Hinds Head

British, Gastropub·
££££
·
Silver Award
·

SquareMeal Review of Hinds Head

Silver Award

Slightly more accessible than the neighbouring Fat Duck, this reconfigured 15th-century coaching inn promises the quality that you'd expect from Heston Blumenthal, but without the bells and whistles. Refreshed and dolled up in 2017, the ground-floor dining room retains its ancient pubby feel via reclaimed panelling, rich red leather banquettes and antique beams, while the newly minted ‘Royal Lounge’ upstairs comes draped in quirky Heston-isms including a 3D-printed cockatrice and a blunderbuss chandelier.

Changing seasonally, the carefully curated menus at this polished gastropub celebrate the best of traditional British cooking while reflecting the chefs’ creative twists on classic dishes. The lengthy a la carte might yield anything from pork loin terrine with juniper and Szechuan spice, pistachios and piccalilli to oxtail and kidney pudding or slow-roasted lamb saddle with pea puree, broad beans and smoked anchovies, but one thing they’ll have in common is quality. The cooking here is next level, whether you’re splashing the cash on prime rib-eye or settling in for the set Sunday roast.

Elsewhere, the fabled Scotch egg comes with mustard mayo, while other classics such as Earl Grey tea-smoked salmon also put in an appearance. Desserts ought not to be missed, particularly the chocolate wine millionaire shortbread and the ‘quaking pudding’ (cinnamon, nutmeg and compressed apple), though if you’re keeping track of the bill, you might be tempted to sack it off. That said, if you’re desperate to visit but can’t justify the expense, you could do worse than to order from the set lunch menu (available on weekdays), which gets three courses for under 30 quid. There’s zero choice, but Michelin-starred dining doesn’t get much cheaper than that.

Service is chirpy and relaxed, and there are some great G&Ts alongside the serious wine list. Whether it’s a special occasion or a spot on your bucket list, Hinds Head is a place you’ll remember.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Cuisines
British, Gastropub
Ambience
Cool, Cosy, Dark and moody, Fine dining, Fun, Traditional
Awards
One Michelin star
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch, Sunday roast
Special Features
Dog friendly, Gluten-free options, Live music or dancing, Vegetarian options, Wheelchair access
Perfect for
Birthdays, Celebrations, Child friendly, Dates, Group dining [8+], Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating

About

Hinds Head is a destination dining experience curated and led by world-renown chef Heston Blumenthal, housed within a historic, 15th-century pub. Indeed, the building has acted as a place to gather and eat since the 1400s, and over the years has been featured in folklore songs, books and visited by royalty. The team are keen to preserve its storied past, with the pub's logo proudly featuring a female deer circled by a royal garter and their location, close to Windsor Castle. 

Blumenthal bought the property in 2004 and since then it has been recognised with a Michelin star for its traditional British cuisine. There are a few menus to choose from including an a la carte, set lunch and Sunday lunch. To get a feel for what you can expect, take a look at the example menus online, kicking off with some of the restaurant's now legendary snacks, including Devils on Horseback and Scotch Egg.

Starters look like pickled beetroot tart with smoked goat's curd and cider poached pears, alongside classic dishes like pea and ham soup, and crab soup and sandwich with tomato and fennel. For mains, take your pick from the big plates such as oxtail and kidney pudding with oxtail sauce, as well as market fish with samphire, brown shrimps and mustard sauce, plus pork belly with pearl barley, pickled onions, fennel and wheat beer. Then, there's the grill. Here, you can enjoy a selection of cuts sourced locally from Aubrey Allen Butchers, who have a particular fondness for Irish Hereford Prime, aged for a minimum of 28 days, cooked to your liking. 

The team are keen for you to enjoy the breadth of their unique beverage offering alongside the food, with signature cocktails such as the Apple Orchard with Broken Clock Vodka, Aker English Dry Aperitif, apple and orange blossom shrub and soda. There's also a selection of non-alcoholic options, beers and a curated wine list. 

