Here is the place to keep up to date with everything that is happening here at The Hind’s Head. As our menus change and evolve on a monthly basis this is the place to find the reverent dishes coming on to the menu.
Our ‘Mary Menu’ – served for weekday lunches only – is proving really popular not just for our business guests but also for those who have a bit more time. Head Chef, Janos and his kitchen team go that extra mile in creating a constantly evolving menu, using our country’s finest produce, at its seasonal peak.
In July, the menu will change again as we are just approaching the peak of the Isle of Wight tomato season and it would be a shame not celebrate this with relish! Janos and the chefs have created a flavour packed starter using specialist varieties, heirloom and cherry – slowly dried with herbs – and sunshine. Served with sweet and mild Cevenne onion – which is infused in a pickle brine, baby gem lettuce, some creamy ewe’s milk yoghurt and a splash of basil oil, which creates a light balanced dish on our menu.
Next up is salmon from Loch Duart, from the fast moving sea currents of Scotland’s Western Isles in the North Atlantic. With an ingredient of this quality, the chefs need only gently pan-fry in a little oil and salt to bring out the rich flavour. Paired with some crushed waxy Charlotte potatoes dressed with olive oil, herbs, wholegrain mustard, garlic and shallots, the dish is finished with a spiced and herbed ‘Sauce Bois Boudran’, – the recipe was kindly given to Heston by his good friend and neighbour, Michel Roux Senior who had originally created it for the Rothschild family.
To finish, a raspberry cheesecake with biscuit ice cream. Simple, but full of surprises. The crumble is made from three different biscuit bases blended with some finely chopped almonds. This sits under a raspberry puree filled cream cheese sphere, thinly coated in white chocolate. The finale is a quenelle of spiced ice cream, an extra raspberry and a crown tile for that added crunch.
Our Mary Menu is available at £19.95 for two courses or £25.00 for three courses.
Featuring on the four course Aleyn menu in The Restaurant, we’re heralding another of our favourite ingredients. This month’s dish is all about the strawberry and showcasing it in its entire summery splendour. Conjuring up cricket whites, Wimbledon or the scent of freshly mown grass, we’re welcoming in the summer with a Strawberry Tart like no other.
Whilst researching our book ‘Historic Heston’, we discovered that Britain’s love of this glorious fruit went as far back as Tudor times, when King Henry VIII’s penchant for the strawberry was first documented. It was during this era that the original ‘Tart of Strawberries’ was first recorded in ‘A Book of Cookrye’ in 1591. Here at The Hind’s Head we’ve strayed somewhat from the original, updating it with a playful twist and putting the natural flavour of the strawberry center stage.
Firstly, a thick layer of sponge, flavoured with fresh mint is topped with vanilla cream, before a layer of strawberry gel is drizzled on top. Then come the fresh strawberries, lightly caramelised with a chamomile infused sugar and garnished with a little basil and crystallised pistachios for some gentle crunch. Just seconds before it leaves the kitchen, the chefs add a final summer flourish in the form of a refreshing elderflower sorbet, bringing all our favourite flavours together. A truly wonderful combination.
Upstairs in the Royal Lounge this July, we’re celebrating one of our own signature cocktails, “Great Expectations”.
Legend has it that the prolific author and great social commentator of Victorian London, Charles Dickens used to drink a flavoursome alcoholic mix before writing some of his finest novels.
Based on a heady mix of navy strength rum mixed with Napoleon brandy and lemon syrup, this deceptively light drink was diluted with some freshly boiled water and served with lemon. In honour of the historic original recipe, we have replicated the key components but added a few of our own, including a little lemon and lime flesh, a bit of cherry and a twist of orange zest to balance the citrus.
It’s light and refreshing on a balmy summer evening and served with a surprise twist to conjure up that great expectation!
Join us and discover the mystery for yourself…
Each month our menus change and evolve based on seasonal ingredients and ensuring that there is plenty of variety each time that you visit throughout the year.
Our latest menu is to be introduced on Friday 2nd June.
We’d like to share with you a bit more detail of what’s going on in our new menus.
In The Restaurant this June…it’s all about the Cornish Brown Crab. Appearing on both our Aleyn (4 course) and Elizabeth (6 course) menus.
