News - Page 5 of 25 - Hinds Head, Bray
Fat-washing, a clever cocktail technique that adds savoury flavour to spirits. June’s Monkey Spoon Cocktail Club spotlights three fat-washed cocktails and the technique and science behind it.
An example of a fat-washed cocktail is cooking bacon and using the fat from the bacon to infuse the alcohol. It’s then frozen and the fat is removed. Bartenders have experimented with fat-washing spirits with everything from duck fat to peanut butter to your favourite childhood sweets, Skittles.
Our fat-washed cocktails include:
- Sesame Gin Collins
- Peanut Butter Sour/Popcorn Bourbon Sour
- Bacon and Maple Sazerac
For your chance to try these fat-washed cocktails, join us on Friday 26th June from 6.30pm for our Monkey Spoon Cocktail Club. To book your place, please call Reservations on 01628 626151.
To commemorate the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta, we will be raising a toast with a Magna Carta Beer – a golden, hoppy, amber ale from Windsor & Eton Brewery – on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th June. This will be an exceptionally memorable weekend and we hope that you will be part of it.
Celebrations in Bray are also taking place just down the road from us. The Thames Alive River Relay will be passing through Bray Lock on Saturday 13th June between 5.45pm and 7.00pm, carrying a facsimile of the Magna Carta, created for the Windsor & Royal Borough Museum. Feel free to watch as the River Relay passes through Bray and then pop down to The Hinds Head, Bray for a cold Magna Carta.
If you would like to end your evening with dinner, please call Reservations on 01628 626151 or book via our online booking system. We look forward to celebrating with you.
We are delighted to announce that our Chocolate Wine ‘Slush’ dessert is back on the menu – chocolate and red wine slush served with a chocolate and caramel shortbread, best eaten simultaneously.
Chocolate wine first appeared on the English culinary scene in the 1660s, soon after the arrival of chocolate, which was known in the reign of Charles II as ‘Indian Nectar’. It was made by blending a strong wine such as claret or port with sugar and chocolate and whisking the ingredients together. The physicians of the day thought that this luxurious combination was a powerful aphrodisiac. No wonder it caught on so rapidly!
Become a master of gin with our Gin Master Classes. For all the gin enthusiasts, Cotswold Distillery will be running two master classes on Wednesday 27th May 2015 from 1.00pm – 3.00pm and 6.30pm – 8.30pm.
During the master class, you will have the opportunity to find out about the unique world of
gin, learn about the fascinating history of Cotswold Distillery and sample their Dry Gin.
The agenda includes:
- A history of Cotswold Distillery
- What is gin/Cotswold Gin?
- What are gin botanicals?
- What does neat gin taste like?
- Chilled gin & the cloudiness – what causes this?
- Tonic and garnishes
Each master class costs £20 per person and this includes an informative session from Cotswold Distillery – tastings, miniature gin cocktails, a Scotch Egg, Devils on Horseback and Triple Cooked Chips. To book your spot, call Reservations on 01628 626151 and state your preferred time. Booking is essential as spaces are limited.
With Father’s Day fast approaching on Sunday 21st June, we at The Hinds Head, Bray will be running our Father’s Day portrait competition again this year. We are looking for the best portraits drawn by children (and big kids too) of their own fathers.
The rules are simple:
- Your drawing needs to be on paper, no larger than A4 size.
- Please include your name, age and contact details on the back of your drawing.
- All entries must be submitted to The Hinds Head, Bray no later than Sunday 21st June via our official Facebook page or Twitter feed @hindsheadbray, our email address firstname.lastname@example.org, the website www.hindsheadbray.com, or by post to Father’s Day Competition, The Hinds Head, High Street, Bray, Berkshire, SL6 2AB.
- The winners for each category will be picked by Head Chef, Janos Veres and announced on Facebook, Twitter and our website.
There will be 3 categories to ensure children of all ages can participate!
Category 1: 4 – 10 year olds
The winner of category 1 will have their picture featured on the front of our children’s menu for the rest of June and July, with their father receiving a 3 course meal for 2, excluding beverages and service charge.
Category 2: 11 – 18 year olds
The winner of category 2 will receive a personalised Heston Blumenthal at Home cookbook along with a 3 course meal for 2, for their father, excluding beverages and service charge.
Category 3: 19 and above
The winner of category 3 will receive 2 tickets to our monthly cocktail club for the month of July or August along with a 3 course meal for 2, for their father, excluding beverages and service charge.
We wish you lots of luck and may the best father and child team win!
Using the floristry technique of hand-tying, this floral workshop covers the next element of floral design which is shape. Miranda Hackett from Flowers by Miranda will run the workshop from 10.00am until 12.00 noon on Wednesday 10th June and is followed by a delicious three course seasonal lunch.
During the workshop you will learn how to combine different shaped flowers, as well as how to make your own hand-tied bouquet filled with luscious British summer blooms.
Everything will be provided for you including a set of floral notelets giving details on the flowers and foliage used in the workshop. These are provided at each workshop and can be collated as a useful reference tool.