Menu Highlights

Main Courses
Beef Wellington - £130.00

Why not treat yourself to a succulent Beef Wellington on either Wednesday or Thursday. This Hinds Head special will make a triumphant appearance for just two days each week.Like our pub this dish has plenty of history behind it, purportedly created for The Duke of Wellington over 200 years ago. ‘Give your Wednesday some welly’ (or Thursday for that matter) and get a kick out of this rich, crisp, pastry packed dish? Hinds Head beef wellington for 2, served with, red wine jus, pomme puree, green beans £130

Beef Wellington - £130.00

Why not treat yourself to a succulent Beef Wellington on either Wednesday or Thursday. This Hinds Head special will make a triumphant appearance for just two days each week.Like our pub this dish has plenty of history behind it, purportedly created for The Duke of Wellington over 200 years ago. ‘Give your Wednesday some welly’ (or Thursday for that matter) and get a kick out of this rich, crisp, pastry packed dish? Hinds Head beef wellington for 2, served with, red wine jus, pomme puree, green beans £130

This venue also offers

Hinds Head
Private Group Dining

Hinds Head

Hinds Head
Event Party Venue

Hinds Head

Events

FreeMusic Nights on Tuesdays in June
Live Event
Music Nights on Tuesdays in June

04 Jun 2024

We welcome you to join us in on Tuesday evenings for acoustic sets from resident artist Elayna Martin.
Make it an evening of it and book a table for Fish and Chips or enjoy snacks while listening at the Bar.

Full Details
FreeMusic Nights on Tuesdays in June
Live Event
Music Nights on Tuesdays in June

11 Jun 2024

We welcome you to join us in on Tuesday evenings for acoustic sets from resident artist Elayna Martin.
Make it an evening of it and book a table for Fish and Chips or enjoy snacks while listening at the Bar.

Full Details
FreeMusic Nights on Tuesdays in June
Live Event
Music Nights on Tuesdays in June

18 Jun 2024

We welcome you to join us in on Tuesday evenings for acoustic sets from resident artist Elayna Martin.
Make it an evening of it and book a table for Fish and Chips or enjoy snacks while listening at the Bar.

Full Details
FreeMusic Nights on Tuesdays in June
Live Event
Music Nights on Tuesdays in June

25 Jun 2024

We welcome you to join us in on Tuesday evenings for acoustic sets from resident artist Elayna Martin.
Make it an evening of it and book a table for Fish and Chips or enjoy snacks while listening at the Bar.

Full Details

Location

High Street, Bray, Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 2AB

01628 626151 01628 626151

Website

Opening Times

Lunch
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed 12:00-14:30
Thu 12:00-14:30
Fri 12:00-14:30
Sat 12:00-14:30
Sun 12:00-16:00
Dinner
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed 18:00-20:45
Thu 18:00-20:45
Fri 18:00-20:45
Sat 18:00-20:45
Sun Closed
Bar
Mon Closed
Tue 11:30-23:00
Wed 11:30-23:00
Thu 11:30-23:00
Fri 11:30-23:00
Sat 11:30-23:00
Sun 11:30-17:00

Reviews

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10 Reviews 
Food/Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Shamila W

19 May 2016  
Food & Drink 5
Service 4
Atmosphere 5
Value 4
Continued brilliance
Every time I eat at The Hinds Head I am wowed. They continue to produce excellent innovative food that makes me clear me plate. Had some particularly scrumptious, unusual English cheeses that inspired me to go and find them for myself to enjoy at home.

Shamila W

24 May 2015  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 4
What pub dining should be
Every time I go to the Hind's Head, not only am I glad that I came, I wonder why I don't come more often. Everything about the Hind's Head, from the atmosphere and ambience, the friendliness and helpfulness of the staff to the outstanding quality of the food shows a culture of excellence. Not to be missed.

