Tucked away in Old Windsor - you would be forgiven for thinking you had taken a wrong turn as your head towards Adam Handling’s out-of-London outpost - The Loch & The Tyne, but the leafy seclusion of this country pub restaurant only adds to the countryside feel that this Berkshire restaurant is looking to achieve.
The entrance of the restaurant is home to a “gin terrace”, complete with a heater for every table and oversized parasols to protect from the elements. Mismatched cosy tartan blankets offer a nod to Handling’s heritage without feeling too twee. The restaurant interior is filled with exposed brick, original fireplaces and mahogany tables with squishy leather chairs. A bar area within the restaurant offers a more relaxed area for those looking to indulge in the bar snacks paired with a pint. Or head outside to the beer garden, loaded with rustic charm, wooden decking, a comfy seating area and a firepit give a cosy evening space where you can enjoy views of the lush herb and vegetable garden that sources many of the dishes.
We started our meal with a selection of snacks. Handling’s now signature chicken butter - a butter whipped with chicken fat and topped with crispy crumbles of chicken skin - served with crusty sourdough - is both tasty and iconic so we think it’s a must-order for anyone visiting. Don't indulge too heavily though as the snacks menu is a tempting start, with warmed cheese doughnuts and haggis Scotch eggs being particular highlights for us. Our starter was a twice-baked cheese souffle served with pickles, beautifully presented with edible flowers but perhaps lacking a little in that strong flavour you would expect from a twice-baked souffle. For mains, salt-aged lamb rump with black radish and goat’s cheese was perfectly portioned. Balmoral chicken with haggis, asparagus and black garlic is scattered with edible flowers and herbs from the restaurant’s garden, the depth in flavour of the haggis combined with the tender chicken breast makes for an inviting combination.
The puddings are pub favourites you know and love with a fine dining edge. The strawberry trifle includes hunks of gingerbread and is topped with chantilly cream, all served in crystal-cut glassware - for an insta-worthy dessert that has substance and style. If you don’t have a sweet tooth then the cheeseboard for two comes with all the trimmings.
Take note of all the personal touches while you are there. The wine menu includes Handling’s own English sparkling wine from Kent and the walls are adorned with artwork from his favourite artists. Don’t miss framed black and white photos of Handling and co-chef proprietors Steven Kerr and Johnny McNeil from throughout the years hanging on the walls near the bar, and hot water bottles that have hand-knitted covers made by Handling’s mother.
Not just fine dining without the fuss, The Loch & The Tyne has that extra level of warmth in both design and service that makes you feel like you’re dining at your local, without it actually being your local.