Caldesi in Campagna

Old Mill Lane, Bray , Maidenhead, SL6 2BG

4 reviews

48 Italian Berkshire

Caldesi in Campagna

SquareMeal Review of Caldesi in Campagna

Having wowed the crowds in Marylebone, launched a cooking school and sold their fair share of recipe books, Giancarlo and Katie Caldesi have brought their brand of rustic Tuscan cooking to Bray. It may be out of the limelight in a quiet residential street, but there’s a certain luxe to Campagna’s mix of bare brick walls, Italian bric-a-brac, crisp tablecloths and sharply dressed staff that chimes perfectly with the food on the plate. Expect rustic classics such as tagliolini and black truffle, pappardelle with beef and pork ragù or crisp-skinned red mullet with an artichoke salad alongside more creative combos of sea bass ravioli with tomatoes and lemon, pink peppercorn-crusted duck on mash with red grape sauce or puffy doughnuts with pots of custard and berry compote for dunking. Home-baked breads are a standout, and in summer a canopied terrace opens for shaded alfresco eating.

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Nearby Tube/Rail Stations

Taplow Station 1km

Maidenhead Station 2km

Address

Address: Old Mill Lane, Bray , Maidenhead SL6 2BG

Opening times

Tues-Sat 12N-2.30pm 6-11pm Sun 12N-4pm

Nearby Landmarks

Braywick Golf Club 1km

Dorney Court 1km

Details

Telephone: 01628 788 500

Website:

Cuisine: Italian

Private Dining: 20

8.5

Food & Drink: 7.8

Service: 9.3

Atmosphere: 9.0

Value: 7.0

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 4.0

howard b. 28 April 2014

we were a party of four and greeted as if were regular well known guests. the service, ambience and food was all first class and I have no hesitation in recommending this restaurant. we will certainly return and hopefully have the opportunity of sitting in their delightful patio area in the summer.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 4.0

Linda R. 06 April 2014

Fantastic food with great service especially from Nedo our waiter

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 4.0

John A. 28 July 2013

We are on the constant look out for good restaurants in reasonable driving distance from our home near Wendover. Sadly, the ones that we know of can be counted on one hand. BUT this one, which we found on the Square Meal website was really really good. In every respect, it exceeded our expectations. It was by no means cheap but the service and quality were as good as I have experienced in the UK, especially for Italian food. We live most of the time in the US on the east coast, where Italian cooking is readily available and is superb – this restaurant is happily just as good. W had the a la carte menu and although on the expensive side, was good value. Service was very friendly and top notch

Food & Drink: 1.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 2.0

Foodess platinum reviewer 05 February 2009

Excrutiatingly Bitter Experience I had an open mind on my first visit (Jan 09) to Caldesi in Campagna, Bray, since I’d read only a few reviews including a positive from Jay Rayner who in all likelihood was instantly recognised, so ate well. Michelin star absence does not necessarily equate to mediocre food, but deficiencies here meant dismay, though prices were Michelin equivalent. Bread – often a good indicator of standard to follow – was just OK . Pasta seemed a wise choice. Fettucine with duck ragu (my partner’s) was fine but the tortelloni, oh not so! Thick heavy pasta stuffed with the odd hard lump of pumpkin and patches of amaretto biscuit made some pieces too sweet; 70% edible, saved by a good drenching of butter sauce, pine nuts and some very welcome parmesan cheese. [Seriously finer pasta can be achieved at Books for Cooks class under the direction of Sam Watherstone.] Mains of seafood and meltingly tender venison – ‘Short straw’ again……char-grilled squid, a curiously tiny piece of sole, small king scallop and a king prawn doused in chilli and garlic. First the sole tasted slightly bitter, and I momentarily wondered whether this came from the garlic or char-grilling. Unlikely because all were golden to brown colour without even a tinge of black; hence void of heavily charred/burnt flavour. The squid was pleasingly tender to cut, but exceedingly bitter to taste, which took a few mouthfuls of wine to dispel. Needless to say I didn’t try the scallop, nor the prawn and returned it (discretely) as being inedible. I was offered an alternative so chose duck fettucine. Quite unexpectedly, the owner appeared and began talking to a few diners. Then, I don’t know whether the ritualistic back patting was intended to placate or signify something else, but selected diners – including my partner – were subjected to this affected camaraderie. Maybe too many diners had eaten poor meals, or was this some kind of esoteric acknowledgement for the fraternity? We felt no need to say anything to the owner because a replacement meal was on its way. However, he returned later – in completely unperturbed demeanour – to ask about my meal and launched into an incongruous explanation interrupting my description of the offending food. So, not only was the seafood excruciatingly bitter, but likewise the unnecessary condescending manner of a cook so experienced that he had lost the good sense – if ever he had it – to be graceful and accepting of complaint (since it was completely justified). Was it just his disinterest in the nature of complaint totally responsible for his failure to assure that the matter would at least be investigated? No, his knowledge of what was actually wrong too. He knew that the squid served was suspect – very sour tasting (perhaps poorly cleaned) being on the same griddle had probably tainted the sole. His feebly rehearsed : “a problem with the new grilling equipment”, plus his claim that he’d had a similar problem with a new grill in his London outfit rang invalid. If anything, appearance and texture indicated proficiency. Had he not so unworriedly served up this portion of patronising tripe then we wouldn’t be quite so disgruntled. 50% of the food was fine. Replacement meal, though good, was unremarkable that any competent cook could replicate at home. So I am not prejudiced, just an honest self-confessed foodie, who will not return primarily owing to the attitude, still uncertain of the most plausible reason for the inedibly bitter squid. Value? Not being a big eater, a £20+ price tag for a meagre serving of seafood without accompaniment was steep. We eat out regularly and in Michelin starred restaurants…..this reminds me why we usually trust Michelin scores, but not always, as it is politically tainted with bias towards all things French. Places I can recommend which do not hold them : The Goose at Britwell Salome (nr. Henley-on-Thames – new menus plus undergone recent facelift), Riverside Brasserie, Bray Marina (open April to October) Vanilla Pod at Marlow, The Royal Oak, Paley Street and The Dining Room, Reigate (last two only single dining experience each so far). My best recent Michelin experiences are Maze and Drake’s of Ripley in Surrey, which I may have the good fortune to re-visit next week.