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cabrales

The Waterside Inn

104 posts in this topic

Waterside Inn furnished me with a list of special events planned to commemorate 30 years of the restaurant's opening. The Pounds 400/couple "A Taste of Spring" package (with room) and the Pounds 350/couple "Sunday nights" package described on the website linked at the end of this post are included in the materials from WI, but the more interesting offers are as follows:

(1) "Thirty Pounds for Thirty Years"

-- The Lunch Menu Gastronomique (choice of 2 starters, fish or meat as a main course, cheese or a choice of two desserts, and coffee) will be Pounds 30 from Wednesday through Saturday during September, October and November.

(2) "Menu of Reflection" (this sounds promising)

The six-course Menu Exceptionel typically offered by WI will be replaced with Roux's favorite dishes from the past, from mid-August until October 1. Cost is Pounds 76.

(3) September 25, 2002 -- Highlight of 30th Birthday Year -- Evening of Food, Dom Perignon and Jazz (no name specified), at Pounds 700 (!) per couple. "After dinner and five vintages of delicious DP sit back and enjoy the musical talents of Marion Montgomery and Laurie Holloway.  . . . Wedgewood have designed a one-off plate for this occasion and you will receive a hand painted enamel box, depicting The Waterside Inn [this is not one-off] as a momento of your participation in this celebration." Dress is "Black Tie and Pearls".

I am uncertain the three offers detailed above are on the website.

http://www.waterside-inn.co.uk/specialoffer_frameset.htm

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cabrales, thanks for your post. No sign of these special offers on the WI website yet.

Do you know if the GBP 700 evening in September includes accommodation for the night?

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Gavin -- The brochure did not describe the Pounds 700 as including room. It says "Pounds 700 (inclusive)", and I do not know what "inclusive" refers to (inclusive of tax and gratuities?).  Feel free to call WI. The brochure is also unclear as to whether participants receive the Wedgwood plate as well as the enamel box (not that that is in any way important).  Significantly, the menu is not specified and neither are the vintages of DP. Could they include some of the vintages recently released to selected restaurants, e.g., the 1959?  If so, the Pounds 700/couple price might reflect some value for the DPs. Please post if you find out relevant information  :wink:

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I would hazard a guess that this doesn't include accomodation, they only have 10 rooms that I am aware of.  :wow:

I think they would be pretty special evenings though, the setting and the food combine to make one of my favourite restaurants :smile:


"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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The Mongofiere (sic) room is nicely decorated with framed sketches of various hot air balloons. It also has some nice red-colored elements. The rooms can be viewed from the WI website.  :wink:

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My recommendation would be to  stay  in La Tamise. That room shares a private balcony, on the first floor, with La Terrasse and offers a splendid view of the Thames. Your breakfast can be taken out on the balcony, the following day.

Mathew-  I agree, I recieved the same literature in the post and it seems to imply that the price is for the food , wine and the event, alone.

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Have any members roomed at a facility called Monkey Island near Bray? Note I have received no indications this facility is attractive.

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No I haven't, but did look into the possibility of staying elswhere in Bray to enjoy a meal at The Fat Duck.

Frankly, the photograph in the Johansens guide of the Monkey Island Hotel scared the hell out of me. Imelda Marcos' boudoir would be prefferable, or am I being too harsh? See for yourself .click here

The other Hotel in Bray is the Chauntry House Hotel, also on the Johansens website . But both are in the same price bracket, if not more expensive than TWI

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My recommendation would be to  stay  in La Tamise. That room shares a private balcony, on the first floor, with La Terrasse and offers a splendid view of the Thames. Your breakfast can be taken out on the balcony, the following day.

I've stayed in both these rooms and enjoyed them enormously.

The first time we arrived after dark and I was a little shocked to find people on "our" balcony whilst standing naked in front of the doors patio doors the following morning! :biggrin:  

I think the rooms are quite reasonably priced and service is excellent, a maid ironed my shirt for me quite happily when she saw me struggling with the iron and the honesty bar/kitchen is great for after hours drinks and snacks. Breakfast is fantastically fresh, the pastries and Croissants taste like they have been taken straight out of the oven and rushed to your room.


"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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Perhaps this facility has been mentioned already, but there is a hotel/motel of sorts to the right of Fat Duck (separated by only a few storefronts) that appears fairly large.  This facility would be within a very easy walk of WI.

