Top 50 Gastropubs

The Bailiwick Free House

Englefield Green, Surrey

Nestled on the gates of the Windsor Great Park is the Bailiwick Free House, Egham, where diners will find some of the best food they’ve ever eaten.

Opened under the leadership of Steven Ellis, who brought the now closed Oxford Blue onto the Top 50 Gastropubs list some years ago, diners are in for a real treat.

Ellis’s skills as a chef and relationship with the park game keeper allow for some incredible takes on classic British cooking. Meanwhile, Ellis’s wife Ami is a top-notch pastry chef who pumps out some of the best desserts in the gastropub world.

Under Ellis, the Bailiwick is taking advantage of the larder of game surrounding the pub in his cooking, which makes perfect sense.

The pub is classic and beautiful and has a terrace that overlooks the stunning ancient woodland of the park.

But onto the food and you’ll find both an a la carte and a tasting menu here, with dishes the likes of pig trotter terrine with apple, black pudding and sauce gribiche; wild mushroom tartlet with mushroom ketchup, confit egg yolk and 36-month aged parmesan; and corned beef from cured aged beef cap with pickled vegetables and English mustard to start.

Mains could include the likes of roast loin of Windsor Great Park Red Deer with smoked bacon, goose liver, braised shoulder croquette and celeriac; Isle of Gigha halibut with charred potatoes, mussels, champagne velouté and Avruga Caviar; and aubergine ‘steak’ with mushroom duxelles and vegetable demi-glace.

To finish, you have to try one of Ami’s famous parfaits, which change seasonally and depending on what needs to be used in the kitchens. But also on offer could be the likes of chocolate delice, bavarois and cheeses from the British Isles.

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