‘I tried Heston Blumenthal’s Michelin star-less Bray restaurant and ended up eating in a marquee’

Bray is often known as a food lover’s paradise, with three restaurants boasting Michelin stars in the village – with two of those run by none other than Heston Blumenthal.

However, what people may not realise is that Heston owns a third restaurant in the village – without a Michelin star – called The Crown.

Although it is listed in the Michelin Guide, the gastropub doesn’t have the prestigious accolade, and I wanted to see why, so I headed down to Bray.

READ MORE: ‘I tried a 7-day vegan meal plan and there was one problem’

When I arrived at the pub, I was slightly worried as we were shown to a marquee, which, to me, doesn’t exactly scream fine dining.

However, after settling in and dining there, I actually think the marquee is charming, cosy, and the staff can always see you. Getting someone’s attention was never a problem and the service was friendly and quick, nothing was too much.

I loved how you could see straight into the kitchen in the marquee
I loved how you could see straight into the kitchen in the marquee
(Image: BerkshireLive)

The drinks were absolutely delicious – and strong! You could tell the restaurant weren’t stingy with their alcohol, because the cocktails we got were definitely packing a punch.

For starters, I opted for the special of the evening – scallops served with an apple puree and chorizo crumb, which was absolutely lovely and complemented each other perfectly.

I love the way the scallops were served
I love the way the scallops were served
(Image: BerkshireLive)

My accomplice and I were amazed at the portion sizes, yes it’s not cheap, at £13.50 for the scallops and £12.95 for a prawn cocktail – but you do get good value for money.

Next up was the mains, with a wagyu burger (£22) topped with raclette cheese, lettuce, onion and tomato served up for me.

The only misstep I would mention for this course was that I asked for the burger without pickles (I’m not allergic, just picky), and it came full of them. Not a huge issue for me personally, but if someone was allergic and took a bite, there could be a problem.

The halibut that we had was perfectly cooked, no complaints there, and was worth the £28 price tag.

On to desserts, my friend had the sticky toffee pudding, at £9.95, which had all the beautiful gooey richness you would expect, and I opted for the coconut panna cotta topped with lime, which will set you back £8.50.

The panna cotta was extremely zesty, I think my eye was twitching a bit with how sour it was! I think it slightly overpowered the coconut, but still delicious and I enjoyed every mouthful.

The panna cotta was very zesty indeed
The panna cotta was very zesty indeed
(Image: BerkshireLive)

Overall, the restaurant is opting for a more pub-style menu than its Bray competitors – and it does it excellently. I don’t necessarily think the restaurant is aiming at the upper-class Michelin-style dining experience.

However, I don’t think that’s a bad thing – the environment is lovely, and the staff are brilliant. I’d definitely return for another taste of The Crown!

Want the latest news from across Berkshire? Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter so you never miss a story.

GetReading – Food & Drink Windsor