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monkey island is horrid and dirty. dont go there. Mr Grant - you must be LOADED to spend so much ££££ at WI.

I dont rate WI however. Food is not worht 3 stars when i went there for my birthday 1 year ago. stale bread and overpriced fish.

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Cabrales,

If my grey matter serves me correctly, I think its called the Hinds Head Hotel.

Except, I am pretty sure that it isn't actually a Hotel as they don't have any accomodation.

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To celebrate my wife's 40th birthday, we returned to the Waterside Inn a few days back, for their current Sunday Night promotion. This included a bottle of champagne on arrival, (some toiletries for her) and their five course Menu Exceptionnel.

I managed to surprise her, by booking her a day off with her boss, so she very taken aback and excited (albeit a smidgen hungover from the previous nights shenanigans at Alastair Little) when I told her that she had only few short minutes to pack for the night. A mere three hours later we left the flat and headed off to Bray.

Upon arriving, your car is whisked away, and you and your luggage are happily ensconced within your room within minutes. We enjoyed the champagne out on the private(ish) balcony that our room- La Tamise - shares with one other room. A beautiful place to while away an hour or two, quaffing away, watching the river in the summer sun. We ventured downstairs about four hours later and decided to have a drink outside on the terrace. On previous visits, I hadn't realised that the huge glass frontage that overlooks the Thames actually opens up. Thus we were escorted through the restaurant to a little table on the terrace outside, to enjoy aperitif and canapes, which included: fine chicken liver Pate and a very flavoursome salmon dish, bound with something that completely escapes me. We were gloriously lucky with the weather, so contented ourselves with dry martini cocktail whilst watching the wildlife (inclusive of Berkshire's finest pootling up and down the Thames in their launches).

We decided that the five courses we were intended to have, may be a bit too much and in any case we both wanted to try a full first course of Michel Roux's(and now his son Alain's ) signature dish of Pan fried lobster medallions with a white port and ginger flavoured vegetable julienne. We would have been able to try a single lobster medallion as this was incorporated into the Menu Exceptionnel, but having tried the dish that way previously, we both wanted to try this dish in all its glory. Hence, we both opted to choose from the a la carte menu. We were then taken back into what has to be one of the UK's finest dining rooms for lunch or dinner, to begin our meal.

To start, an amuse bouche of, wait for it … a half of a seagull's egg cooked so the yolk was just the right side of hard boiled so as to warrant easy purchase with a fork, but still soft and gelatinous enough to taste wonderful. It was served with a tiny amount of watercress covered with a drizzle of mustard based dressing and a tiny thin crouton. How did it taste? For me, the yolk was incredibly delicate in flavour but still quite rich in texture. I loved it for someone, for whom soft/hard boiled eggs have, for a long period, been akin to "the work of the devil". This (and a recent fondue of egg with cauliflower veloute and truffles- at Hibiscus, Ludlow) was a revelation. But where the hell does one get a supply of gull eggs from? Are they easy to come by ?

Then onto the Pan fried lobster medallions with a white port and ginger flavoured vegetable julienne. This dish was absolutely stunning, the texture of the lobster was tender but with just a little bit of give, the flavour was essentially sweet and melded perfectly with the port sauce. This in turn, worked well with the minute slivers of carrot to give an additional texture and intermittent trace of heat from the ginger. But the sauce is, for me, what makes this dish. I spent an eon scooping it up with one of those sauce spoons, so much so, that one poor chap- who mistook my sated and semi-delirious gazing into the distance, as a sign of completion, was roundly fended off with the aforementioned spoon and my rabid eyes.

After finishing, our dishes were whisked away -and herein lies my one small criticism of the night- our main courses arrived immediately the first courses had been removed. We could really have done with a reasonable break, but as I still had a corner to fill, so we ploughed on.

I had the Pan fried John Dory with potato columns, served on a base of bouillabaisse soup enhanced with vanilla and served with an oyster tempura on top. The fish was well cooked, slightly blackened crisp skin, but still moist and actually tasting of the fish. To avoid it swimming in the bouillabaisse soup, it had been perched on top of four columns of tender fondant potato. The bouillabaisse soup was extremely good, yellow in colour and not too rich in flavour although I struggled to gain the hint of vanilla, within it. Accompanying the sauce were girolles and baby courgettes, not mentioned on the menu, but a welcome addition nonetheless. Finally, perched above the John Dory was a single oyster. This was given a splash of tabasco ( I think), then wrapped in spinach and coated in tempura batter before being fried. The kick of heat worked well with the oyster and the batter nice and light, but slightly prone to disintergrate- I saved this for my last mouthful.

