Actually more like back to ’84, when Duty Free was the raciest show on TV, and Banjo bars were a regular feature in my life. Pure mid 80s time warp: that’s what it feels like walking in to The Waterside Inn. Not in a bad way; just in a major way.
The Waterside Inn has held 3 Michelin stars longer than any other restaurant in the UK. It is run by a Roux (Alain – cousin of Michel Roux Jr. from Masterchef, son of Michel Roux Sr – who along with his brother started Le Gavroche – my favourite posh restaurant in London.) The Waterside Inn is in beautiful surroundings on the Thames, in Bray, even in the rain:
and it is breath-takingly expensive for the a la carte menu (£103 for a main course, anyone?) However, it does have a set lunch for £58 – a comparative / veritable bargain. (It was my birthday. Besides, you also get temporary use of a colourful array of pashminas to protect against the cool August wind. You don’t get that in Nandos now, do you?)
And, the food is amazing – amazing, and stuff I would never be able to make at home.
For canapes you are served these beauties:
which in close up look like this:
There’s smoked eel, a very salty anchovy cheese straw, something with capers and tarragon on a lettuce leaf – all delicious.
Then for a starter: a duet of salmon gravadlax and tartare with beetroot salad and wasabi sauce.
A main of super rare spit roasted beef rump fillet, garnished with a terrine of braised shin, potato and girolle croquette, and a red wine gravy, sorry, jus….
A pudding of creme brulee (where are the acute accents on this thing…grrr) with praline, and almond ice cream. So a perfect, rich, vanilla cream, with hidden swathes of posh Nutella running through, alongside a dense, perfectly white fragrant ice cream that feels like dense snow against your teeth.
And finally an array of beautiful petit fours, and coffee (included in the price. And I did have 5 cups of coffee to get my moneysworth. And to sober up from the two bottles of Michel Roux rose wine – delicious and only £30.)
A lavender macaroon, just about one of the prettiest things ever, and on Justin-Custard-Doughnut-Man’s menu for his final supper.:
But not as beautiful as this mini raspberry tart, which is a lot like the one in Pear-Shaped that Sophie wears on her head for the Tarts party… This one went straight in the mouth – unfortunately in the mouth of my companion…
Everything we ate was utterly delicious. Plus the service was phenomenal, and the waiters flirted with us just the right amount.
It’s the perfect place to go with your in-laws / an old aunt / anyone who loves food, on a special occasion.