No prior floral experience is necessary and you need not worry if you did not attend the Spring Floral Workshop as each floral workshop stands alone.
It costs £75 per person and this includes all materials and tools, tea and coffee and the seasonal lunch. If you would like to book, please call Reservations on 01628 626151. Please note that booking is essential.
Making great cocktails is an art in itself; using the right levels of sweetness, sourness or bitterness, while still allowing the character, charm and appeal of the base spirit to shine through can often prove difficult. It requires a thorough, almost intimate, understanding of the ingredients involved.
To explore the cocktail flavour balancing act, we have broken down the quintessential cocktail recipes and studied how each spirit can be matched to complementary flavours. Our deconstructed cocktails include:
- Rhubarb Fizz – Rhubarb and vanilla compote, and rhubarb bitters.
- Sweetshop – Skittles washed vodka, seasonal fruits, lime salt, Blossoms strawberry syrup, marshmallow, lemon sherbet, candy floss, and popping candy.
- Rum Old Fashioned – Atlantico Platino rum, El Dorado 5-year-old Gold rum, Perique tobacco liqueur, whiskey barrel aged bitters, grapefruit, agave, and a demerara cloud.
For your chance to try these deconstructed cocktails, join us on Friday 29th May from 6.30pm for our Monkey Spoon Cocktail Club. To book your place, please call Reservations on 01628 626151. We look forward to welcoming you.
Quench your thirst this summertime with our Second Edition drinks – from classic, historical cocktails to fresh, fruity mocktails. Our new Second Edition cocktails include:
- “All for me Grog”: Chivas Regal 12 Year Old Whisky, Trois Rivières Sirop, lavender, orange, pineapple and cherry essence.
- Tijuana Smash: Herencia Blanco, peach marmalade, mint, chilli, passion fruit, lime and strawberries.
- Great Expectations: Admiral Navy Rum, Jules Clarion Brandy, lemon reduction and nutmeg.
- “More Tea Vicar”: Burleigh’s Gin, fresh pressed grapefruit, and bergamot sweet tea.
For the designated drivers, enjoy one of our sweet mocktails:
- Strawberry Flip: Orgeat, strawberry preserve, lime and pineapple.
- Elderflower Power: Elderflower cordial, mint, lime, cucumber, kiwi, apple sherbet, and a dash of soda from a soda charged canister. Served with a chocolate carrot.
To view our full drinks menu, please click on our downloaded PDF: Second Edition Drinks List
THE HINDS HEAD, BRAY: Heston Blumenthal’s Michelin Star Country Haven
Nestled at the heart of the picturesque village of Bray, The Hinds Head is located just 5 minutes from Maidenhead in Berkshire. Blessed with sunshine, we made the trip outside of London to begin our countryside adventure.
Chef Heston Blumenthal purchased the pub in October 2004 and has kept the overall decor of the pub relatively the same, feeling that the tradition and history should remain with the thought “if it isn’t broken, then don’t fix it”.
The Hinds Head was built in the 15th century and was initially used as two cottages, before being converted into an inn at the beginning of the 19th Century. Her Majesty The Queen herself has entertained at The Hinds Head when on April 23rd 1963, she hosted a luncheon for 51 guests including Prince Philip, Princess Anne, King Olaf of Norway and other royals and dignitaries.
When Heston took ownership, it opened to great critical acclaim and was immediately awarded a Bib Gourmand by The Michelin Guide. Many accolades followed including “Pub of the Year” by the Michelin Eating Out Pubs Guide and in 2012, it was awarded a coveted Michelin star.
The menu keeps with the historic aspect and takes inspiration from traditional British food, adapted to ensure that today’s palates are reflected in the dishes being served. Heston Blumenthal has worked closely with the Tudor kitchen at Hampton Court Palace in a bid to re-introduce historic British dishes like Hash of Snails, Oxtail and Kidney Pudding made with real suet pastry and the dessert, Wassailing.
We started our culinary journey with some delicious cocktails at the bar. The list is extensive and the cocktail menu includes concoctions like the Charles Dickens, developed by The Hinds Head, and pays homage to classics such as the Rusty Nail, 1891 Martini and Negroni. Normally we’re a little cynical about ordering cocktails at a pub, but our French pine-apple (deliciously tangy with sherbert garnished around the top of the glass that melts in your mouth as you sip the champagne) and a negroni (classic) did not disappoint and so we continued with another round with the savoury raspberry (this is a result of creative concoctions – the others are Grapefruit Tea and Strawberry Drupe – that came from a partnership between the bar staff working closely with Head Chef Janos Veres and his team) and a classic champagne cocktail.
