If you’re a fan of making a special journey for a top restaurant but like to still minimise the travelling, then Bray is the one for you. Not only is it home to two 3 star Michelin restaurants, The Fat Duck and The Waterside Inn, but Heston’s Michelin-starred restaurant The Hind’s Head and his gastropub, The Crown too.
It’s only a 45 minute train journey from Paddington so while it’s definitely possible to visit one for lunch and return home, it’s even better to stay over a couple of nights and make a weekend of it. But where to stay in Bray, the tiny village that only has one shop – and that’s a jewellers.
Well, Bray Cottages has six properties all located within a stone’s throw of the best restaurants in the village. The cottages range from one bed cute love nests to three bed pads, places that in another life you could imagine living. We stayed in Lavender House an incredible private residence located just opposite The Hind’s Head. From the outside it looks like a small, old cottage but inside it’s super modern and actually huge thanks to a big glass extension.
There’s three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a roll top bath, lounge/cinema style room with Bang & Olufsen surround sound system, and a study just for starters. But the real show stopper is the huge kitchen with dining area in the conservatory which has a huge wall of glass doors that can fully open into the garden, making you feel like your outside, even inside.[URIS id=98261]
The kitchen has all the equipment you need to be able to knock up a feast or just cook your breakfast from the goodies that are supplied with every booking. Fresh bread, eggs, tomatoes, bacon, juices and plenty more. Then there’s the drinks cabinet which is all included in the price of the stay too.
If there’s anything else you want, you can just let Bray Cottages know ahead of your arrival and it’ll all be waiting in the fridge for you. If it’s summer there’s a plush garden equipped with Big Green Egg and pizza oven, so perfect for having a big BBQ. Even without the amazing restaurants on its doorstep, Lavender House would be a great place to come with friends for a weekend (or longer) just to relax and cook some nice meals. There’s plenty to do in the surrounding area besides eating too, including long walks along the Thames and Windsor is only 15 minutes away.
The only regret we had was not being able to stay longer…
3 Church Ln, Bray-On-Thames, Bray, Maidenhead SL6 2AF