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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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