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Jan 3, 2009 05:14 PM

A Meal in Windsor

We will be passing through the UK on our way to Italy, but the connections make it convenient to lay over at Heathrow. So we will have an afternoon and evening to kill, if all goes as planned, and we thought that we'd go over to Windsor. Can any of you recommend a place for dinner there?

Just to make it a little challenging, since we're on our way to Italy, we might as well rule out Italian restaurants. And since we're coming from Vancouver, Canada, we might as well rule out Asian cuisine, since we have so much outstanding Asian food here. Is there a cozy British place? We might go for a good high tea, if we're the worse for wear from the flight.

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  1. If top-end is on your radar, then 10 minutes more in a cab will get you to either the Waterside Inn or The Fat Duck. Google or Wikipedia will tell you all about them.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Robin Joy

      Thanks. It looks as if Bray is near Windsor, though distinct from Windsor. We had been thinking of taking the bus from terminal 5 out to Windsor.

      Suppose we're tired from the flight over and just looking for some good comfort food, rather than the top end?

    2. We spend time in Windsor on occasion, as we don't live all that far away. It's a nice town, full of interesting shops. I can't think of anyplace extraordinary to eat there, but there is a Brown's, which is a chain but has fine, mid-priced food.

      We usually have lunch at Blumenthal's pub, The Hind's Head, but that is near The Fat Duck and in Bray, which is a bit of way outside Windsor, although not a huge distance by cab.

      There is probably a decent pub serving food right in the town, but I don't know of one specifically. You will want to skip the Asian Wagamama. You can also Google 'Best restaurants, Windsor, UK' for some other suggestions. There appear to be quite a few restaurants right near the castle, but I can't speak for their worthiness.


      13 Replies
      1. re: zuriga1

        Thanks. I probably wouldn't go into a chain restaurant without a recommendation. Brown's does look as if its menu is broad enough to suit any mood we might be in.

        I do know that I can Google up lists if Windsor restaurants, but I have no reason to trust them. I usually get good advice from Chowhounds, though. I will take it you think that is also a good place for restaurant information, in a pinch. It has a lengthy list of Windsor restaurants, but it seems to like them all. To me, that spells trouble.

        1. re: Steve S

          >It has a lengthy list of Windsor restaurants, but it seems to like them all. To me, that spells trouble.<

          I agree, Steve. It's much better going with a personal recommendation, but of course that means a bit of 'trust.' :-) Where you spend the night.. hotel, B&B.. might have a more personal suggestion for you. I tend to read more than squaremeal, but I'm sure it's on the mark. Maybe someone else knows that site better than I.

          1. re: Steve S

            Steve, the best bet is the Hinds Head in Bray, which is not to far from Windsor (approx. 6 miles by car and won't cost a fortune by taxi).

            As Zuriga1 says it is Heston Blumenthals pub, but it doesn't serve expensive "molecular" food, instead it serves great British classics like "Oxtail and Kidney Pudding" and his superb "Triple cooked chips". I tend to simply eat at the bar, but you can book tables, or take a chance and turn up at 6:00pm and grab an unreserved table (but don't count on doing this later in the evening).


            1. re: PhilD

              I often eat in Windsor with visitors and there's not much of note. We usually end up at Browns. The Carpenters is a nice pub with good beer and good (by normal pub standards) food. I would happily chill out there for a few hours.

              Re the hinds head - Jan/Feb is the quietest time of year for most restaurants so you would probably get a table online, or half the tables are unbookable if you fancy turning up

              1. re: mr_gimlet

                Thanks. This has been helpful.

                If we're feeling full of pep and adventure, we'll head over to the Hinds Head. If we're worn out or pressed for time, it's Browns.

                BTW, since we'll be staying at one of the Heathrow hotels, probably the Sofitel, I wouldn't expect much good advice there regarding Windsor. It looks as if there's a bus to Windsor from Terminal 5, and that's why we've been thinking about going to Windsor rather than just killing time at the airport. We're open to better suggestions of short trips from Terminal 5 to scenic places with interesting restaurants, of course...

