The Waterside in Woodley shares a part of its name with the famous Waterside Inn in Bray, but it shouldn’t be mixed up and it still deserves a post of its own. It may not be owned by the well known Alain Roux and it may not boast three Michelin stars, but it’s a lovely restaurant with welcoming staff, a unique appearance and good food. It’s a part of the Tailor Made Dining Company with restaurants in Playhatch and Woodley in Berkshire and in Nettlebed, Oxfordshire.
There’s plenty of great places to eat outside London, you just need to find them
What I love about The Waterside (apart from good food) is the traditional outside, thatched roof and all, but step inside and you’re in a cozy modernised restaurant. Even though I say modern, it doesn’t lose any of its outside charm. There’s a shabby chic area, wooden bars and floors, decorative fireplaces with logs that give the place that warm atmosphere we’re looking for. I’m a blogger, so light and bright spaces are my thing and this restaurant delivers on that, no questions asked.
Summer’s pretty much knocking on the door, if the weekend before Easter was anything to go by, and The Waterside boasts a lovely pub garden, backing on to South Lake. It’s perfect for sharing that jug of Pimms or a bottle of prosecco. Or if you’re a man or a beer lover, you can have your own pint too.
As it’s not in London, there’s also a huge parking lot, so there’s no way any driver would struggle finding a spot for their precious car.
What About The Food?
The food is there to pleasantly surprise you. Seeing it’s a pub, you expect your usual fish and chips and bangers and mash. And it isn’t a surprise that they do all the classics. But they also take you on a culinary discovery of other continents with their Bobotie, a South African dish or maybe a Moroccan Chickpea & Lentil Ragout. If you’re a fan of Asian food, there’s Thai as well as a taste of Mexico.
Unfortunately (for me), they also do pork belly. Not unfortunately, because it’s bad, but because I will ALWAYS (without exception) have pork belly if it’s on the menu. No matter how much I try to resist, it’s as if someone blindfolds me as soon as I see the word pork and my mind loses all capacity to think and the only words I can say are Pork Belly please.
If I’m trying out a new place I will also always want a dessert (and a starter of course). After all, I need the whole experience, even if that means I’ll basically roll out of the restaurant at the end.
I really enjoyed the clean flavours of the Pavlova with Chantilly cream and winterberry compote. My one complaint would be that it may have been a bit huge. It can be shared between two people, especially if you’ve already demolished two courses.
A Lovely Meal Outside London
While I don’t think The Waterside will be getting Michelin Stars any time soon, the food and the experience were perfect. Plate after plate of good food that people like to eat (as Masterchef judges would quickly say) and a relaxed atmosphere make this a restaurant I’ll happily return too.
What restaurants serving good food (and drink) do you know in and outside London? Let me know, my taste buds will be forever grateful.