Thames Valley restaurants hit top spots in Square Meal’s top 100
Fifteen Thames Valley restaurants have been placed among the top 100 restaurants in the UK by leading restaurant guide, Square Meal, after votes were received from thousands of readers, bloggers and local foodies.
These include the André Garrett Restaurant at Cliveden House, Berkshire (recently in the news as the venue where Meghan Markle stayed on the eve of her wedding to Prince Harry). André Garrett’s love of locally sourced and fresh produce means the restaurant’s three course à la carte and eight course tasting menus are governed by English ingredients, guided by the seasons. André also oversees the menu of The Astor Grill at Cliveden, where the focus is on a mixture of classic American and British dishes, many reminiscent of the hotel’s diverse owners and residents. The Astor Grill is a cosmopolitan venue which is steeped in history, its romantic setting offering all the style and legendary hospitality that Cliveden is famous for.
Making the top ten on the coveted list are Michelin starred – The Fat Duck and The Waterside Inn in Bray, Berkshire, both of which are triple starred, and the double starred The Hand and Flowers in Marlow, Buckinghamshire and Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, in Oxford.
The Fat Duck, run by celebrity chef proprietor Heston Blumenthal, is housed in a 16th-century building in Bray. Opening its doors back in 1995 it quickly acquired a reputation for precision and invention and has been at the forefront of many modern culinary developments such as food pairing, flavour encapsulation and multi-sensory cooking.
The Waterside Inn was founded by brothers Michel and Albert Roux after the success of Le Gavroche. Currently run by Michel’s son Alain, in 2010 it became the first restaurant outside France to retain all three of its Michelin stars for twenty-five years.
Gastropub The Hand & Flowers opened in 2005. Owned and operated by Tom Kerridge and his wife Beth, it gained its first Michelin star within a year of opening and a second in the 2012 list, making it the first pub to hold two Michelin stars. It was named the AA Restaurant of the Year for 2011–12.
Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons is a luxury hotel-restaurant Oxfordshire, in an historic manor house near the church that was visited by Oliver Cromwell. Owned by Belmond and run by the leading French chef, Raymond Blanc, it opened in 1984. Its stunning gardens are used to grow fresh food for the restaurant.
A further eleven restaurants in the region made it onto the Square Meal list, underlining the number of high calibre eating places in the Thames Valley.
The Thames Valley is home to a number of Michelin starred restaurants, including one of its finest country house hotels, Coworth House in Ascot, whose executive chef, Adam Smith, of Restaurant Coworth Park, has not only received a Michelin Star, but was also recently awarded a Master of Culinary Arts, the UK’s highest culinary and hospitality honour, only presented every four years. Find out more here.