Whether you’re a visiting dignitary, a curious tourist, a member of the royal household looking to slip out of the house for a quick bite, or perhaps a patient film-crew waiting to do your piece to the camera, here are some restaurant recommendations near to various royal residences that you might find useful.
Dining Room at The Goring
The Goring is a traditional English hotel that has always enjoyed a close association with Buckingham Palace. Its graceful and elegant restaurant wisely follows the same course by serving classic British dishes – Eggs Drumkilbo were apparently a favourite dish of the late Queen Mother – but all done with a contemporary outlook.
The menu at this colourful, roomy restaurant which opened over 20 years ago focuses on the southwest of India and the Malabar Coast, so fish lovers will find much to savour on the extensive menu. The service is eager and earnest and the atmosphere discreet and comfortable.
The Game Bird
The Stafford London is another one of the capital’s hotels with a long and illustrious history. Its American Bar may be the more famous, but the Game Bird restaurant deserves to be better known. It’s a comfortable space, with an appealing menu celebrating the best of British fare.
Clunie Dining Room, Braemar
HM The Queen attends The Highland Games at the Annual Braemar Gathering in her role as Patron. The nearby Clunie Dining Room, named after the river running alongside, is found within the Fife Arms, a Victorian architectural gem recently restored to its former glory. The menu features the best of the Scottish larder, with fish and game to the fore.
The Old Bank, Snettisham
This is the closest restaurant to Sandringham House. As its name suggests, this was a former bank and is now a cosy, intimate restaurant run by owners Aga and Lewis King. The cooking comes with a degree of sophistication and uses plenty of produce from their own allotment and the surrounding area.
The Neptune, Hunstanton
An 18C former coaching inn is home to experienced restaurateurs Kevin and Jacki Mangeolles. Kevin’s classical culinary background is evident in his well-balanced, flavoursome and highly seasonal dishes. He works alone in the kitchen, while Jacki looks after the guests, many of whom are regular visitors.
The Conservatory, Titchwell
Eric Snaith worked his way up in the kitchen to the position of head chef, before becoming the owner of Titchwell Manor in the north Norfolk village of the same name. The conservatory restaurant overlooks the walled gardens which provide some of the ingredients on the menu, alongside local fish and game from nearby estates.
The Waterside Inn, Bray
It may not quite boast the same longevity as Windsor Castle but The Waterside Inn has been welcoming guests to its charming spot by the Thames since 1972. Alain Roux leads the kitchen and his menu is a roll-call of sumptuous French classics, which includes a soufflé of the day. This is one of the country’s truly special destination restaurants.
Located by the entrance to Windsor Great Park, with Guards Polo Club around the corner, ‘Bluebells’ may well be the name above the door, but the rather ritzy interior boasts pinks, bronzes and dark greens as the colour palate. You’ll always find affable owner John Rampello working his way around the room, running things with charm and an eye for detail.
The Loch & The Tyne, Old Windsor
Owner Adam Handling’s first venture outside London sees him in partnership with two chefs, one from Scotland and the other from Newcastle – hence the name. Originally two gamekeepers’ cottages, the resulting look is smart and stylish, with the feel of a chic country inn. A small orchard at the back provides plenty of produce for the kitchen.
Hillsborough is little more than a village, but it’s a lively one made all the more appealing thanks to this smart, contemporary restaurant on its High Street. Owners Roz and Andy both cook and they make good use of locally sourced ingredients. Sunday lunch is a popular event.
Wine & Brine, Moira
Chris McGowan is a local chef and, having worked in some of London’s best-known kitchens, returned home to renovate this handsome Georgian House. The bold artwork complements his flavoursome and confidently prepared dishes.