The Crown Inn, Bray

Mimi ON Jun 24, 2011 AT 2:31 pm

The Crown Inn

The Crown Inn

by John Gregory Smith

I am a real Londoner. I love this city; Richmond Park is about as rural as I like to get. It’s massively green with actual deer roaming around and there’s a tube line nearby to evacuate when necessary. However, last week I drove down to Bray with my dad, to have lunch at Heston Blumenthal’s latest country pub The Crown Inn. The 16th century Crown Inn was a charming countryside pub with wonderful low wooden beams, white walls and a huge garden, which had just opened for the summer. The menu was modern British food made using local sourced, seasonal ingredients and, as you would expect, done to the highest standard.

Inside The Crown Inn

Inside The Crown Inn

For our starters we had the Brixham Mussels in a white wine, garlic and parsley sauce (£8.50), which had slivers of shaved fennel that really freshened up the brimey sauce into a wonderful summer dish. I had the potted duck with grilled bread and cornichons (£7.25) that was served like a pate, but had a much denser consistency. It was beautifully meaty and perfect with the tart cornichons. Both of us went for the same main course; baked suet, steak and ale pie (£14.75) that was served on a bed of the creamiest of creamed potatoes. The pie was encased in a golden brown herb pastry that was still soft and gooey on the inside and filed with delicious chunks of soft flaky beef and carrots in a rich gravy. This was an extremely well done pie!

There was a superb selection of British puddings, including apple and cranberry crumble, eaton mess and a sticky toffee pudding. My dad is one of those annoying people who will never order a pudding but will always pick at other peoples, so I reluctantly shared the honey ice cream peanut brittle and caramel sauce (£4.50), which was to die for. The fragrant ice cream hardened the warm sauce on contact so it went a little chewy and was perfect to wrap around the sweet peanut brittle.

Definitely worth an escape from London!

www.thecrownatbray.com

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