The Crown & Garter

Not just famous for being home to two of the UK’s five restaurants with three Michelin stars and the only place outside of London, the beautiful and picturesque county of Berkshire is a must-visit culinary hot-stop for Britain’s foodies, boasting some of the country’s very best restaurants, cafes, bars and hotels – but it’s Berkshire’s brilliant Great British pubs we want to highlight today.

If you’re searching for an idyllic and welcoming establishment in which to enjoy a few refreshing pints with your mates or you are after a hearty, traditional and scrumptious Sunday lunch with all the family, these exceptional pubs handpicked by us certainly won’t disappoint.

Check out the very best pubs in Berkshire below and 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 Oak & Saw Village Inn – SL6 0ET

Winners of the National Pubs in Bloom competition every year since 2014 and The Best Pub of the Year by readers of The Maidenhead Advertiser in 2017, The Oak & Saw Village Inn will instantly charm you with its colourful sun-drenched south facing patio and beer garden and will win your heart with its beautifully prepared food and seasonal à la carte menus.

Situated in the centre of historic Taplow village opposite the 17th-century church and picturesque village green, there are few destinations in Berkshire that boast the kind of warm welcome you’ll find at this perfect little village pub. Whether you’re craving their brilliant and award-winning British steaks or one of their fresh fish dishes, with fish delivered daily from Devon and Cornwall, you’ll find everything from the food to the service at The Oak & Saw Village Inn nothing short of exceptional.


The Miller of Mansfield – RG8 9AW

There are few venues in the Berkshire region that have received the sort of acclaim The Miller of Mansfield has since opening. Not only is this establishment a proud owner of two AA rosettes and four stars, it was also the readers’ Restaurant of the Year in The Good Food Guide 2016, Muddy Stilettos’ Best Destination Pub for 2016, and heralded as one of the 30 best summer pubs in which to eat, drink and stay by The Times.

Whether you’re stopping by for a pint of local real ale or one of their Miller-devised cocktails, or you’re after a show-stopping five-course dinner you’ll be dreaming about for months after your first visit, you’ll wonder why you waited until now to check out this true gem of the Berkshire culinary scene.


The Elm Tree – RG7 2AZ

Situated in the heart of the picturesque village of Beech Hill and boasting a varied and interesting menu that draws influence from flavours around the world, The Elm Tree is so much more than just your traditional British pub.

Come for old favourites like their signature Elm Tree burger or more diverse options like their duck ragu served with pappardelle and duck skin pangritata but stay for the outstanding views, well-kept real ales, and welcoming and cosy ambience. This charming Reading gastropub truly shines on Sundays, when diners flock to The Elm Tree to experience one of the finest Sunday roasts in the county.


The Boatman – SL4 1QN

Hidden away from the hustle and bustle of the town centre and boasting some of Windsor’s best and most beautiful views, there are few more idyllic places to watch the world go by in Berkshire than at The Boatman. A charming and popular riverside pub which features a large, sun-drenched terrace and a delightful interior complete with nautical quirks, whether you’re sat outside by the riverside or you’re cosying up inside in the warmth of this wonderful establishment, you’re assured a resplendent and relaxed dining out experience here.

The menu here goes above and beyond your usual pub grub with appealing choices to suit all kinds of appetites. From spiced crab, crayfish and avocado timbale starters to mains of slow-cooked duck leg which just falls away from the bone, if this will be your first visit to The Boatman, it certainly won’t be your last.


The Crown & Garter – RG17 9QR

Following a sympathetic refurbishment in 2014, The Crown & Garter, situated in the quaint little hamlet of Inkpen Common, offers an idyllic retreat from the stresses of daily life. This well-loved, cosy pub is a popular watering hole for visiting ramblers and cyclists, and it’s clear to see why.

With an eclectic menu that changes every four to six weeks to take advantage of the best seasonal, local produce, The Crown & Garter is the perfect place to bring your friends and family to enjoy delicious meals next to the pub’s roaring fire. Choose from enticing dishes that include the likes of fresh mullet with minted fennel salsa, cornichons and lemon purée, fried hake enhanced by tomato relish, sautéed potatoes and crispy fennel, and pan-fried duck breast accompanied by fondant potato, kale, celeriac purée and juniper jus.


Chequers Marlow – SL7 1BA

Situated within a building that dates back to the 16th-century, this historic pub and steakhouse is well known in the local area for serving up delicious first-rate dishes and world-class drinks all within a welcoming and atmospheric environment. Harmoniously blending the old with the new, the interiors at Chequers Marlow feature handsome, well-kept wooden wall panelling and flooring, plush contemporary furnishings and hanging pendant lights, but it’s the food here which is the main draw.

Diners select their cut and size from a choice of fillet, rib-eye, sirloin and rump steak, then add garnishes, sides and sauces according to their tastes. The 16oz Chateaubriand served with triple-cooked chips, vine tomatoes, rocket and a choice of sauces is a true standout dinner.


The Little Angel – RG9 2LS

Just a short stroll from Henley Bridge and the River Thames and you’ll find the handsome and picture-perfect The Little Angel, a historic countryside establishment occupying a special spot at the foot of Remenham Hill. Whether you’re in the mood for a leisurely lunch, a romantic evening meal for two, or a grand family get-together, The Little Angel brings the magic with each and every special visit here.

A heavenly place that epitomises everything that’s great about the Great British pub, the menus at The Little Angel showcase seasonal, local produce which has been sourced insightfully, with quality, values and environmental impact in mind. Starters may include treats such as pigeon breast served alongside pearl barley and mains the likes of pan-roasted halibut served with a chive and lobster bisque risotto or braised Mount Grace Yorkshire lamb accompanied by slow-roasted shallots, Colcannon creamed potatoes and redcurrant and Port jus depending on the season.