After cocktails we settle into the dining area which is quaint and exactly how we picture the perfect country pub setting to be – cosy and comfortable with warm, welcoming touches. We immediately order the world famous scotch eggs which were out of this world and totally deserved their awards plus yummy devils on horseback (dates wrapped in bacon). Snacks done we nibble delicious sourdough bread with salted butter (simple pleasures) and ask our lovely waitress Gloria for her food recommendations; for starters we go for the Venison Carpaccio Horseradish, Turnip, Shallot and Caper Dressing and Powdered Duck Ham, Soft Cooked Quail Egg, Salad, both are flavoursome with a richness from the meat and a crunchy texture from the salad and garnishes – so far so good, great start to our meal.
We order the 10oz Ribeye of Hereford Prime upon recommendation from Gloria who told us “it’s the juiciest steak you’ll taste” and she was not wrong. It was immense and the bone marrow sauce gave it a richness that we don’t usually expect from our steak. The Breast of Pigeon, Braised Leg, Celeriac, Hazelnuts, Dates* was not what we expected as part of it came as a crispy samosa – still it was a pleasant surprise and really complemented the other eclectic flavours and textures on the plate.
Having had pure comfort food that was deliciously rich and filling we decided to share a dessert and chose the warm chocolate pudding with marmalade ice cream and some dessert wine. Boy was this dish heavenly – the chocolate and orange were pure indulgence and the hot and cold combination intensely enjoyable.
Dessert done, we seriously had trouble moving, our legs could barely carry us out of this joint, a true testament to a thoroughly enjoyable evening – we definitely plan on making a few more trips to Bray this summer with loose fitted clothing (lesson learnt).
Vicky Illankovan, Lifestyle Editor at Candid Magazine, reviewed her experience at The Hinds Head, Bray. Click here to view the full article.
A quaint and picturesque village in Berkshire, Bray is quite a departure from the hustle and bustle of London. However, this pretty riverside parish is one of the UK’s culinary capitals, containing four restaurants that have Michelin stars to their names and which boast top chefs such as Michel and Albert Roux, as well as the inimitable Heston Blumenthal.
Heston’s Fat Duck, known to all for its phenomenal, unconventional and multisensory dining, has been celebrated – for good reason – more times than can be counted. It is the mecca for all excitable gourmands. However, it is not the only restaurant of his worth travelling to Bray for.
A 15th century building, nestled away in the heart of Bray and sitting across the road from Heston’s other two ventures, The Hinds Head is a Michelin star pub that infuses the wonder of gourmet cooking with the relaxed and welcoming atmosphere of a good local.
The building itself is sodden with history and has maintained its original design aesthetic, without any of that whitewashing of wooden panels that you’ll see throughout West London or Clapham. The menu on offer reflects the venue, serving traditional British dishes, including some straight from the Tudor kitchens at Hampton Court Palace.
We started with a balanced and flavoursome Pea and Ham Soup served in an espresso cup alongside a quail scotch egg. The yolk of the egg was runny whilst the beautifully seasoned meat remained tender.
Next we sampled the famous Hash of Snails – a starter based on a 1884 recipe – which had been cooked in garlic butter, and was served on a thin slice of chargrilled bread with pickled walnuts, pistachio paste and capers, garnished with fennel ribbons. The snails were soft and buttery, pairing well with the light crunch of the fennel and toast.
The Venison Carpaccio was served amongst rocket and watercress, topped Parmesan shaving and thin radish discs, and dressed with a horseradish, turnip, shallot and caper vinaigrette. The meat was served cold and, despite being in essence a salad, the dish was hearty and rich with the venison warming in the mouth and melting away, coated in the creamy fats of the cheese.
We elected to stick with the meat for mains, opting for the Fillet of Hereford Prime with Bone Barrow sauce, the renowned Triple Cooked Chips, and a Baby Spinach Salad with “Lord of a Hundred” Cheese. The sustainably reared, grass fed, dry aged steak came in a beautifully crisp round. When we cut into it, the browned crust gave way to an intensely tender and juicy rare centre that was perfectly pink the entire way through. The sauce was decadent and moreish, with small chunks of soft bone marrow floating in it. The chips lived up to their reputation and were quite simple the perfect steak chips. The salad came with Parmesan and pine nuts which combined in the mouth to create a spinach pesto whose creaminess paired well with the intensity of the bone marrow.
Our appetite had been well and truly sated but we strove on, determined to try the some of the historic desserts on the menu.
The Quaking Pudding – a creamy gelatinous 17th century dish that “quakes” like a jelly – was light and sweet, with the vanilla beans in it creating a warm, full flavour. The Hinds Head’s take on Wassailing is a caramalised butter loaf with apple and Pomona, pan-fried and swimming in a cold caramel apple sauce, garnished with an apple flower, apple compote and apple ice cream. The temperature play and sticky sweetness of the dish gives it a cheekiness that pairs beautifully with a glass of cold, musty Ice Cider.
With the Fat Duck currently staging a pop-up in Australia, The Hinds Head is most definitely the place the visit in Bray. The building on its own is a must-see, with so many different dining areas to choose from and gorgeous wooden beams to admire. The food is a pleasant mixture of Michelin refinery and good hearty English grub. All in all, there is something for everyone and no matter your taste, you will not be disappointed.
Vicky Ilankovan – Lifestyle Editor