One of Heston’s favourite childhood memories – days out at the seaside – got our chefs reminiscing about what made it so special for them too. Turns out it was food (unsurprisingly) and after a morning spent splashing in our less-than-tropical waters, the anticipation as kids, running up the sand to a soup and sandwich packed lunch, was something they all loved.
So this June, in homage to our great British seaside, we’ve brought back the Crab Sandwich and Soup.
And in true Hind’s Head style, it comes with a twist.
Our soup has a light and silky texture, perfect for a summer’s day and is made with both green and brown crab from Cornwall. The chefs finish it by lightly frothing just before serving and grating over a little coffee – a flourish that surprisingly works.
The sandwich is served ‘open’ on a piece of grilled sourdough, spread firstly with a layer of shrimp butter, then some tomato fondue. Next up is some fragrant white crab salad and picked brown crab bound in a crab mayonnaise, with some pickled cucumber and lemon to add a crunch of acidity. A mixture of fine herbs finishes it beautifully.
THE REVERENT COCKTAIL – JUNE
In the Royal Lounge, our June celebration is our special cocktail
Emily’s Earl Grey Tea Sours
It’s based on a classic sour, made with Beefeater Gin, elderflower liquor, a bit of lemon juice and tea bitters, with a dash of Earl Grey Tea Syrup and a Pimms ‘float’, then topped with a sprinkle of some Earl Grey tea just for good measure.
Perfect to welcome in a summer’s evening.
Our twist with this cocktail is we’ve named it after our resident Hind’s Head ghost, Emily.
Why she’s decided to remain with us for quite so long have become somewhat embellished over the years but she’s friendly we know – most important! – and we serve it in honour to her in a pretty china cup.
We know she’d approve.
We recently closed our doors to undergo a major transformation. The latest chapter in the rich history of The Hind’s Head, Bray is fully underway and ready to reopen on 20th April.
This latest incarnation in the building’s evolution will encapsulate its rich history, with playful, quirky design references to its origins as a hunting lodge and coaching inn.
We will offer a series of 3 (£25), 4 (£45) and 6 (£58) course menus that will change and evolve on a monthly basis, celebrating British cooking and the consummate eclectic style that we have become known for. With three menus and each of them changing every month, each time you visit you will be able to try something new each time.
The 3 course ‘Mary Menu’ will be available midweek lunch – priced at £25.
The 6 course ‘Elizabeth Menu’ will be available everyday for dinner and weekend lunch – priced at £58.
Both are names with whimsical references to the monarchs in power – Queens Mary I and Elizabeth I.
The 4 course ‘Aleyn Menu’, available everyday lunch and dinner – priced at £45, pays homage to the legendary Vicar of Bray; Simon Aleyn, who it was claimed lived upstairs at The Hind’s Head.
History maintains he was so enamoured by his position as Vicar, that he was successively Protestant, then Catholic, then Protestant again depending on whichever religion was favoured by the monarch of the day. The English churchman and historian Thomas Fuller wrote of Aleyn in 1661, that when accused of being a turncoat, he replied “Not so, for I always kept my principle, which is this – to live and die the Vicar of Bray”.
Working with the local conservation officer we are preserving and restoring the integral elements of the internal design by ensuring that the Grade II listed bar, oak panelling, antique beams and open fireplaces remain. The ground floor will be remodelled to create a larger, more cosseted dining area.
Venturing upstairs, we invite you to explore our newly created Royal Lounge bar. In the Royal Lounge, you will be offered a range of classic and new cocktails as well as our usual bar offering. No drink would be complete without our bar snacks – this is where you will find our Scotch Egg!
Here too the private dining room, The Vicar’s Room, will remain but undergo a dramatic redesign, with teasing, tongue-in-cheek references to the building’s association with Simon Aleyn, the infamous Vicar of Bray. A monolithic dining table hewn from a single trunk of oak will dominate the room, under a pair of parlour chandeliers depicting the heads of Queens Mary I and Elizabeth I of England when the origins of The Hind’s Head were first documented. If you are a group of 10-18 people, there will be no minimum spend.
So, here we are, on the brink of something very new and very exciting and we would like you to be amongst the first to experience our new concept. We’re looking forward to starting this new chapter with you and eagerly waiting to welcoming you in from Thursday 20th April. Our reservations lines are now open via the website and by phone 01628 626151.
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