CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Berkshire Life today CLICK HERE

6 of the cosiest pubs in Berkshire

PUBLISHED: 12:02 06 March 2017 | UPDATED: 09:45 23 February 2018

A warm welcome awaits in the new look Henry VI

A warm welcome awaits in the new look Henry VI


There really is nothing more welcoming than a Berkshire bar with fires to keep you cosy

Henry VI, Eton

At first glance, a pub in the historic high street called after Eton College’s most prestigious alumni society and England’s youngest ever King having a new menu built around pizza might seem incongruous. But that’s what you’ll find here after a refurb which makes the most of original wooden beams and the original brick hearth, filled with a roaring fire. And we’re not taking any old pizza, as the stone-baked bases feature toppings such as sirloin steak, smoked salmon or porchetta and apple, all under £10, with delicious garlic bread choices and desserts if you have room, available until 10pm each day.

The cosy and comforting new look offers plenty of nooks and crannies to kick back in, whether you’re popping in for a pint or taking it easy on a Sunday afternoon. Take your pick from a variety of wood-topped tables or head to the secret pub garden on warmer days. Come summertime, the garden will come to life with weekly barbecues. Gin fans will be delighted with the premium choices and there’s a decent list of worldly wines. Or choose from a wide range of cask and craft beers available on tap or from the fridge including local brews from Windsor and Eton Brewery or opt for a creative cocktail concoction.

37 High Street, Eton, SL4 6BD

Hinds Head, Bray

Heston Blumenthal’s 15th century pub in the heart of the village is full of cosy corners and a spot close to an open fire on a cold day will warm you up alongside a menu built around British cuisine since Tudor times. So you’ll find mains such as oxtail and kidney pudding or free range Jimmy Butler pork with pearl barley and wheat beer. Steaks come from Hereford prime beef herds and the sides pay homage to tradition with choices like curried parsnips with chestnuts and bacon.

Save space for a tremendous cheeseboard or desserts such as Quaking pudding (a classic Elizabethan sweet that shakes like a jelly), treacle tart or caramelised butter loaf with apple. Wash it down with a beer from one of the local micro-breweries or enjoy one of the rare spirits they hunt down from around the world. There’s also an excellent cocktail menu which keeps with the traditional theme, courtesy of choices featuring the likes of rhubarb, elderflower, bramble and raspberry.

High Street, Bray SL6 2AB

The Swan, Pangbourne

With three open fires and oak beams, frosty winter nights are swiftly forgotten at this 17th century listed pub overlooking the Thames.

Dishes such as game pie, pork belly or steak ensure there’s a warming feast to have here and the cheeseboard often includes award-winning favourites such as our local Barkham Blue and creamy extra mature Cheddar in the form of Black Bomber from The Snowdonia Cheese Company.

Shooters Hill, Pangbourne RG8 7DU

Royal Oak, Paley Street

Find a spot beside the hearth here at this cosy 17th century pub restaurant and any frost outside will be swiftly forgotten. The Michelin star menu is also an obvious attraction with its emphasis on satisfying British food. Lunch, available Monday to Saturday, offers two courses for £25, three courses for £30, and Sunday lunch can be a ‘push the boat out’ experience, coming in at around £50 a person for some fabulous choices.

It’s a great option if you have gluten-free guests in your party as many dishes are, or can be made, gluten free and it’s not used in any of their sauces or gravy.

Littlefield Green, near Maidenhead SL6 3JN

The Bladebone Inn, Chapel Row

Another Sunday lunch special in the countryside with open fires and a sunny conservatory. As well as traditional roasts with all the trimmings (including a veggie option) there are choices for smaller appetites. Try the cheeseboard of Barkham Blue, Cornish Yarg, Oxford Blue and Smoked Applewood.

Sunday lunch runs until 4.30pm and on the first Sunday of every month it is followed by live acoustic music from 5 to 7pm.

Chapel Row, Bucklebury RG7 6PD 

The Shoulder of Mutton, Playhatch

There’s a welcoming open fire here as well as conservatory to dine in on sunny days. It’s a good choice for family outings as the menu is varied and there’s a large walled cottage garden. Sunday lunch is exceptionally popular, so make sure you book.

This could well be down to superb roasts being very good value at £11.50, additional options (specials and vegetarian) plus delicious desserts for £5.95.

Playhatch, Reading RG4 9QU


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Berkshire Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Berkshire Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Berkshire Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Food & Drink


Robby Jenks, head chef at The Vineyard in Newbury shares a recipe for his Devonshire cod

Read more

The Blackbird at Bagnor has a nest we can all settle in, courtesy of the engaging patron

Read more
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Whether you’re looking for fine dining, pub food, a romantic meal for 2 or a taste of something from further afield, eating out in Berkshire really has something for everyone. Here’s our guide to the best local restaurants and pubs

Read more
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

It may be known for its regal connections, but Windsor is also home to a number of restaurants and pubs fit for royalty. We round up some of the best…

Read more
Monday, September 10, 2018

Stoke Park’s chef has his first cookbook out, so you create culinary masterpieces at home to impress family and friends

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Whether you’re looking for fine dining, pub food, a romantic meal for 2 or a taste of something from further afield, eating out in Buckinghamshire really has something for everyone. Here’s our guide to the best local restaurants and pubs

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

We round up some of the best locations for afternoon tea across Berkshire

Read more
Monday, August 20, 2018

Celebrate tastes from around the world with our pick of Berkshire restaurants, ranging from European and African, to South American and Oriental

Read more
Friday, August 3, 2018

Foggs has something tasty for people of all ages and a perfect spot for the littler ones to enjoy a taste of foodie treats

Read more
Monday, July 9, 2018

We select our top Berkshire spots to enjoy eating and drinking while watching the world float by

Read more
Monday, April 30, 2018

Katy Eachus and her pub expert companion Monty sniff out some dog-friendly dining venues across Buckinghamshire

Read more
Monday, April 23, 2018

Adam Smith is creating some extraordinary dishes at Coworth Park so Maureen McLean visited to experience the little luxuries the chef himself likes to enjoy

Read more
Thursday, April 5, 2018

Five A Day project provides a welcome boost for healthy eating and those who lovingly grow the produce and flowers

Read more
Monday, March 19, 2018

It’s wonderful that so many of us have pretty pubs on our doorstep – or at least within walking distance – and here are some of our favourites to complete the perfect day out

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Berkshire Life weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Latest Competitions & Offers

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Local Business Directory

Property Search