10 of the best pubs to visit in Berkshire
PUBLISHED: 10:53 15 January 2019 | UPDATED: 10:54 15 January 2019
It’s wonderful that we have so have pretty pubs on our doorstep in Berkshire – or at least within walking distance. From beer gardens to open fires, we round up our favourites
The Plough, Eastbury
You’ll find lots of local produce in use here, including Berkshire game and beef, and the best the surrounding counties have to offer. The ambience is lovely, it’s easy to settle back and while away the hours here. Award-winning chef-patron Graham White comes up with some very special dishes. That beer, by the way, is likely to have come from one of the local micro-breweries, and they have an ale takeaway container so you can enjoy a new found favourite at home.
The Red Lion, Upper Basildon
This small village near Pangbourne is a perfect base from which to enjoy some delightful countryside, and The Red Lion is a great ‘stopping off point’ for a filling sandwich or panini, or larger lunch options. Traditional pub food and specials share the menu, and Sunday lunch offers roast choices as well as a host of other main courses and some mouth-watering puddings.
The Swan Inn, Great Shefford
With all the rural treats of the countryside between Newbury and Hungerford literally on the doorstep, The Swan has a lot to offer even before you’ve gone inside. It sits beside the Lambourn river in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and so can you while dining there. Homemade pub classics including pies, fish and chips, and steak with all the trimmings. Express lunches and tasty fresh sandwiches go down well, too.
The Winning Post, Winkfield
This inn may be off the beaten track in Winkfield Street, but could there be a better place to be than between Windsor and Ascot? As you’d expect, it’s popular with the horsey set in the racing and polo seasons, but retains charm that keeps regular customers returning for more. Full of 18th century features to go with the equestrian themes, it’s spacious and has a lovely beer garden. You’ll find everything from braised rabbit to ox cheek here. With lovely rooms available you could stay a night or two to enjoy it all.
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.
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 on the lunch menu such as oxtail & kidney pudding and goats cheese royale. Save space for a tremendous cheeseboard or desserts such as Quaking pudding (a classic Elizabethan sweet that shakes like a jelly.
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 roast haunch of venison and Hereford bone in rib eye ensure there’s a warming feast to have here and the desserts, ranging from sticky toffee pudding to apple & blackberry panna cotta, are delightful.
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 menu is also an obvious attraction with its emphasis on satisfying British food. 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.
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 Smoked Applewood, French Brie, Cheddar and Stilton. Sunday lunch runs until 6pm.
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 £12.25.
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