24 March 2014  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 4
We visited the Hinds Head for my fiances birthday, which happened to fall on a Sunday this year so worked perfectly for lunch. The pub has a wonderful atmosphere and the bar keep was only to willing to go through the vast range of gins for my soon to be mother in law as well as take the time to discuss the different wines that were on offer. We were placed next to a roaring fire which was perfect as the day was very cold and they offered to turn it down if we got too hot. The quality of the food on offer is superb! Little things such as individual gravy pots to accompany different meats, butter pats with sea salt and very fresh bread, beautiful pots of apple sauce that were almost too pretty to eat make this pub leaps and bounds over the ordinary ‘pub sunday lunch’. Desserts were amazing and although I did not quite approve of adding oat cakes to trifle I had sampled enough of everyone elses desserts to feel like I had not missed out! The price of the meal was a little on the steep side but the quality of the food made up for it – this is the kind of place most people would visit as a treat – it is WELL worth it and I definately recommend the Quakers pudding!

neil P

19 October 2010  
Food & Drink 3.5
Service 3
Atmosphere 3
Value 3
I have eaten at this place several times and the one consistent factor is the friendly but inefficient service. This is just a money machine hiding behind an excellant chef but gives little regard to its customers. But more fool us we keep going ther to tell everyone that we ate at Hestons pub. This time the food was good but I have also eaten badly before again inconsistent. Overall it really is hit or miss and therefore do not believe all the press hype… it can be excellant and it can be terrible but what it always is is inconsistent

Kevin P

06 May 2010  
Food & Drink 3.5
Service 2.5
Atmosphere 3.5
Value 1.5
You need to manage your expectations for the Hind's Head – it's not Blummenthal's culinary genius (you need to go 50 yards down the road, get on the one month waiting list, and pay £150 a head for that) but it's decent pub grub in a traditional country pub setting. Service was very polite and friendly when we visited but painfully slow (about an hour between starter and mains). All the food we had was good, some very good, but none great. The oxtail and kidney pudding was a winner and the whole lemon sole was far too good for your average pub. Starters of onion tart and mussels were slightly disappointing but then onion tart and mussels are never going to set the culinary world on fire. A pleasant meal, I wouldn't hurry back, but a word of warning – these are not pub grub prices – £20 for oxtail and kidney pudding and chips is nothing short of outrageous.

Trevor T

24 April 2010  
Food & Drink 1.5
Service 1.5
Atmosphere 1
Value 0.5
This restaurant is trading on Heston Blumentals name. It is very expensive with attrocious service and indifferent food. To be avoided.

Varuni G

02 September 2009  
Food & Drink 4
Service 4
Atmosphere 3.5
Value 4
We decided on the cheaper arm of Heston's empire because i am a fussy eater and thought the Fat Duck wouldnt work well for me. The setting is extremely pretty, a very lovely pub, and staff were very friendly. We had booked for Friday at half 6, other diners included newlyweds (complete in top and tails), families etc so a real mixed bunch. Service was good, drinks were lovely and the bread was freshly made and warm. For our mains, we had crab pate and red onion tart, respectively. Both were delicious and scoffed up quickly. There was a wide array of mains to choose from (pies, various steaks), though the triple cooked chips which Heston was famed for were not on the menu as ‘wrong season’. I ended up with rump steak, and my partner had chicken and mushroom pie, both lovely though think we preferred the starters more. My partner was full by then but i had a simple strawberry trifle, which was greed on my part. I think the Hind's Head is a lovely pub though i do feel it is on par with many other gastropubs ive been to – we have been to better places, mainly those a bit further out which have been recommended by locals – i just dont feel this place is outstanding, as i had kind of hoped. It's great for somewhere special ie the name and reasonably good food, it is in a lovely pretty area (very romantic) which isnt too far from London – a really nice way to end the week in style.

