Muddy Eats: Perfect pizzas at the Henry VI in Eton
Sharing your name with England’s youngest ever king (who, by the way, also founded Eton College) puts a ton of royal expectation on a pub. One doesn’t want to let the side down – or ‘orf with their heads’. The Henry VI is back after a full refurb, creating a warm, unpretentious, family-centric experience – and I have to say they’ve nailed it. He’s a stunner, right?
Situated on the High Street in the shadow of Windsor Castle and short walk away from Eton College, this handsome establishment really stands out – demanding an audience. Who was I to refuse?
Specialising in authentic stone-baked Italian pizzas, this place is perfect for families, lazy lunches with friends or for those who want to grab a quick bite in a classy pub while getting a history fix thanks to proximity to Windsor Castle and Eton’s eclectic mix of buildings.
The pub itself offers plenty of nooks and crannies to kick back in. Decorated in Farrow & Ball tones, the decor has an industrial edge with wooden beams, exposed brick walls, eclectic lighting, leather banquettes and a roaring fire – creating a relaxed atmosphere for diners and drinkers.
But what you really want to try are the pizzas. Check out these beauties… hand stretched, hand rolled and finished to order, it’s a taste of Italy in the heart of Eton. Unless you’re fluent in Italian you’ll need a little help with the menu and the staff are only too happy to translate and make recommendations. In fact, the service is brilliant.
Mr Muddy and I started with a couple of garlic breads: Spicy njuda and San Marzano tomato and Fior di latte mozzarella, basil pesto and sun-blushed, followed by Salami and Sirloin Steak pizzas. Yes, it’s a carb-fest, but oh so worth it!
The quality of the ingredients really shines and you can customise to suit your tastes with baby spinach, truffle, Veronetto salami, spicy nguja, parmesan, wild rocket, various cheeses and porchetta, to name a few. The list is long.
If pizzas are not your thing, your options are limited. two skillet pies were available when we visited Moo & Brew (beef and ale, with a mashed potato top) and Captain Nemo (fish pie). But everything coming out of the kitchen was inhaled.
A massive boon for the Henry VI is the outside space. It’s got a Shoreditch vibe with its corrugated iron outside bar and burger shack (open during the warmer months), with a cosy pergola. Perfect for a beer in the evening or hanging out with the mudlets and hounds. It looked pretty inviting on a cold January day, so I can only imagine how buzzy it will be in the summer.
The pub also hosts live music and open mic nights for wannabe singers and musicians brave enough to belt out a tune in public. You’ll also find a good selection of craft beers, 30 wines, and plenty of ginspiration with an expertly curated gin menus paired with Fever Tree tonics. So if the carbs don’t ruin you, the gin will.
THE MUDDY VERDICT
Good for: Families, kids, tourists, and groups of friends looking for a relaxed, good value stop off. The pub is dog-friendly too.
Not for: Fine diners, anyone who comes out in hives around kids or cutting out carbs.
£: Excellent value. Garlic bread from £4, Pizzas from £7 to £9.50, Skillet pies £6.95 and puds are £4.75
Henry VI, 37 High St, Eton SL4 6BD. Tel 01753 866051. thehenryvieton.co.uk