Review on The Waterside Inn
Michel Roux's Waterside Inn has been delivering top-end French haute cuisine for more than three decades and was the restaurant that originally put Bray on the foodie map. Times have changed in this affluent Thames side enclave, but the converted sixteenth-century inn down by the river remains one of the most magical and romantic places to eat (and stay) in southern England. Son Alain has gradually taken over the reins from his father - although M. Roux senior still keeps a watchful eye on proceedings. Everyone talks about the setting and the river views: there's a lovely terrace and little summer house for drinks, plus a jetty if you fancy arriving by boat. Inside, impeccable civility and placid, graceful style prevail as legions of perfectly groomed staff attend to your every need.
The kitchen delivers ultra-refined, three star Michelin food that takes a great deal from the past, but is also in tune with what the whizz kids in London and Paris are creating. Menus are written in English and French, descriptions are religiously detailed and you know exactly what you are spending your money on. If the prospect of spending almost £20 on a bowl of spinach and sorrel soup with a soft poached egg fills you with trepidation, fear not: the result will be truly dazzling.
There are classical dishes in abundance here: note the quenelles of pike with langoustine tails or the daube of oxtail and beef cheek braised in Beaujolais or even the warm soufflé of golden Mirabelle plums. Elsewhere, up-to-the-minute ideas surface in the shape of hen crab bisque with Japanese rice, steamed fillet of sea bass in lemongrass bouillon with pleurote mushrooms or roast Challonais duck with confit kumquats, horseradish gnocchi and Cabernet Sauvignon sauce. The grand chariot of French and English cheeses is a sight to behold and desserts are artistic masterpieces (a 'teardrop' of pear and date mousse with liquorice ice cream, for example). Lovers of French wine will drool over the encyclopaedic list, which sees no reason to stray over the border or look further afield in search of quality.
The Waterside Inn is also featured in: Michelin Guide, Good Food Guide, Hardens, AA GuideRate this Restaurant
Alain Roux and Fabrice Uhryn
Restaurant Opening Times
Lunch: 12.00 - 2.00pm Wed-Sun
Dinner: 7.00 - 10.00pm Wed-Sun
Accepted credit cards
Visa, Master Card, American Express