Boasting two of the UK’s five three-Michelin-star-awarded restaurants and being the only place in the UK outside of London to hold any with three, the beautiful county of Berkshire is one of Britain’s best places to eat, drink, and be merry. Whether you’re visiting this historic county to stroll around the quaint and picturesque little villages, heading to the bustling town of Reading for some much needed retail therapy, or you’re touring the grand and magnificent Windsor Castle to check out all the amazing art and antiques that are housed inside, you’ll be craving a place to stop off for a leisurely lunch or an elegant and sophisticated dining experience you’ll never forget.
To make your life that much easier, here at Fed Up & Drunk, we’ve picked six of our favourite places in Berkshire to eat and drink for you to check out. For a more comprehensive collection of the best places in the region to dine, be sure to pick up your free copy of our Berkshire Food & Guide here or read a digital copy of the guide here.
The Cross Keys in Pangbourne is a popular country inn known for its smart interior, inviting and cosy atmosphere, and first-rate food and drink. Featuring a mouth-watering menu that spectacularly showcases brilliant British fare, you’ll immediately feel at home within the inn’s charming and rustic interior featuring exposed wood and brick masonry, comfortable furnishings, and colourful artwork adorning the walls.
Whether you’ve come for the delicious and crowd-pleasing main courses such as hand-battered cod with chunky chips and homemade tartare sauce or grilled Cajun tuna accompanied by sour cream, salad and fries, or you’ve come for their enviable wine list which boasts an unrivalled breadth of choice from across the globe, The Cross Keys in Pangbourne will have you returning again and again.
Take a short and picturesque stroll from Windsor Castle and you’ll find the impressive Royal Windsor Racecourse. Spread across 165 acres of beautiful Berkshire countryside on the River Thames, this one-of-a-kind venue is famous throughout the UK as the go-to destination for horse racing and special occasions, attracting thousands of people each year to their Best of British Festival and Ladies’ Day events. But it’s not just their world-class events that draw in the crowds; the exceptional food served at the elegant and sophisticated 1866 Restaurant has the same effect. With its refined à la carte menu and panoramic views of the racecourse, dining here is an experience you won’t soon forget.
For just £89, you can experience an exceptional three-course feast and horse racing experience complete with a private table reserved for the day, discreet table service, a betting facility, and TV screens to ensure you don’t miss out on any of the action.
Reading’s only microbrewery, Zerodegrees, situated close to Oracle shopping centre, is perhaps the best place in the region to hang out with mates and enjoy a delicious pint and a pizza from their award-winning selection. With the venue’s open-plan brewery and kitchen, Zerodegrees has a real liveliness and energy that can’t be matched. Well-known for its eclectic wood-fired pizza menu, fresh mussels served in kilo pots with fries, and speciality beers such as their iconic mango beer, if Zerodegrees isn’t on your list of favourite places to frequent, it should be. With different speciality beers available each and every month and over 24 pizzas to choose from including their scotch bonnet carnitas pizza, caramelised pear and gorgonzola pizza, or Portobello mushroom and prosciutto pizza, there’s always a reason to return to Zerdodegrees.
Having proudly held a Michelin star since 2003, Reading’s L’Ortolan is a rare dining gem, delivering indescribably delicious and precisely presented dishes every time without exception. Housed in the elegant setting of a former vicarage and surrounded by gorgeous grounds, there are few places in the region that offer a dining experience that even come close to matching this one. Head chef Tom Clarke, who trained with Raymond Blanc, Jean-André Charial and Alan Murchison, brings his culinary talents and creative flair to each and every dish on the menu, blending classical French flavours with modern techniques. Combining stunning flavours with interesting textures, you’ll simply swoon over starters such as seared scallops with bacon jam and textures of artichoke, mains like roast fillet of beef with smoked pomme purée and bone marrow jus, and desserts like the indulgent dark chocolate pavé with banana and lime.
With two AA rosettes, four stars, and numerous other accolades such as the readers’ Restaurant of the Year in The Good Food Guide 2016, Muddly Stilettos’ Best Destination Pub for 2016, shortlisted for Best Newcomer 2016 at the industry awards The Cateys, and one on The Times’ 30 best summer pubs at which to eat, drink and stay, The Miller of Mansfield is simply a must-visit.
Blending its 18th-century coaching inn charms with a 21st-century twist, all appetites are catered for at The Miller of Mansfield. Whether you’re visiting for a Miller-devised cocktail, local real ale, nibbles at the bar, a dish off of their à la carte, or a wine flight alongside a five-course dinner, a trip to this charming inn is always a delight. Head chef Nick Galer is passionate about showcasing the quality of raw produce and painstakingly selects the very best suppliers and ingredients to ensure a dining experience you’ll be dreaming about weeks after you visit.
Serving a spectacular selection of classic British dishes, the Michelin-starred Hind’s Head, located in the culinary hotspot of Bray in Berkshire, is one of Britain’s most elegant and exceptional places to eat out. With its 15th-century setting, vintage red lamps, green stained-glass windows, comfortable red leather seats and dark wooden tables, the interior screams of medieval regality; the ideal place if you wish to dine like a king or queen. Celebrating the best of British cuisine, expect seasonal food cooked with precision and skill such as roast saddle of lamb, oxtail and kidney pudding, and roast plaice. Also, visit on Sunday and savour one of the country’s most sumptuous traditional roasts.
For a more comprehensive collection of cracking places to eat out in Berkshire, pick up a free copy of our Berkshire Food & Drink Guide here or read a digital copy of the guide here.