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The Crown, Bray

Muddy says: Take a celebrity chef, a 16th century pub and what do you get? Gastropub heaven. It can only be Heston Blumenthal’s award-winning Crown at Bray.

Heston Blumenthal's traditional pub The crown at bray Berkshire – Muddy Stilettos

The Crown at Bray is a Heston Blumenthal’s traditional 16th Century inn serving wonderful British food in a warm and relaxed environment. It’s got a rich history as a hostelry and apparently King Charles II used to stop off for a beer, on route to see his mistress Nell Gwyn. For such a small village, Bray has had a pretty saucy past with the royals.

Deliberately traditional. Heston’s resisted the urge to refurbish and kept it deliciously ‘pubby’ –  low ceilings, dark oak beams, higgledy-piggledy flow and open fires. There are several eating ‘areas’ that kind of flow into each other in the pub, keeping the feel intimate and buzzy.

Head chef Matt Larcombe has been busy in the kitchen, resulting in a number of awards, including Muddy Best destination Pub in 2016 and most recently a spot in the Top 50 Gastropubs, voted for by industry insiders. You’ll find familiar pub classics on the menu, all with a Heston pizazz – and a kids menu too.

Enjoy drop in drinks in the lovely garden, a weekly pub quiz, Sunday Supper Club for a bargain £15.95 for 2 courses and you can even buy takeaway fish and chips. I just wish it was my local.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Berkshire