The Waterside Inn

Gold Award

SquareMeal Review of The Waterside Inn

Gold Award

Its picture-book riverbank location may look and feel as English as The Wind in the Willows, but everything else at The Waterside Inn – the UK’s longest-serving Michelin three star – speaks of top-end French gastronomy with a real sense of occasion. It is the culinary equivalent of haute couture, a restaurant that “sets the standard by which all are measured”.

It’s all about silky sophistication and Gallic polish here, from the sumptuous furnishings (comfortable rather than fashionable) and punctilious professionalism of the “relaxed yet sophisticated” staff to the intricacies of the “exquisite” cooking.

Founded by brothers Albert and Michel Roux in 1972, Michel handed the kitchen over to his son Alain in 2002. Expect a cavalcade of culinary masterstrokes with that unmistakable Roux thumbprint: teasing amuse-bouches such as venison tartare on potato and whipped goats’ cheese; flaked Devon crab with ginger-scented cucumber jelly and oscietra caviar; fillet of turbot roasted in nut-brown butter with root vegetables, morels and vin jaune sauce; grilled pigeon breasts and crispy leg served with sweet pepper pipérade, potato terrine and ‘devil sauce’.

First-timers, meanwhile, should order the signature dish of spit-roasted Challandais duck for two to share, the thin slices of spiced and honeyed meat falling on to the plate like the autumn leaves that make this such a spectacular venue in autumn.

After that, a cleansing granita sets things up for some truly astonishing showpiece desserts – perhaps chocolate cannelé with hazelnut praline and lime, or a Roux speciality soufflé. “Everything par excellence”, drools an admirer.

The wine list delves deep into the archives of French oenology and prices are scary, but “spend without regret,” advise fans – the sheer joy of dining at this serene stronghold of subtly reinvented haute cuisine is unsurpassed (how many out-of-London restaurants play to full houses every lunchtime?).

“It’s hard to find a poor place to eat in Bray, but every visit feels incredibly special”, quips one admirer – not least if you come in summer and you’re lucky enough to get an outside table right by the river. All in all, The Waterside Inn is “superb in every respect”.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - Over £80
Fine dining, Lively, Luxury, Quiet conversation, Romantic, Traditional, Unique, Widely spaced tables
Other Awards
Three Michelin stars
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Alfresco And Views
Great views, Outside seating, Terrace, Waterside
Special Features
Vegetarian options, Wheelchair access
Birthdays, Celeb spotting, Celebrations, Romantic, Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating


Does The Waterside Inn have a Michelin star?

The Waterside Inn has three Michelin stars.

Helpful? 0

The Waterside Inn is featured in


Ferry Road, Bray, Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 2AT

01628 620691 01628 620691


Opening Times

Wed-Sat 12N-2pm 7-10pm Sun 12N-2.30pm


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29 Reviews 

Mark D

02 January 2024  
Food & Drink 4.5
Service 4.5
Atmosphere 4
Value 4
Unimpeachable refinement

Old School, professional, mannered. Food unimpeachable. Setting Three Men in a Boat dreamy. Wine list a thing of beauty. All wrapped in well-healed Bray refinement.


01 December 2022  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5


David G

23 November 2022  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5

Awesome food, service, accommodation & location. We had the tasting menu and it was as good as we imagined, faultless. Staying the night made the celebration occasion even better!


23 November 2022  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5

As sister family  restaurant to LeGavroche in central London, this also one of the finest riverside locations,plus if you go for dinner,they also have delightful bedrooms available 

Rustom K

26 July 2019  
Superb location, food and service.


02 July 2019  
Perfect location with perfect food and service.

David G

11 April 2019  
Superb in every respect. IF I get to choose my "Last Supper" it will be here if I am in the UK or Commander's Palace if I am home in New Orleans. The name alone is all that is needed if one wants to evoke quality. Spend without regret!

Andrew F

05 April 2019  
The Waterside Inn sets the standard by which all are measured in my opinion. Exquisite cooking, exceptional service, wonderful ambience.

Stevens G

31 March 2019  
Classical cooking superbly executed.

Angelika F

29 March 2019  
Have been going there for a decade now and always chose this restaurant for birthdays , anniversaries and any special occasion when we want amazing French cooking with great service in one of the best locations on the Thames. Never disappoints.
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01628 620691 01628 620691

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