Tuesday, 24 September 2013

The Hinds Head, Bray

Sooooo having said this wasn't going to be all about restaurants, Im kicking things off with a restaurant post (and a very nice one at that!)

A few weekends ago my brother and I were lucky enough to be taken to Heston Blumenthal's pub, The Hinds Head in the tiny village of Bray.

Ive never been to Bray before, the teeny tiny village near Maidenhead that for some reason is crammed full of famous Michelin starred restaurants. By teeny tiny I really mean that, it is probably the quaintest place Ive ever been too. Look at some of these houses.

After having a wandering round and clearing our heads, we had been at a wedding the previous night and I cant say that I was feeling funky fresh exactly, we headed over to the Hinds Head. Heston actually has 3 restaurants in Bray, The Hinds Head (a very upmarket pub) The Crown (a pub) and of course one of the most famous restaurants in the world, the 3 Michelin starred The Fat Duck.
The Fat Duck is very much at the top of my restaurant list but at £195 for the tasting menu, I need to save some pennies (or find a very nice man to take me, please apply in the comment box.)

Once inside my first port of call was a Bloody Mary....
but this, my friends, was not the run of the mill Bloody Mary, but an all singing all dancing (all hangover curing) 4th placed best Bloody Mary in the country. If this was the 4th, god knows what the 1st must taste like. (1st place was Jason Atherton's from the Pollen Street Social)
Olives, grated horseradish, shredded celery, their own secret mix of bitters and tobasco's... the list went on and on.

Soon we were seated at our table, to my delight and my parents annoyance, by the kitchen entrance. Now I could see everything coming in and out. Perfect considering I wasn't allowed to order everything on the menu. Now my key rule about a restaurant like this is everyone has to order something different so you can try as much as possible. I try to enforce this rule every time I go somewhere, sometimes it works, other times not so much.
I ummed and ahhhh for a long time. Im so indecisive when it comes to choosing, make a wrong choice and the food jealously can be overwhelming.
In the end we went for: Pea and Ham soup, tea-smoked salmon, prawn cocktail (classic Dad) and a scotch egg for the brother (I don't blame him, I was going to have it as my pre-starter warm up, luckily I got to try/eat his.)

 The on to the main courses. Being a pub and a Sunday this had the classic roasts on the menu pork and beef. Charlie plumped for the roast sirloin of Beef, Mum went for the Lemon Sole with a Champagne sauce, Dad for the Steak and Kidney pudding and I went for the Shepherds Pie. We ordered some greens for the side. Well, what can I say that you aren't already thinking. It was fantastic. Perfectly cooked fish, the crispiest roast potatoes a succulent pudding and well, a pretty dam great shepherds pie. My only complaint was the veg were covered in a rich buttery sauce that was a bit much for me. The boys loved it though. All washed down with a Pinot Noir. My Fav.

Ok here I have a confession to make. I don't really do puddings. Now don't get me wrong, I love a calorie as much as the next person but there is just something that just doesn't really float my boat about puddings. They have to be really bloody great for me to get excited about them and, Im sorry but Heston my friend, you just didn't manage it. Mum and Charlie dived right in though, despite complaining about being stuffed. They plumped for the Chocolate Wine Slush.
I enjoyed watching other people order puddings and seeing them come out of the kitchen. They do all look so pretty.

The slush came with a millionaires shortbread and an explanation. I had a little spoonful and it really was bizarre. It was like a super light slush puppy except the moment it touch your tongue it disappeared. Not my cup of tea but I'd love to see how they made it.

After stuffing ourselves to the brim it was time to head back to London. Waving goodbye to the fam I jumped on the train and napped all the way to Paddington.

Im excited for my next Heston experience. Im looking for dinner dates to come to Heston's Dinner with me. Anyone?

1 comment:

  1. More nice food, great to see Dinner getting the accolades and awards. One day I will make Heston's superb eateries. I am a big fan of Gordon , he has got my custom on visits to London.
    Don't do puddings? eeek . Pudding is the grand finale/icing on the cake.
    William Curley Dessert Bar?