisation to the diner is a joyous and incredible added extra touch, showing staggering attention to detail”. The resulting cuisine can be “sheer genius, with dishes, planned to the minutest item, executed to the highest standard, and with a focus on flavour sensations that are at once familiar yet often completely unique”. There’s the obvious catch – “it’s crazy money” – and, although the outrage at the prices died down a little this year, they still inspire much more resistance than before The Fat Duck’s relaunch a couple of years ago (“no matter how great an experience it is, it a meal for two with wine at what can easily be nigh on £1,000 is just too expensive!”) Still, for most reporters “it was on my bucket list, and it was unbelievable!”
5. Crown Inn British, Traditional restaurant in Bray High St - SL6
Heston’s “outstanding old pub” (not that you’d instantly realise it was out of the ordinary) is a quaint, beamed local in the centre of the village. Less ambitious (and pricey) than his nearby Hind’s Head, the food is consistently highly rated.
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