Wendy M

03 June 2009  
Food & Drink 3
Service 3
Atmosphere 4
Value 3.5
2 Jun 09 Glumly I have to report that the foregoing was short-lived, failing to sustain standard of 5 months. Last night, only one course out of four was very good, added to which service had slipped (not waiting staff, but kitchen seemed slow). A salad of preserved lemons was new so I ordered it having asked what went with the lemons. As promised, it arrived with pea-shoots – such a poorly balanced tasting starter which cried out for a nice blob of crab or something. Best was my partner’s pheasant terrine. Tonight 29 Apr 09 :- Venue/Atmosphere – as before good pub (Upstairs good for them as they could accommodate a bus load. and good for diners at ground level, saved from being subjected to large party noise. Service – exceedingly obliging – no hesitation or bother upon a special request/need Food – Not quite so good as before, but in terms of taste almost every bit as. Fell short at texture; puff pastry was softly yielding without a flake in sight. Flavour : Prawn and crab starter less than perfect, partly because it was so difficult to extract a balanced spoonful from the whisky style glass it was served in, plus partly owing to very cool temperature and may be the avocado content diluted the flavour a tad. Wine – Boringly good – sadly we chose the same despite an interesting list. Conclusiong – For a last minute booking when we required immediate sustenance with minimum fuss……near faultless. Jan/Feb 2009 : Traditional food is given a 21st century makeover in real style at this pub of historic setting. No ordinary pub grub served here now compared two or so years ago, when we were somewhat disappointed more than once, sufficiently so to make us go absent for a big gap. This week terrifically fresh ingredients were emphasised by deft execution. Good nutty bread and creamy French style butter was followed by : A warm goat’s cheese and jammy onion tart not quite perfect, but so enjoyable as to make me overlook the fact that only the slimmest edge of the flaky pastry was crisp. Powdered duck which wasn’t, more like rillettes (apparently powdered referred to the spicing process). From the one mouthful my other half sacrificed , spicy orange flavour married well with the duck and fig chutney, which we both placed on the have again list. My lemon sole was rather small (ordered from the specials) but alongside was a generous garnish of rich crab in a salad with preserved lemons – the thought makes my tummy rumble now. With side orders it proved plentiful. Chicken, leek and ham pie was almost comical in presentation, shaped into a tall dome placed on top of a circle of mash surrounded by mustard sauce – I guess it’s a canny way to get a greater proportion of crisp top versus pie base, but I fail to fathom how the chef did it. Also something we’d both order again. A good spectrum of wines favouring no particular part of the world made interesting choosing and we effortlessly drained a bottle of Spanish Red from Ribera del Duero region, which guess what – we’d order again. Service has also improved…..chirpy, knowledgeable young waitress enhanced the experience. Whilst still a pub like Royal Oak at Paley Street, dishes here have a little more finesse but on par price wise.

Freddie K

08 May 2009  
Food & Drink 4.5
Service 3
Atmosphere 4
Value 3
it was GREAT!!!

Rob B

18 March 2009  
Food & Drink 5
Service 4.5
Atmosphere 4.5
Value 5
I really wish the Hinds Head was in SW London so I could use it as my local on a Sunday. It's got such a warm feel to it and reminds me a lot of the type of pubs I'd visit in the Lake District when I was much, much younger. It manages to do what it does very well with no hint of an overly contrived or dressed up environment. Friendly staff look after you very well from the moment you walk through the door and the changing menu is short but full of great dishes. The rabbit and bacon terrine with cucumber pickles made me question whether I was actually in the middle of the countryside or a multi-Michelin starred venue in town it was so good and the Lancashire hotpot on par with that of my dear old granny, a selection of English cheeses topped it off for me. The wine list looked great – although for me ale was the order of the day. Prices are ridiculously good value as I've spent similar at various Wimbledon gastropubs for appallingly average food. Even adding the cost of a day return from London and you still can't go wrong. Get yourself there as soon a possible!
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