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This story was published before Summer 2021, when we launched our new digital experience.

Off the Beaten Path

The Hinds Head, in the picturesque Thames village of Bray, is the latest venture of Michelin three-star chef and leading practitioner of molecular gastronomy Heston Blumenthal. Anyone expecting the palate-challenging combinations of Blumenthal's Fat Duck next door, however, will probably be disappointed—but only momentarily. The Hinds Head is a traditional pub serving something rarer than cutting-edge cuisine: traditional pub food. Potted shrimp, pickled herring, pea-and-ham soup, steak-and-kidney pudding, Lancashire hot pot, Eton mess, and treacle tart—the food here is almost as old-fashioned as the gleaming oak-paneled interior (the building dates back to 1690). But it is unlikely these plates were ever so beautifully prepared. Blumenthal has meticulously researched the origins of the dishes, even re-creating some, such as quaking pudding, that haven't put in a regular appearance on British tables in 500 years. If a wobbling triple-cream custard proves too rich, you can always stick to the well-kept beer. The Hinds Head is a pub, after all. Dinner, $100. $ At High St., Bray, Berkshire; 44-1628/626-151.

$ Establishment accepts no charge/credit cards or accepts cards other than the American Express Card.

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