I literally couldn’t contain my excitement when I finally made it to the Oxford Blue, Old Windsor. Why all the girlie hysteria? Having semi-stalked the pub on social media, after a two-year renovation, chef proprietor Steven Ellis finally flung open the doors to his fine dining pub-restaurant on the last day of 2016. Is that not enough?
You’re right. Let me make the introductions. Muddy readers meet Steven Ellis. He’s a top chef caked in stardust having worked at three-michelin-star Restaurant Gordon Ramsey, Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen and Ian Pern’s Michelin starred Star Inn in North Yorkshire.
While I was testing my waistband to the limit during my fine dining experience at the André Garrett restaurant, Cliveden House & Spa, my Muddy mucker Hero Brown was rolling around the old stables sampling the food and *ahem* fizz at the Astor Grill.
I’ve been a naughty blogger. I went on a lovely family walk around Cliveden a month or so ago that is really worth you knowing about, but *sob* haven’t yet posted it.
There ‘s something about eating at a fancy schmancy restaurant that gives me the jitters. I get all Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman (without the prostitution, obviously) – you want to dress the part, know what cutlery to use, have some idea what your ordering and feel like you don’t give off any ‘too poor to belong here’ vibes.
As I head down the gravel drive of Cliveden House Hotel & Spa in Taplow the panic sets in.
Whoopee! It’s ski season. Like the Bisto kids I’m a sucker for hot wine and melted cheese. But forget the alps (well for now at least) head to the snow covered slopes of *ahem* Bray. Ok, you may need to use your imagination on the scenery, but you definitely won’t on the food.
Spend an evening of Alpine aprés ski dining at Caldesi in Campagna’s pop-up event on Thurs 19 Jan.
Woop woop! If ever there was a call for pants of Bridget Jones-esque dimensions – this is it. our county has done us proud with TWO Berkshire restaurants receiving new Michelin stars in the revered 2017 guide – strap me in and pass me my golden fork… it’s time to EAT!
Yes folks, The Michelin Guide got very funky this year as results were live tweeted from the ceremony in London, and our fab county nabbed a very respectable handful of them!
At long last! I finally made it to The Newbury a few weeks ago – the winner of Best Casual Dining in this year’s Muddy Stilettos Berkshire Awards. Pete Lumber the landlord and I had been trying to get a date sorted so I could come with the whole Muddy clan to enjoy the full family lunch experience, and the fact that I now weigh an extra half a stone probably tells you all you need to know.
I didn’t plan to rock up to The Vineyard on one of the hottest days of summer, but it certainly didn’t do any harm to see it bathed in glorious sunshine, looking every inch the glam weekend retreat for beautiful people.
I was certainly not looking beautiful. I was sweating like a tomato in a greenhouse and to say I was ‘bedraggled’ is being kind, when a softly-spoken waitress, with not so much as a sparkle on her cool brow, greeted me and Mr Muddy B and asked if we’d like an aperitif on the sun-drenched Mediterranean style terrace before lunch.
We’re not going to let a little bridge get in the way of us discovering a brilliant pub are we? Given that The Miller of Mansfield is on the Goring (Oxfordshire) side and it’s just a stroll over the bridge from the Streatley (Berkshire) side, I thought I’d share Hero’s (Muddy Bucks & Oxon) latest review. Rather timely given that it’s just featured in The Times Weekend section today as one of the Top 30 Summer Pubs with walks, rooms, good beer and gardens.
Caldesi in Campagna in Bray was one of the first restaurants I reviewed when the blog launched back in February (feels like AGES ago now – we’ve been through so much dear readers *sob*!). As it was all heavy-on-the-carbs winter comfort food when I last went, I thought it was worth a revisit though now that the weather is trying to inch towards summer.
The restaurant is now making the most of its outside space – its gorgeous Italianate dining courtyard all massive awnings, terracotta pots, tumbling flora and fauna.
Brebis sadly closed in July 2016. To find out about Chef Sam Mansfield and his brother James’ new venture check out: www.nomadicrestaurant.co.uk. They would love your support.
A couple of months ago, shortly after yours truly had launched this very blog that you’re kindly perusing now – I saw this tweet pop up in my Twitter feed…
…and it slightly broke my heart.