The Waterside Inn
A legendary name, a restaurant with a unique heritage... and all in a sublime setting. For 40 years, diners have been flocking to the picturesque village of Bray simply to visit the Waterside Inn.
Today, under the leadership of chef-patron Alain Roux, no other British restaurant can claim to have held three Michelin stars for so long. And, as part of the Relais & Chateaux global fellowship of individually owned and operated luxury hotels and restaurants, the Waterside can boast not only two Relais Gourmand chefs but also the only UK member of the Relais Dessert Association.
The Roux Family
The name Roux is legendary within culinary circles. Over the past four decades, brothers Michel and Albert have made a lasting impact on British eating habits. From the original Le Gavroche restaurant, opened in 1967 on London’s Lower Sloane Street, where they took turns in the kitchen and dining room, they had one aim: “to achieve a worldwide reputation for the quality of their cuisine and service”.
In 1972, with a series of successful city restaurants under their aprons, the brothers ventured further afield, acquiring a traditional English pub in a quiet Royal Berkshire village. They set about transforming it into an elegant restaurant and cocktail bar – and so the Waterside Inn was born.
With both sons, Alain and Michel Jr., following in their fathers’ esteemed footsteps, the Rouxs separated their business interests in 1986; Albert chose Le Gavroche, while Michel opted for the Waterside Inn.
Sixteen years later, and by then a proud holder of France’s premier order, Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, Michel Roux was awarded an honorary OBE in 2002 – the same year he conveyed responsibility for the Waterside to his son, Alain. And almost a decade later, with a team of more than 40 under his control, chef-patron Alain Roux is continuing the tradition...
The Waterside at Bray
Long before Bray became the culinary centre-ville it is today, the village had a long and well-documented history; notable inhabitants included King Charles II, Nell Gwynn and Thomas Hughes (author of Tom Brown’s School Days). There was even a popular satirical 18th century song written about the vicar of Bray.
The building on Ferry Road has long housed a local hostelry, both in the guise of country pub and a tearoom before that. Since opening its doors in September 1972, The Waterside Inn has continued to provide hospitality, with a global clientele and international staff. Gaining our first Michelin star in 1974 when the guide originally came out, a second followed in 1977, before the ultimate accolade in 1985: the Waterside Inn was awarded three-Michelin-star status. Today, we remain the only establishment in the UK to have retained those coveted stars for over 25 years.