Culinary enthusiasts have been flocking to the 16th century village of Bray to dine at the Waterside Inn for over 40 years. Scenically located alongside the Thames River about an hour drive outside of central London, the unique heritage of Bray has continued to remain a hospitality haven for its many global guests.
The Roux brothers are culinary legends. Chefs Michel and Albert Roux have effortlessly maintained pristine service and classic French cuisine for four decades, certainly raising the standard of British eating habits. Since the opening of their iconic Mayfair establishment La Gavroche in 1967, the brothers have created an institution in which their sons have inherited. La Gavroche was the first awarded Michelin starred restaurant in the U.K. Then it earned two. Then eventually earned three Michelin stars in 1982. The ambitious brothers took turns working front and back of house positions aiming to achieve “a worldwide reputation for the quality of their cuisine and service.”
As Albert’s son maintains the reins at La Gavroche, Michel’s son Alain is proprietor of the Waterside Inn. Another iconic restaurant for the U.K., the Waterside Inn is a humble distance from the famed Fat Duck. It is unashamedly French, but perfectly pristine. The Waterside Inn opened in 1972, earned its first Michelin star in 1974, its second 1977, and unlike La Gavroche has maintained its third star since 1985.
A meal at the Waterside Inn is truly an unforgettable dining experience. The classic foie gras and chicken terrine – the size of a bar of gold is served with a slice of freshly toasted brioche. It is pure indulgence! The creamy texture is like eating butter. A crunchy, tangy salad of pickled greens on the side helps to cut through the richness, complementing the foie gras beautifully. The popcorn garnish is cute. I understand the fusion of texture and flavor, and appreciate the eclectic approach. Still, the traditional embodiment of the Waterside Inn is what appeals to the millennial food enthusiasts who travel from around the globe to dine here.
The menu changes with the season and highlights the best produce available. Hence expect a daily change. Though, some menu items are originals and have been offered to guests since 1972. Guests can choose between full à la carte menu or a Menu Exceptionnel, available for both lunch and dinner. At lunch, there is a lighter option; the three-course Menu Gastronomique, which is perfect for tranquil afternoons alongside the river Thames.