The Hinds Head – Bray

hindshead

This is Heston’s pub which is situated next to the famous Fat Duck, although much healthier for your wallet. The pub is old fashioned with wooden beams and low ceiling, dating around 18th century I would imagine if not later. As we arrived early we were seated at the bar and ordered a cocktail which was included in the lunch offer we had pre-booked. The cocktail was nice – they do have a good selection of cocktails however they are pricey. The bar snacks, especially the huge scotch eggs looked divine and I would have tried one if we had not already pre-booked a three course meal ahead of us.

We were left waiting quite a while and were over looked as the front of house supervisor kept changing so the order of diners was lost after ten minutes. I was just about to get up and complain but the waiter came to seat us – I think he sensed this.

We were seated on the first floor of the restaurant which was a lovely area with high roofed ceiling as it was built around the roof. The trouble was it lacked the warmth and buzz of downstairs which was warm with the fire, wooden furniture and walls. Upstairs was plastered so although it looked fresh and new against the original beams, it was echoy and with no background music we were stuck listening to peoples conversations.

A young nervous waiter came to serve us and we could hardly hear him as he was worrying about what his next move would be – he must have been in training. We were serveda selection of bread and ordered a glass of white each.

There were three choices on each course. I went for the foie gras terrine which was served with pickled vegetables, this was rich and creamy. The texture was smooth around the outside but the vegetables gave a lovely crunch inside which worked really well. My fellow diner had the beetroot and goats cheese salad which looked incredibly colourful and perfect for spring. The beetroot was shaved thinly and curved over the goat’s cheese mousse. There was an incredible attention.

Nervously the waiter asked if we had finished (after looking over his shoulder a number of times to double and triple check). For main course we ordered the ‘land and sea’ fish pie and the shepherd pie. This was served with either chips or vegetables and we both asked for vegetables – carrots for me and broccoli for my friend. It was nice to get a choice of vegetables with this set menu.

Now my fish pie was brilliant in its presentation. It was serve on an iron bowl on a wooden plate and had really had pulled off the land and sea theme. There was a grainy, salty sea texture onside, with dried salty seaweed looking leaves and then a foam on the other side making it truly look like a seascape. Inside the pie was salmon, prawns and cod, which were literally just cooked to infuse the flavour. I am salivating thinking about it. The shepherd’s pie was rich, juicy and packed full of flavour. It was the best shepherd’s pie I have ever eaten.

Even though we were full from the two courses we both opted for desserts which were included in the set meal. Lemon pudding, we thought this was going to be heavy and stodgy but instead it was similar to a lemon crème brulee. The crème was rich and zingy and the burnt caramel was hard and made a beautiful sound to crack. We loved this and it was served with a scotch biscuit.

We were totally stuffed by the end of the evening, the menu options were well thought out and very memorable. The service however was clumsy. That’s not to say it was unprofessional but that it just lacking a bit of finesse. It was a shame as the food was so great but it didn’t dull the memory this. Note to self, ask to be seated the ground floor next visit which has much more buzz and feels much more comforting.

Sex Drugs and Bacon Rolls gives this place:

            Food                       Atmosphere                     Service

5 Stars2 Stars3 Stars

fish pue

The Hinds Head on Urbanspoon

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