A few weeks ago I took a short train from London to join a group of foodies to celebrate the reopening of the Hind’s Head in Bray. Heston Blumenthal’s one Michelin star restaurant recently closed for a major three week transformation, changing several significant areas of the historic pub to enhance the guest experience.
This latest refresh of the building aims to encapsulate its rich unique history, with playful, quirky design references to its origins as a hunting lodge and coaching inn. On the ground floor, the space has been remodelled to create a larger and more cosy dining area where we sat for our dinner. The Grade II listed oak panels, antique beams and open fireplaces remain in the pub and are enhanced with deep, button-backed leather banquettes, heavy wooden tables and eccentric curiosities.
The Hind’s Head offers a choice of a 3, 4 or 6 course menu that changes and evolves on a monthly basis and celebrates the best of British produce. We enjoyed a menu of bold and delicious dishes, including a wonderful recipe of Roast Duck Breast with Asparagus, Wild Garlic and Celeriac, cooked to perfection with a rich and flavoursome sauce. The dessert was also memorable, a sweet and sharp White Chocolate & Lemon Cheesecake with Biscuit Ice-Cream.
If guests venture upstairs, they can relax in the newly created lounge with its own bar. The space is an opulent, handsome retreat filled with comfortable sofas, armchairs, rugs, fantastical trophies and dim-glow candle light, providing the perfect backdrop to indulge in a drinks list of artisan cocktails, classic and small batch gins, champagnes and wine. The private dining room, The Vicars Room, has been dramatically redesigned with teasing, tongue-in-cheek references to the building’s association with Simon Aleyn, the infamous Vicar of Bray. A monolithic dining table hewn from a single trunk of oak dominates the room, under a pair of parlour chandeliers depicting the heads of Queens Mary I and Elizabeth I of England. It is the perfect setting for a grand special occasion dinner.
The team at Bray worked with Stephen Saunders, from interior designers Fabled Studio, to reawaken the hidden history of The Hind’s Head, in a playful and eccentrically British manner. This latest chapter promises to deliver a truly unique guest experience in one of Britain’s most quintessentially English villages.
More information here: www.hindsheadbray.com