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|Address:||Ferry Road, Bray, Berkshire SL6 2AT|
|Tel:||01628 620 691|
|Price: £83.00||Wine: £30.00||Champagne: £65.00|
|Opening Hours:||Wed-Sat 12N-2pm 7-10pm Sun 12N-2.30pm|
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I wasn't really looking forward to lunch at The Waterside Inn as my husband and I were in the middle of a war of attrition and we had got to the silent recrimination stage. I didn't have the enthusiasm to read further than the first page of the extensive menu and so we went for the set lunch and decided to choose wines separately to go with each course. A G&T in the cosy ante-room with some delicious amuse-bouche morsels and the freeze began to thaw. The meal that followed was stunning: a foie gras/chicken terrine consisted (unusually!) of more of the former than the latter with a sauce that perfectly cut through the slab of creamy richness, the only disappointment being the sauternes jelly which could have had more oomph; my lamb was light and tender but still substantial; my dessert had one small element which outshone everything else- an incredible sweet but sour green apple sorbet, surely the work of a culinary magician balancing those sophisticated Tangfastic flavours. Our sommelier chose a beautiful (and fairly priced) Gewurtz carafe to substitute for the out-of-stock house Riesling; patiently suggested a Paulliac (which matched my meat better) when I couldn't spot a Pinot Noir; and finally chose a fresh, light dessert wine more suited to my dessert than the Tokaji style I'd normally pick. He was charming, personal, approachable and typical of the fantastic (but not fawning) service in general; case in point, one waiter teasingly commented within the sommelier's earshot we “shouldn't trust the Italian selling French wine”! Love the banter. The dining room itself is a bit odd: it feels like an 80s conference room in conservatory but you can't help admire the riverside setting and the atmosphere still buzzes anyway. At £110 a head it was astonishingly good value but more importantly by the end, thanks to the food, drink and staff, my husband and I had re-established friendly relations, and you can't put a price on that.