The missus has Medallions of monkfish, with langoustine tails and veal sweetbreads, served with a shellfish vinaigrette. What I thought was an unusual collection of ingredients, actually came together very well. She claimed the monkfish was the best she had tasted, but was slightly unsure of how it worked with the sweetbreads, I liked it, especially with the langoustine and the slightly astringent, but delicate, vinaigrette.

To drink we had a fantastic Condrieu, very powerful aroma and colour, but not too daunting to drink. One of those wines that you really enjoy during your meal, but there is still lots left in the bottle when the final morsel of your main course has disappeared.(Or rather there was lots left, until I realised what we had done). It worked well with all four of the shellfish/fish courses we had ordered. I have forgotten the winemaker but it was in the £65/70 bracket.

To follow, I went for the Peche gourmand , a collection of six of desserts. This included an exquisite pistachio crème brulee, vanilla ice-cream, a rhubarb set in Bonnezeaux wine jelly, which didn't really do anything for me but then I don't like rhubarb and rich chocolate mousse. My memory and the glass of Jurancon won't allow me to remember what the other dessert was. The wife had a normal sized portion of pistachio crème brulee, which enjoyed but which had her beaten , so naturally, I helped out.

The service was as ever, superb; friendly, slick, professional, without ever being fawning. It never ceases to amaze me how when you get up to go to the bathroom, they seem to dart out of your way at an unnerving velocity, smiling as the go, and glancing perilously close to their oncoming colleagues, carrying/food wine etc, but never actually make contact with each other.

As the wife was near to collapse, we asked for our tea and a (cheeky ) Kummel for me, to be served in our room. No problem again, off we went to bed. To awake the next morning for breakfast on the terrace, with freshly baked pain au chocolat, croissaints and freshly squeezed orange juice.

All in all, we had a fantastic time, I urge any of you who have considered going but never got round to it, to do so. The pilgrimage to Bray will be worth it.

:laugh:

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>we both wanted to try a full first course of Michel Roux's(and now his son

>Alain's ) signature dish of Pan fried lobster medallions

what what?

has michel hung up his toque?

does this mean a gavroche-post-albert-ish downgrade is on the cards...?

j


More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!

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To start, an amuse bouche of, wait for it … a half of a seagull's egg cooked so the yolk was just the right side of hard boiled  [snip] But where the hell does one get a supply of gull eggs from? Are they easy to come by ?

I'd also love to find out. There are zillions of rats-with-wings, er, seagulls in my neck of the woods. It's nice to know that they're good for something. There's a great dairy store at Pike Place Market -- I think I'll ask them.


"Save Donald Duck and Fuck Wolfgang Puck."

-- State Senator John Burton, joking about

how the bill to ban production of foie gras in

California was summarized for signing by

Gov. Schwarzenegger.

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>we both wanted to try a full first course of Michel Roux's(and now his son

>Alain's ) signature dish of Pan fried lobster medallions

what what?

has michel hung up his toque?

does this mean a gavroche-post-albert-ish downgrade is on the cards...?

j

Read it and weep - clicking hell mate

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Sorry to be only tangential, but Gulls eggs.

Fishmongers might carry them (the ones in Leadenhall market do), and Mr Henderson serves them at the bar (& presumably restaurant) of St. John when in season.

I think I saw them on sale around the beginning of May & the season is short (6 weeks or so), so you've probably missed them for this year.

I expect some more knowledgable cove might add improved detail.


Wilma squawks no more

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Gavin -- Wilfrid has noted that The Ivy carries gulls' eggs when in season. I had called during 1Q 2002 and back then they were still anticipating receiving them this year.

Apart from quails' eggs and sea gulls' eggs, have members tried non-chicken eggs (e.g., ostrich)?  Also, do geese lay eggs?  I have had sea gulls' eggs only twice -- once at La Tante Claire, and the other recently at Waterside Inn.  The Roux dish was called "Soufflé d'aiglefin à l'aneth et son oeuf surprise" (Smoked haddock and dill souffle with a soft poached egg), where an intact egg sat at the bottom of the non-dessert souffle.   However, the rest of the dish was not particularly good.

