Heston Blumenthal on Head Chef Nick Galer
I brought the Crown at Bray back in Spring/Summer 2010. I always knew that we wanted to keep the business true to its core as a traditional British pub with great food. I therefore knew we had to find the right chef who would embrace this ethos but also understand the inner workings of the way I cook and the methods I employ to achieve this.
Ashley Palmer Watts interviewed Nick Galer thoroughly and when we spoke he confirmed that we had found someone who fitted our specifications, and that we knew we could work with.
Nick took on the Crown with a small team and worked tirelessly to improve the infrastructure and build a product that fitted our brief. Nick’s knowledge of dining as well as a love of pubs helped him to deliver exactly what we hoped for the Crown. The Crown has rightfully received 2 rosettes and the dining product is incredibly consistent. Nick has been an essential cog in our creative wheel and we discuss constantly about making each dish we produce better than the one preceding it. The customers vote with their feet, and over the 4 years Nick has been Head Chef the business has grown continuously.
The key things that have enabled Nick to succeed at the Crown are his knowledge and passion for the product and the British food scene. I’m interested to see where he might take his creativity as he moves onto the next stage of his career.
Nick has been an integral reliable part of my businesses in Bray for 4 years and I wish him the best of luck. He leaves with my full support and with the offer of any help during this exciting time and in his future.
An excellent combination
Mary sets extremely high standards and with a sharp eye for detail and a natural ability to lead is always able to deliver. It is a rare talent to be able to offer a professional but also genuinely warm welcome to her guests.
Nick produces delicious food that keeps the expectations of his diners in mind. A natural understanding of flavour and long established supplier relationships enable him to offer the best of what’s available, beautifully cooked and packed with flavour.
As a team they are able to deliver that all too rare commodity of true hospitality.
Matthew Tomkinson, Roux Scholar, Montagu Arms
“Service was impeccable, staff friendly, exceeded all expectations”. M Elliott
“Incredible, stunning, perfection“. A Wise
“Superb! First time here but not last“. Ian
“Good work, keep it up”. C Bedgood.
A lovely little hotel
Reviewed 13th May 2014
It’s a lovely little hotel with very lovely staff who where very helpful. And the breakfast was really nice.
…the extra mile!
Reviewed 14th May 2014
The staff were courteous and went an extra mile for us!
Delightful food, business lunch
Reviewed 2 May 2014
I visited the Miller of Mansfield for a business meeting, along with making the most of an opportunity to try the new menu.
The food was fabulous and I was amazed at the turnaround of this fabulous venue by Nick & Mary the new Publicans.
I would highly recommend giving it a go…. If they keep this up it will soon be the place to be in Goring.
Heston’s loss Goring’s gain!
Visited April 2014. Reviewed 27 April 2014
Nick and Mary Gayler have brought the Miller back to life! The same style that saw well executed, well priced, sophisticated, but unpretentious food served in comfortable surroundings in the Crown at Bray, has thankfully come to Goring on Thames. Not only that, the beer is excellent, the fire and big armchairs in the bar welcoming and the staff friendly.
We went to the opening day and joined the party (with, it seems half of Oxfordshire). Nick and Mary had planned to keep going until 8 but, we hear, kept going until well after that because the people just kept on coming. Well done! We looked in again late on Sunday lunchtime today and had a chance to sample some of the food. We just wanted a snack so had a couple of the starters by the fire. The potted duck, barbequed mackerel with gentlemen’s Relish dressing were delicious and the small sack of homemade bread rolls, spot on. We also learned that they do a “Sunday Supper” fixed price menu, which includes a drink, from 18:00 to 20:00 perfect for those that been busy all day and don’t feel like cooking in the evening. We’ll go back and eat from the main menu soon. We live locally so won’t need to stay (unless we overdo it) but if the rooms are as good as the welcome and the food, those that do should be very happy indeed.
The marvellous miller!
Arranging to stay at a place that has just undergone a change of ownership and a major refurbishment always has the potential for disaster! Add to that arranging a visit on the very first day of opening and you can imagine we had slight reservations about the plan. However, we were meeting the very best of friends there and so we knew the company would be great even if everything else went wrong!
On arrival it was clear that things weren’t quite ready, but it turned out to be purely cosmetic. We were greeted warmly and the wine was chilled and the Peroni was ready – all good! Our bedrooms were amazing – travelling with children usually means a z-bed squeezed into your room and a disrupted nights sleep. Not here! We both had rooms with separate but adjoining rooms where the children could sleep on proper beds. Our room, in the eaves, was beautiful, a bit quirky (clear plastic dressing table and chair!) and wonderfully clean. The bed was big and comfortable and the view over the rooftops of Goring was lovely.
So to dinner and the big question as to whether the restaurant was ready!? We needn’t have worried. The menu was great and had lots of choice without being overwhelming. Between the four of us we tried most of the menu. We loved the sack of bread! I had fish and chips with perfectly minted peas and the best tartare sauce I have ever tasted! Pudding was an enormous rhubarb sundae – which wasn’t so big that I didn’t finish it! However, my personal favourite was the starter of cauliflower lasagne, which was beautifully flavoured with cumin and which I could happily eat all day! The service was spot on – attentive without being pushy and the staff already seemed to be established and working well as a team with genuine warmth and friendliness.
I know the this place will go from strength to strength. We can’t wait to visit again and will, I am sure, become regular visitors. Goring is a lovely village and there is lots to do around there. What more could you want?
#onetowatch #getinquickbeforetheresawaitinglist #gogalers!
Jo & Ian Smith