                1. re: Steve S

                  You could always go to Slough, a city rarely mentioned on Chowhound.... The main bus route is pretty much Slough/ Windsor/ Maidenhead, but from Windsor you could change onto a bus to Bray if you wanted to bus all the way.

                  When are you planning on being here?

                  I don't know how familiar you are with the UK around London, but be aware that there are black cabs which can be flagged down in the street or taken from the airport, and minicabs, which must be booked. If you take a cab from the hotel, make sure it is a minicab - the price differential is substantial.

                  1. re: mr_gimlet

                    London Black Cabs won't go outside the M25 (i.e. the edge of Heathrow unless you go "off meter" which very expensive, and needs to be agreed with the driver. Good advice on booking mini-cabs from your hotel but where would you go in Slough? My guess is that its lack of mentions has a lot to do with the quality of food on offer.

                    1. re: PhilD

                      I have not yet found anywhere of (positive) note in Slough, but Steve was asking about places on a bus route from T5. Given the demographics, it should have excellent Indian and Polish food, but doesn't.

                      BTW, loads of slots at the Hinds Head at the moment. Haven't tried next door for a booking as my credit card is impoverished.

                      1. re: mr_gimlet

                        Hi Steve S,
                        Hope you and your wife have fun during your visit. I'm a transplanted Canadian myself from Toronto.

                        I've had a couple of nice meals at Gilbey's in Eton. Eton is a five-minute walk from Windsor; it's practically the same town. Just go across the pedestrian bridge over the river (near Windsor and Eton Riverside train station) and Eton High Street is on the other side.

                        Gilbey's is on the High Street, on the left-hand side. It serves reasonably priced, delicious food, and has a good set menu before 7 pm. Check their website at

                        A little further along the High Street you will find Eton school itself, full of English schoolboys wearing top hats and posh attitudes.

                        1. re: Lake

                          Based on the web site, Gilbey's looks very fetching. We might well be tempted across the bridge to Eton.

                          Our trip isn't till late spring. I've been snowed in here, so what else is there to do but fantasize about spring trips?

                          We do plan to go by bus from Heathrow (assuming that our plane is roughly on time). We're stopping in London for a week on the way back from Italy, so we don't feel any need to trek in to Central London just for an afternoon/evening. We don't know anything about the western suburbs (or are they parts of the city?) near stops on the Piccadilly Line, but my little feeler in that direction drew out no responses.

                          So, if we're on time and it's not pouring, it looks like Windsor/Eton, but I'm afraid that I won't report actual results till June.

                          PS. Zagat has *no* information on Windsor and Eton (or I somehow missed it), even though there are outstanding places there. Thanks, Chowhounds.

                          1. re: Steve S

                            Yes, give Gilbey's a try and do report back (when the time comes). Windsor/Eton is a lovely place to visit and can easily occupy your hours before you need to fly out to Italy. Don't forget to take a walk in Windsor Great Park, which is vast.

                            Regarding the western London suburbs, Chiswick is renowned for its good restaurants. If you have time during your week in London, it is well worth a visit. If you search on the Internet, you will find information about Chiswick restaurants.


                            1. re: Lake

                              I went to Windsor on the weekend and had a lovely chicken pie from the extensive pie menu at The Carpenters Arms - just down from the castle. Gets great reviews for its pub qualities in Beer in The Evening and I thought the food was pretty good if you want something casual and can't be bothered getting a taxi out to Bray. I would say that this is a better option than Browns (I have been to other branches of the chain and personally prefer to avoid chains) although I haven't tried Gilbeys so that may be good.


                              1. re: Gourmet Chick

                                I really like the Carpenters (I think I recommended it above somewhere) but I haven't been to Gilbeys. Carps is in CAMRA and Good Pub Guide.