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The Blackbird, Bagnor

Muddy says: A 17th century inn and foodie destination in the stunning riverside hamlet of Bagnor, run by Tom Aiken’s former head chef.

The Blackbird Banger 19th century red brick country pub rural west berkshrie

Gushing reviews continue to roll in for this lovely 17th century pub in the quiet, riverside hamlet of Bagnor. Chef-owner Dom Robinson – Tom Aiken’s former head chef – and his graphic designer wife Marliz, have put their heart and soul into the place. On the face of it, The Blackbird is a classic country pub with grassy beer garden, roaring fires and low beams inside – all present and correct. But… oh my goodness, the food! Believe me, we are not talking your average triple cooked chip, gastropub fayre here. It’s a renaissance of classic cuisine using local, seasonal ingredients. Spoiler alert! It”s a bit spesh.


The decor is a far cry the usual Farrow & Ball 50 shades of greige. It’s a riot of dressers, doilies, display cabinets and general knick-knackery. Dom has a penchant for gaudy wall colours and the kind of unfashionable item known to the antiques trade as “brown furniture”. I like to call it batty nana chic on acid.

Most importantly if you’re looking for somewhere to eat, this is a foodie paradise. Plus the phenomenal Watermill Theatre is just down the road – squeeze in a pre-theatre meal here. You won’t regret it.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Berkshire