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I love the Waterside Inn.  Luckily I have been twice for dinner so far.  I’ll be saving up for a future visit starting now.

The Waterside is a Michelin three star restaurant distinguished by being a place where new star chefs gather to celebrate their stars.  The service is incredible.  Fun, relaxed, and just goofy enough to make a haute cuisine meal something so human and warm that you want to do it again and again.

Pictures are discouraged (maybe even disallowed), but here is proof of Negroni.

On this trip we had a blast with the “new guy” riff started when the Maître d stopped by to have a visit.  After that we had a very silly and entertaining parade of “new guys” including the Pastry Chef herself.  Just so much fun.

Here is the menu which we enhanced with the caviar service to begin.

This is a meal of a lifetime place.  Just go.

Yes, I know. Tradition and all that. Oakley Court will very likely turn out to be a great place to run a meeting (it was OK), but boy is it old school.

Oakley Court Maor

Oakley Court Maor

For example, there is a library, and an observatory, and a boat on the Thames. But the price of admission is a plastic shower and you know how we feel about those around here.

Room 206 is apparently quite the special room, but perhaps not outside the UK. Lets compare to the previous conference location, shall we? Heck, does hotel management even know that we caused this to happen?

Monterey, CA.

Hmm. No note, no ultra special room, no craft cocktails, no fireside chat setup, and no creativity to make any of it happen. Just sayin’.

So junior suite 206 looks like this.

Oh grandmother, is that you?

Oh grandmother, is that you?

Why yes my dear, is it time for high tea?

Why yes my dear, is it time for high tea?

Oakley Manor 206

Oakley Manor 206

And the downfall.

Nope

Nope

Old school solid state plumbing

Old school solid state plumbing

And there are some things we just don’t understand, like this mysterious device.

What is this?  And why is it plugged into the wall?

What is this? And why is it plugged into the wall?

But there is the Thames, and there are lots of good people here to hang out with.

The Thames

The Thames

Four slightly mildewed showerheads for Oakley Court. Yes, we are spoiled. Jennifer, where are you when we need you??

This tree snuck in from California

This tree snuck in from California

On the restaurant front, this area near Windsor is astoundingly good. Dinner at the three star Waterside Inn was the best complete dining experience we have ever had. Fantastic. Attention to detail and superior service without even one iota of pretension.

Also good was the local pub the Hinds Head, which doubles as a michelin star restaurant. Pea soup with mint is not much like mushy peas.

Mixology-wise, your best bet is to train in to London on the fast train. No interesting cocktails to be had within miles.