I have previously sampled gulls' eggs at La Tante Claire, but I doubt they are consistently available there (even when in season). :wink:

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Cabrales- Apologies for not responding sooner, I have been away for a couple of weeks.

Re : whether we met M Roux on this occasion, I am afraid the answer was no. We did howevever meet him on a previous visit, when he was charming, even to the drink sodden fool who insisted that he M Roux try some the monstrously expensive wine which he had ordered. He graciously had a quick slurp and moved onto the next table leaving the drunk lollopping around from side to side, much to the embarrasment of his, by now, beetroot coloured partner.

Incidentally, when I ventured to the toilet later that evening, the door swung open and someone strode in, breathing heavily and sighing and then proceeded to go about his business . Ho hum - I thought , my friend from the dining room, no doubt- without wanting to look. How wrong I was, when I turned to leave I noticed it was the venerable and obscenely bouffant Melvyn Bragg instead. ( in case his lawyer's ever read this I am not suggesting he too was pickled too ! )

An aside for which I apologise . No, I am afraid no mention as to what the menus will be with the information I received but I noted a £30 set lunch which seems very good value starting in August I think. When I have any details I will let you know.

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I noted a £30 set lunch which seems very good value starting in August I think. When I have any details I will let you know.

Bapi -- See the below thread. It is WI's 30th birthday, and the lunch is part of that celebration:

http://forums.egullet.org/ibf/index.php?ac...51748a9fab44116

Waterside Inn furnished me with a list of special events planned to commemorate 30 years of the restaurant's opening. The Pounds 400/couple "A Taste of Spring" package (with room) and the Pounds 350/couple "Sunday nights" package described on the website linked at the end of this post are included in the materials from WI, but the more interesting offers are as follows:

(1) "Thirty Pounds for Thirty Years"

-- The Lunch Menu Gastronomique (choice of 2 starters, fish or meat as a main course, cheese or a choice of two desserts, and coffee) will be Pounds 30 from Wednesday through Saturday during September, October and November.

(2) "Menu of Reflection" (this sounds promising)

The six-course Menu Exceptionel typically offered by WI will be replaced with Roux's favorite dishes from the past, from mid-August until October 1. Cost is Pounds 76.

(3) September 25, 2002 -- Highlight of 30th Birthday Year -- Evening of Food, Dom Perignon and Jazz (no name specified), at Pounds 700 (!) per couple. "After dinner and five vintages of delicious DP sit back and enjoy the musical talents of Marion Montgomery and Laurie Holloway.  . . . Wedgewood have designed a one-off plate for this occasion and you will receive a hand painted enamel box, depicting The Waterside Inn [this is not one-off] as a momento of your participation in this celebration." Dress is "Black Tie and Pearls".

I am uncertain the three offers detailed above are on the website.

http://www.waterside-inn.co.uk/specialoffe...er_frameset.htm

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(2) "Menu of Reflection" (this sounds promising)

The six-course Menu Exceptionel typically offered by WI will be replaced with Roux's favorite dishes from the past, from mid-August until October 1. Cost is Pounds 76.

I contacted Waterside Inn recently -- no proposed list of dishes is yet available for the Menu of Reflection. For members who might visit the restaurant for lunch, note that the Menu Exceptionel is available during lunch and by inference the Menu of Reflection should be available during lunch as well (although it would not be as good a deal was the WI lunch prix fixes). :wink:

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It's been almost 7 years since I stayed on Monkey Island, but I wasn't impressed. Not "horrid and dirty" but dark, a bit foreboding and not very cheerful. The Monkey Island I recall wouldn't have been a good match for a celebratory meal at the Waterside Inn...or even a reflective one.


Jonathan Day

"La cuisine, c'est quand les choses ont le go�t de ce qu'elles sont."

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I phoned re the 30th birthday event and got nowhere. Is it invitation only? Has Marion Montgomery's sad passing affected the staging of the event?

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OSulliM78 -- If you are addressing the single-evening, black tie event, details are likely not yet available, to my knowledge. Was the restaurant unreceptive to placing you on the reservations list? That appears inappropriate. The black tie event is likely not invitations only, to my knowledge. You can mention that your friend received a mailing way back when. If that fails, PM me and I will follow up. :wink: I am not aware that the passing of the MM has affected the event -- at least no updates have been provided by WI. If the guests associated with the event are significant to you, perhaps that was the impediment to WI's responding to you? :wink:

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