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A la Colthard: Gilbey’s (Eton)

I know and like Windsor. With the River Thames flowing through the town, the castle looking down on it and the scenic Thames Valley, Daffers has spent many a good time there.

My hotel of choice is the Sir Christopher Wren beautifully positoned on Eton Bridge. It comprises a main building with annexes on Thames Street with features of the architect and a few years ago became run down. Now taken over by Segova hotels who own the Rubens in Victoria they have invested in improving the rooms. The restaurant has a lovely terrace overlooking the river but in the winter attracts little custom.

Yesterday I went with a community nurse friend I have known for many years and is a local to Gilbey’s in Eton High Street and was impressed. I flatter myself that I have an intuitive feel for a restaurant. Walking down the street there was a Cote on the bridge. Cote is a reliable chain and I have eaten well there in Wimbledon and Brighton. I pressed on to Gilbey’s. They offered an interesting modern British 3 course set menu for £25. My friend likes Thai Square where I have eaten well too over the years and was amenable to trying a new place.

We had a drink in the hotel where we noted a man with a girl in a black dress. They did not seem an item but sat next to each other on a  sofa. When we arrived at Gilbey’s we saw them in the restaurant and our speculation continued. We both ordered Cornish  mackerel with a Gruyere rosti on a salad. This worked well. My friend had haddock and poached egg whilst I chose calves liver. The liver was rather tough, so much so that I was not totally sure if was actually calves or ordinary liver. For desert we shared a platter of English  cheeses. We had a bottle of Quincy and carafe of house Merlot. The bill came to £109.

Intriguingly Gilbey’s offers one suite but not other accomadation. I said that is just the job for naughty liaison and wondered if the couple we saw we’re using it for that purpose!!! I liked the decor which comprised a dining area at the front and a conservatory reached by a long corridor. There was also a garden. It had a soft seductive ambience and furnishings. Judging by the accents there were a few continental businessmen and situated near to Heathrow probably a useful place for a business dinner, depending on what your business is!!!

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About Daphne Colthard

After graduating at RADA but finding no roles Daphne went into magazine journalism with Good Housekeeping. Widely recognised as one of the country's leading restaurant and hotel reviewers, particularly by herself, Daphne is the author of "Bedded and Breakfasted", a light hearted chick novel and Grand Hotels DC: the Daffers Dictionary. Daphne lives in West London and is married to an investment banker Oliver. They have 2 boys Humphrey and Tarquin. More Posts