Old Mill Lane, Bray, Maidenhead, SL6 2BG
Nestled in a leafy lane in Bray is Caldesi in Campagna, the fine dining restaurant of Giancarlo and Katie Caldesi in the country. Mixing Italian contemporary chic style with rural values, the restaurant combines the Caldesis’ passion for quality local produce and the power of simplicity to create a menu that simultaneously showcases the very best of Italy and Berkshire.
Having recently undergone refurbishment which included stunning designer wall coverings, a swanky new bar area and an extended conservatory which is ideal for parties, the restaurant is a favourite of both locals and visitors alike.
Soak up the convivial atmosphere as you peruse the impressive wine menu, which offers an oenological tour of Italy’s provincial vineyards, while excellently complementing the exquisite dishes available. Carefully put together, the menu of perfectly executed simple dishes reads like a love letter to the finest Italian flavours. Our choice of Carpaccio of tuna and octopus melted on the tongue, leaving us reminiscing of far-away coastlines. The intricate and subtle flavours of the popular sea bass ravioli were matched by the tender texture of the delightfully flaky fish enveloped in buttery pasta. A notable highlight for us was the tender pan-fried veal stuffed with Pienza pecorino cheese – an Italian classic. Our experience was brought to an indulgent end with a smooth espresso and an Italian-style doughnut served with creamy vanilla custard and sambuca jam – a dessert that came highly recommended by the staff, and it’s not hard to see why.
The talent of the team here is evident in the attention to detail in everything from the warm welcome to the sublime cuisine. Although Bray may be known for The Fat Duck, Caldesi in Campagna is making its own, very individual, mark on the Berkshire gourmet map for all the right reasons. One visit will leave you in no doubt that this is a special place to be returned to again and again – something the packed tables of regulars will attest to.