Best places to eat in Ascot
Ascot may be better known for its horse riding than its culinary credentials, but just a giant’s stomp away from London, this is the stunning landscape in which metropolitan craft elides into rustic rigour; where a hotpot of international cuisines shakes hands with local produce and flair. From markets to bars, from restaurants to pubs, our two-day itinerary will take you to the best foodie destinations in the area.
Start your day with a coffee and a nose around The Royal Farms Windsor Farm Shop, just 15 minutes in the car from Coworth Park.
The Royal Farms Windsor Farm Shop
A short distance from Windsor Great Park and Windsor Castle, you’ll find The Royal Farms Windsor Farm Shop. It was created when Victorian potting sheds were converted almost two decades ago. There’s a butcher, a delicatessen and a coffee shop on-site, providing Berkshire locals with quality gourmet ingredients.
Then it’s on to Gilbey’s in the car for an early lunch, just 15 minutes down the road.
Gilbey’s Bar & Restaurant Eton
Once a wine bar, Gilbey’s travelled down the restaurant route after discovering visitors were returning more for the seafood than its vintages. Specialising in stylish, haute dishes, its menu is a marine reverie of mussels, cod, sea trout and salmon, with some vegetarian options thrown in for good measure.
It’s back in the car again for 20 minutes, for something else to eat The Waterside Inn.
The Waterside Inn
For over 40 years, people have been coming to Bray just to visit The Waterside Inn. And for good reason; no other British restaurant has held onto their three Michelin stars for so long. Once his father’s, Alain Roux now rules the roost, serving seasonal menus that showcase unashamedly French concoctions, like pan-fried foie gras with quince compote, and orange and banana soufflé.
From there it’s just a five-minute walk to The Hind’s Head pub.
The Hind’s Head
Before settling down to dinner at Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant, The Fat Duck, head to his Michelin-starred pub next door. In the former 15th century Inn, the boundary-pushing chef reinvigorates quintessential British classics for a carefully curated menu. Expect to see everything from gourmet scotch eggs and ribeye steak, to chewitt with walnut ketchup – Blumenthal’s take on a traditional 16th century game pie.
And finally, just around the corner is one of England’s most famous restaurants: The Fat Duck.
The Fat Duck
Housed in a 16th century building, The Fat Duck broke records in 2004 when it became the fastest restaurant in the UK to earn three Michelin stars. Renowned for its innovative, themed multi-course tasting menu that uses techniques often associated with science laboratories, Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant has gone from strength to strength over the years, and continues to attract a lot of publicity.
Then, take a 20-minute drive back to Coworth Park.
Get an early start and take a 50-minute drive to Petersham Nurseries in Richmond-Upon-Thames.
The Teahouse, Petersham Nurseries Café
Family-run Petersham Nurseries is a bohemian idyll in which London meets meadowland, and the Teahouse is its onsite coffee shop and café. The Petersham family’s British and Italian heritage come together with ingredients from the surrounding kitchen garden used to create a menu of fresh and wholesome food. Enjoy homemade cakes, excellent coffee and whole leaf teas from 9am in the morning, and seasonal light lunch plates from midday.
Then get back into the car for a 55-minute drive to Dorney Court Kitchen Garden.
Dorney Court Kitchen Garden
Stretch your legs in the verdant surrounds of Dorney Court Kitchen Garden. The onsite shop here sells fruit and vegetables grown in the historic walled garden. This produce is often used in the cafe, which serves high-quality, seasonal dishes. Hearty breakfasts, lunches, afternoon tea – with fresh homemade scones – and light bites are available throughout the day – ideal for a mid-morning pick-me-up.
From here, take a 30-minute drive to The Hand and Flowers in Marlow.
The Hand and Flowers
Situated in the pretty, historic town of Marlow, Tom and Beth Kerridge run The Hand and Flowers, which mixes restaurant quality food with a pub atmosphere, somehow managing to juggle familiarity with forensic execution. Since opening in 2005, the pub has received a lot of critical acclaim, including becoming the first pub in the UK to hold two Michelin stars.
A five-minute walk down West Street will take you to The Coach for a drink and a snack.
Another trendy pub and restaurant run by Tom Kerridge, snagging a table at The Coach is worth the wait (you can’t make reservations). It’s a relaxed and popular spot and features an open kitchen. The menu serves from breakfast through dinner and stars mussels, potted crab, a pulled pork burger and game terrine, if you’re still peckish.
A 20-minute drive will bring you to The Royal Oak Paley Street.
The Royal Oak Paley Street
Transformed from a typical British pub needing a bit of love and care into a destination in its own right, The Royal Oak now has a prestigious Michelin Star, Bib Gourmand and three AA Rosettes under its belt. The smart pub has a vintage interior that’s juxtaposed by a very modern garden, but it’s the service and quality of the cuisine that usually blows customers away.
The hotel is then just 20 minutes away by car.
All journey times are approximate and subject to variation.