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The Eton Mess, Eton

A stylish, buzzy Eton inn offering good quality pub food and a cocktail list to die.

brick exterior of The Eton Mess pub Eton Berkshire

THE LOCATION

The Eton Mess is a traditional town inn in the heart of, well, Eton. A hop, skip and a jump over the footbridge from Windsor and just a couple of miles from Slough The town is most famous for Eton College – a school for the mega rich – and its army of pupils scurrying around in their traditional black tailcoats  The college and chapel were built by Henry VI – and a number of inns soon followed. In fact the high street is packed with watering holes – The Eton Mess being one of them.

THE VIBE

wood, farrow and ball painted walls industrial lighting Eton mess Pub eton Berkshire

The current owners have spruced up every nook and cranny of The Eton Mess. Grey walls, mis-matched tables and chairs and a liberal sprinkling of industrial lights have made what could be a dark pub into a fab friendly, lighter and brighter space.

Black and white pictures of the famous Eton College students

It has a relaxed and casual feel. Farrow and Ball walls, lots of empty gin bottles (hic), vintage knick knacks and I loved the old black white photos of Eton College. Is it restaurant? Probably not, but it’s a good quality local with a warm, buzzy vibe (and they’re not easy to come by).  There’s courtyard garden out the back which will be a lush spot for a lazy afternoon working your way through the cocktail menu.  If you’re after a quiet one though, perhaps go for lunch, the evenings can be busy and full of lively chatter.

leather sofa, dark walls, modern art and plant in cosy snug area Eton mess pub eton Berkshire
SCOFF & QUAFF
In addition to bar and restaurant, The Eton Mess has 5 boutique rooms, so brekkie, I mean brunch (we’re not getting up that early), is also an option. Mr Muddy and I are here for lunch, there’s a separate evening a la carte menu and a sexy bar menu full of cool cocktails, craft beers and artisan spirits for liquid dieters. Basically you don’t really ever need to leave.
For the main, I chose something completely different for me. Mindful of the fact that not everyone eats meat, I opted for the pumpkin and chickpea Makhani with red pepper and onion seed pilaf (£12). It had heat, but not unbearably so. In fact it was delicious – light, filling and full of flavour.
Burger, onion ring stack and triple cooked chunky chips on wooden board Eton mess Pub Eton berkshire
Mr Muddy was embarking on his own Man vs Food challenge and ordered the burger of the day, £14.50 – beef burger, pulled pork barbecue sauce and onion ring stack with red slaw and triple cooked chips. It was monstrous – and almost defeated him. No chance of that here though. The man has hollow legs.
Modern Eton Mess with mint oil Eton Mess Pub Eton berkshire
Finally, pudding time (*virtual selfie high five*). I would’ve been lynched in these parts if I didn’t order the legendary Eton Mess, £8.  Plus I reckon with the strawberries I have hit my 5 a day in one sitting. So easy choice to make. Can we just admire the photographic beauty of this pud. Chewy meringue, fresh cream and strawberries, strawberry sorbet cream and a vanilla and mint oil. Come to mama. It tasted as good as it looks.

Chocolate ganache, salted caramel ic cream and honeycomb Eton Mess Pub Eton Berkshire

After a loooong period of indecision, Mr Muddy plumped for a pud so sweet just looking at on the menu gave me toothache – popping candy, pistachio ice cream, honeycomb and hazelnut chocolate ganache, £7. Clean plates all round. If it was a little later in the day, The Bitter End gin cocktail with lychee and grapefruit would have been a lovely sundowner.

OUT & ABOUT
River Thames Eton Berkshire

It’s worth mooching around the beautiful Eton College chapel and the many historic school building sthat make up the town, take a stroll along the river, watch the odd rower glide past and if you’d be mad not to haul you tush over the bridge and up the hill to look through the Queen’s keyhole at Windsor Castle.

THE MUDDY VERDICT

Good for: Big groups, lunch with the girls, date nights and cocktail hour any day of the week.

Not for: Kids are welcome, but it feel a bit more grown up than that. When it’s busy it’s lively and a little on the noisy side.

££: Reasonable for these parts lunch mains are £12 –£25 and puds started at £6.50. Cocktails are roughly £8.

The Eton Mess, 55 High Street, Eton, Berkshire, SL4 6BL Tel: 01753 865516.

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