Autumn’s upon us, and with that a different kind of food comes calling. We’re talking hearty vegetable soups and stews, roasted roots, and comforting cuts of beef and chicken. We’re talking Berkshire’s speciality. If Berkshire were a colour, it would be as earthy and golden as the falling leaves around us. And with autumn comes the fresh game that Berkshire is renowned for, with its miles of open countryside and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. So, in celebration of this spectacular county and the crisp season of autumn, we’ve decided to list some of our favourite Berkshire restaurants for you to look at.
The Royal Oak is a highly regarded traditional pub that welcomes all. The team at this family- and dog-friendly establishment has a genuine passion for what they do, and they’re proud of their reputation as a home for unpretentious, great-quality food and drink. Just as landlord, Chris says, expect ‘real ale, real food and real atmosphere’. The menu items are carefully chosen and can be matched with a expertly picked real ale selection. To top it off – both the interior and exterior are visually stunning and the perfect place to visit in both the summer and winter.
Windsor has its very own Mecca for meat-lovers in the Windsor Grill; serving up the very best of British beef, pork and chicken, with ever-changing menus to keep guests guessing. Think 35-day-aged Angus steaks served seared from the grill, acorn-fed Iberico pork, or jumbo prawn and chorizo jambalaya, with a great selection of signature cocktails to accompany. A huge focus on using high-quality and locally reared meat helps to create the buzz that this restaurant is experiencing, and a selection of vegetarian meals make it in no way a one trick venue.
What could be more Berkshire than a public house dating from back in the 10th-century? The Castle Inn keeps this charming exterior while serving modern fare, such as a spectacular homemade burger topped with salt-beef brisket, smoked applewood Cheddar and red onion marmalade. Head chef Matt Brown is renowned around these parts for his previous work with gastropubs, and here he brings that expertise to fall on good, honest food. Keep an eye out for the trio of pork – pork belly, pork fillet medallion and slow-braised pig’s cheek making one of the most delicious meals that we’ve tasted.
The Shurlock Inn’s kitchen is bursting with creativity, taking all of our favourite aspects of Berkshire and combining them into delectable dishes. Foraged ingredients sit hand in hand with British steaks for food that feeds the soul, and the tasty specials board is full of the best kind of surprises. A cosy indoor area and an outside space with summer barbecue provide the perfect place to relax, whatever the time of year. A bespoke cocktail menu rounds off this great little venue, developed by a top London mixologist, along with a fine offering of fine wine, crisp beer and refreshing cider.
Boulters takes casual dining to an exciting new height, with magnificent views over the River Thames making this a great place to dine. Combining modernity and tradition in a fusion of simplicity and sophistication, the food is inventive and always beautifully presented. Serving meals in size from a full spread of three courses down to a simple and light lunch, executive chef Daniel Woodhouse creates an absolute feast that pleases all the senses. Keep an eye on the website for special offers and vouchers, making this venue far more affordable than it first looks.
Named for the eponymous writer who grew up in the area, Orwells Restaurant has recently attracted a huge amount of positive attention. Named Restaurant of the Year for 2017 in the Good Food Guide’s Editors’ Awards and recently awarded its fourth AA rosette, Orwells epitomises the Berkshire approach to provenance of its ingredients – most of the fruit and vegetables used comes from a smallholding owned by proprietors Ryan and Liam. They present all this ‘free from frippery and fuss’ in a manner that lets these ingredients shine.
L’Ortolan is one of the few venues in Berkshire to hold its own Michelin star – which it has done under two different head chefs. L’Ortolan definitely isn’t at the cheap end of our list, but the food is worth every penny of its price tag. If you’re feeling particularly flush, try out the surprise menu – and sit back in awe as head chef Tom Clarke presents a ten-course tasting menu that will delight the most ardent foodies among you. His innovative and creative style makes the menu an absolute delight, with nothing included that will disappoint (though we have been sworn to secrecy as to what exactly it is).
Can you think of any great Berkshire restaurants that we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments section below.
You can find out more about restaurants in Berkshire in our new Berkshire Food & Drink Guide. Request your free copy, or view online below: