Our Inspector's View
Accept the valet parking graciously; the little car park is a squeeze. In fact, prepare to do everything with grace. This is The Waterside, which wrote the book on refined dining a couple of generations ago. With its views on to the little jetty and its moored boats, and tree canopies shading these peaceable upper reaches of the Thames, the word 'idyllic' soon flies to most lips, and the cooking plays its part, Alain Roux maintaining the formidable standards of the legendary Michel Roux père. A slice of rich game terrine with a roundel of foie gras at its heart is encased in truffled pastry and comes with a bouquet of saladings and candied walnuts. Main courses are finely calibrated to the rest of the menu, building substance without overfacing, as witness a well-timed tranche of cod topped with apple and parsnip remoulade, accompanied by savoury bread pudding and a cream sauce of cider and black garlic, or the celebrated grilled rabbit on celeriac fondant with glazed chestnuts in Armagnac. A beguiling dessert is the white chocolate mousse with ginger sponge and Campari-laced orange sorbet, but if you choose to skip, there are regiments of exquisite petits fours to compensate.
Awards, Accolades & welcome Schemes
Facilities – at a glance
Gracious fine dining by the upper Thames
- Seats: 75
- Private dining available
- On-site parking available
- Wheelchair accessible
- Steps for wheelchair: 1
- Assist dogs welcome
- Days Closed: Monday and Tuesday
- Lunch served from: 12
- Lunch served until: 2
- Dinner served from: 7 (6.30 June to September)
- Dinner served until: 10
- Wines under £30: 1
- Wines over £30:
- Wines by the glass: 25
- Cuisine style: French
- Vegetarian menu
Also in the Area
About The area
Berkshire essentially consists of two distinct parts. The western half is predominantly rural, with the Lambourn Downs spilling down to the River Lambourn and the Berkshire Downs to the majestic Thames. The eastern half of Berkshire may be more urban but here, too, there is the opportunity to get out and savour open spaces. Windsor Great Park and Maidenhead Thicket are prime examples. Threading their way through the county are two of the South’s prettiest rivers – the Lambourn and the Pang. Beyond the tranquil tow paths of the Kennet and Avon Canal, Greenham Common’s famous airbase has been transformed to delight walkers of all ages.
Reading and Newbury are the county’s major towns, and the River Kennet flows through them both. Reading is a vibrant, multicultural centre with great shopping and plenty of history. Oscar Wilde was incarcerated in Reading prison in the late 19th century, and wrote The Ballad of Reading Gaol about his experience. Newbury is probably best known for its race course, which opened in 1905, although the first recorded racing at Newbury was a century before that. Famous people born in the county include Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Winlset and Ricky Gervais.
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