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!!!