The Bull on Bell Street – RG9 2BA

With its top-quality fare and crowd-pleasing range of on-site brewed cask ales, The Bull on Bell Street is one of Henley-on-Thames’ most special establishments. A hugely popular haunt due to its rustic, modern and airy restaurant and bar and varied menu featuring seasonal dishes crafted with the utmost care and attention, whether you opt for starters like the tempura fried broccoli with kimchi, miso and sesame dressing and coriander or the pan-fried scallops with pea velouté, pancetta crispers or mains like the Old Spot pork rib-eye accompanied by caramelised apples, honey-glazed root vegetables and cèpe mushroom jus, you certainly won’t be disappointed.

Playing host to a jam-packed calendar of exciting events throughout the week like their two-for-one cocktail evenings, gourmet burger nights and Saturday and Sunday bottomless brunches, there’s always a reason to return to The Bull on Bell Street.


The Wheatsheaf – RG17 OTE

Winners of Sawday’s 2017/18 Pub Award for Local, Seasonal & Organic Produce and receiving the highest possible rating from the Sustainable Restaurant Association, there’s a lot for The Wheatsheaf to be proud about, especially after just two years in business.

Run by MasterChef semifinalist Ollie Hunter and singer-songwriter Lauren Hunter, what was once a struggling local is now an award-winning destination, well-known in the local area for its fantastic food and crowd-pleasing music nights. The wood-fired pizzas at The Wheatsheaf will wow you, with dough prepared fresh every day and allowed to prove for at least 24 hours before being cooked to perfection in the ovens. Many of the generous pizza toppings you’ll find at this wonderful establishment in Hungerford are even sourced from Ollie’s parents’ farmstead and gardens at Hungerford Park, which is just three miles away.


The Grenfell Arms – SL6 1TW

Overflowing with character and charm, when you walk through the doors of The Grenfell Arms you’ll immediately be welcomed by a friendliness and warmth which is rare to find in your average British public house. Boasting a well-stocked bar with an extensive range of gin as well as fabulous cask ale, craft beer and exceptional cocktails, the care and attention the bar staff takes in making a simple G&T or pulling a refreshing pint is evident. Just one of the small details that all add up to create a pub experience that could rival the country’s best.

Sit in The Grenfell Arms’ beautiful dining room and choose from a diverse menu featuring a mix of pub classics as well as eclectic dishes showcasing fantastic flavours from across the globe. Dishes include the likes of steak and kidney suet pudding, Sri Lankan curry, and baked Camembert with red onion marmalade and ciabatta croutons.


The Royal Oak– RG20 4UH

Situated in the picturesque village of Ecchinswell just a stone’s throw from the iconic Watership Down, The Royal Oak provides the perfect spot to catch your breath after a relaxing Sunday stroll through the Downs or a weekend spent exploring the postcard scenes of the surrounding area.

The go-to destination in the area for unpretentious but spectacular food and drink, every dish on the menu is made by their talented team of in-house chefs using the best seasonal produce available across the country. From starters that include the likes of slow-roasted pork belly with cider and honey reduction to their signature fish and chips made with freshly landed haddock from Brixham Market in crisp, golden lager batter and served with triple-cooked chips, petits pois and homemade tartare sauce, this is exactly what Great British pub dining should be.


Maltsters Arms – RG9 4QD

Residing in a 250-year-old coach house next to a Saxon church, this traditional pub situated in the small village of Rotherfield Greys in Henley-on-Thames is a must-visit, with its trim and tailored menu of regularly changing favourites, exceptionally knowledgeable and friendly staff, and perfect covered courtyard and beer garden.

Passionate landlords George and Calum have spent the past two years transforming the ethos of this venue to actualise their own vision of the long-fabled perfect pub and its clear in every little detail. From the scrumptious seasonal pies, hearty three-course Sunday roasts served with all the trimmings, and great vegan and gluten-free options, every diner will delight at their time spent within the cosy interiors of this simply unmissable Berkshire establishment.


The Dog & Duck – RG41 1JT

Having recently undergone a wonderful renovation which transformed this once unloved pub into a true gem in the Wokingham area, if you have never visited this fantastic establishment or you haven’t been in a while, now is the perfect time to come down and see these charming changes for yourself. With its tasteful interior that blends traditional aesthetics like oak beams, exposed brickwork and large sash windows with modern comforts and a welcoming atmosphere, along with a varied menu of British pub classic that will have you salivating, you won’t regret your visit here.

Try one of the pub’s perfect pizzas made fresh to order in the pub’s very own pizza oven, or perhaps alternatively opt for the popular burgers such as the classic beef burger, buttermilk chicken burger, or vegetarian mushroom and halloumi option.


The Thatched Tavern – SL5 7QG

Exuding olde-worlde charm with its low-beamed ceilings, flagstone flooring, and plenty of nooks and crannies, this 15th-century tavern makes the perfect spot to cosy up in the winter next to the real log fires or soak up the sun in the summer months with its picturesque leafy garden, sheltered patio, and attractive decking area.

Its varied menu is a delight, featuring a fantastic selection of scrumptious fish courses like the Cornish crab, chilli, garlic and chervil linguine and the Scottish smoked salmon with beetroot, potato pancake, lemon balm and watercress. Main courses include dishes like the juicy 8oz Surrey Farm rib-eye steak accompanied by crispy triple-cooked chips, mushrooms, tomato and a rich peppercorn sauce, and a perfectly cooked and succulent roasted haunch of venison. If its hearty savoury dishes aren’t enough to satisfy your hunger, desserts the likes of creamy lemon posset and sumptuous triple chocolate brownie are sure to do the trick.



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