Great food. Good company. A warm welcome.
That’s the ethos that Mary and Nick brought to The Miller when they arrived in April 2014. Together they bring a love of France and French hospitality alongside a wealth of experience from the most acclaimed echelons of British restaurants. And today, under their innovative and tender loving care, this long-loved hostelry remains just that.
Nick’s passion for great British ingredients, and giving the ultimate respect to the raw product, is reflected in the simple elegance of his food and his regularly evolving menu. Go on, be fooled by the apparent simplicity of your dish. But take a mouthful and let the flavours get to work on your tastebuds, one delicious mouthful at a time. Plates piled high with food is not on offer at The Miller. Creative dishes, pored over, tried and tested time and again, for guests to savour rather than devour, are what Miller food is all about.
Mary’s vision for the bar, restaurant and hotel is friendly hospitality and a welcoming atmosphere. The front of house team are not afraid to say hi to all guests, to accommodate them as much as possible. Mary doesn’t just personally taste and select the wines, she and her team are trained to know what to look for. So you won’t find a bog-standard wine list, you’ll find one thoroughly researched and suitably befitting Nick’s food.
The Miller is an 18th century coaching inn brimming with character, open fireplaces, cosy corners and original features including a rather unique Victorian piece in the gents loo! But it’s old, so there is the odd beam to duck if you’re tall, an occasional creaking floorboard. Most people, us too, call that character.
Foundations for fine things. Mary and Nick most recently worked for Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck Group in Bray. Nick as head chef at The Crown. Mary as a core member of the management team at The Hinds Head.
They both took on leadership roles at what was The Goose in Britwell Salome in south Oxfordshire (now the Red Lion). And prior to that ran the Fleur de Lys pub in Dorchester on Thames. Before heading to Bray, Nick learned butchery at Crazy Bear Farm in Stadhampton while Mary worked at the acclaimed Nut Tree at Murcott. It was during this phase of their careers that they had their two boys, Elliot and Monty. Nick and Mary met while both working in France and continued to return for summer and winter seasons pursuing their love of French hospitality alongside a spot of snowboarding.
All of the above enable Mary, Nick and the team at The Miller to provide great hospitality, in a wonderful setting, day in day out.
But don’t just take our word for it. Read some of our customer reviews and then there’s…
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.”
Matthew Tomlinson on Mary & Nick
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
Image: Jack Oughton | Tasting Britain