Believe the hype: Simon Bonwick’s pub the Crown at Burchetts Green is quickly becoming a site of pilgrimage for diners enticed by Simon’s self-proclaimed “French bourgeoisie” cooking.
The small bar at the Crown is usually filled with local drinkers, but go through and you’ll find two intimate dining rooms where you can treat your taste buds with dishes made from ingredients sourced from the UK and France.
While the dining rooms are called formal, the gastropub is casual and informal.
After making its debut on the Top 50 Gastropubs list in 2016, the Crown has gone from strength to strength, winning a Michelin star for Bonwick’s lavish cooking and is now deservedly celebrating its fourth year on the Top 50 list.
Past menu highlights have included stuffed goose neck with sherry-dressed lentils; pie and mash with parsley liquor; and pressed feta with a barbecue root sandwich and fries.
Its menu, served in the pub’s intimate dining rooms, is an ever-changing reflection of the seasons.
Owner and chef Bonwick once told local paper the Maidenhead Advertiser: “Cooking is my passion and pleasure. I just really love serving what I like eating and what I like cooking. I don’t even bother to write the menu on the website.”
That said, we’ve noticed there’s been a menu available online on the odd occasion, and in the winter of 2019 spotted dishes including Berwick lobster soup; rillette of sanglier (wild boar) with beer pickles; and wild grains, falafel, Arabian spices and black olive caramel for starters.
For mains, you can expect dishes such as Black Rock roast cod with watercress and horseradish; Salt Marsh lamb rump with chestnut and time cooking juices; and venison braised for ages and popped in a pie with rowanberry sauce.
Desserts include the likes of black forest Cadeau; pistachio Charlotte with sauce pistache; and tarte tatin of apples.
Service, presided over by Dean Bonwick, whose past employers include Albert Roux at the triple-starred Waterside Inn, Bray, and Tom Kerridge at the Hand & Flowers, is welcoming, attentive and downright impeccable.
But despite being named among some of the top eateries in the country, the Crown is very much still a pub. Local ales and lagers adorn the bar and the wine list showcases an extensive range of independent producers from numerous regions.
It is said that the bar area is haunted by a small bearded man with a pony who also enjoys pottering about in the gastropub’s cellars… don’t worry though, there’s no indication of him being unfriendly to patrons.
The Crown / CHEF
Named amongst some of the country's top eateries