If you’re walking along the High Street in Windsor, it’s easy to get swept up in tourists with massive SLRs stuck to their faces, plastic Kate & Wills memorabilia and balloons that are shaped like monkeys. Let’s just say you’re very aware that tourism is still going strong and if you’re anything like me, you’ll venture back to the bottom of town where sanity prevails. Therefore, it’s easy to miss little gems, especially when they’re tucked away, like the gorgeous Macdonald Windsor Hotel.
If you haven’t heard of Macdonald Hotels before, they’re a luxury chain of boutique style hotels. The Windsor hotel is only a few years old, opening just after I moved out of Windsor (before seeing sense and coming back) and is one that I’ve heard rave reviews about – particularly their restaurant Caleys and so I’ve been wanting to try it for a while.
As you can imagine, when the lovely team at the Windsor hotel invited me to enjoy dinner at Caleys last night, the response took the whole of 2 seconds to muster… a big FAT yes with cherries on the top. As soon as the boy caught wind of the fact that I’d be visiting what’s claimed to be “Windsor’s best steak restaurant” he became ever so helpful around the cottage and so I agreed to take him. I mean, nobody likes to eat alone, right?
We arrived at the hotel, a small entrance on the High Street which masks the comfort and luxury that hides within. As soon as we got to the bar, we received a really warm welcome, were invited to take seats whilst they brought over our champagne with canapés, olives, sweet chilli nuts and massive wasabi peas. This alone is a combination of my favourite things and so I stupidly tucked in. I’d advise against this in future as it wastes valuable space for the ACTUAL meal. So much incredible food.
After going through to the restaurant, the really helpful restaurant manager talked us through the menu and explained that Scottish steak is their speciality. The boy’s eyes lit up. After at least 5 changes of heart with what to eat, we finally ordered… and the food didn’t disappoint! We were given a mixed bread board with a hot tomato sauce, roasted garlic, butter and olives. I know it probably doesn’t make me a dream, but the garlic on the bread with a little butter was SO delicious. I could have eaten that alone!
Already about to combust, we went about ordering our starters. The boy opted for the Haggis (he’s strange like that) and I went for the Tempura Prawns. The waiter highly recommended the Haggis after the boy mentioned that he liked black pudding. Who even likes black pudding??? Anyway, I was having prawns.
My prawns were so yummy with their garlic dip. The batter that they were coated in was really light and not greasy at all. The boy assures me that his was totally delicious – much like cottage pie apparently. He offered for me to try some, but I took his word for it, I hope that you don’t mind?
The restaurant has an ageing fridge where you can inspect each of the different cuts of meat. We decided to go with their speciality Scottish steak and I went for the fillet cut.
At this point, the boy was very happy (or contented as he referred to himself) and convinced that he was ready to go home to sleep off his food baby. However, I’d seen the desert menu and there was just no way that this was going to happen. The menu is quite simply genius.
Ever been unable to decide what you want for dessert? Want everything and worried you’ll get food envy? Yeah, me too! Caley’s have come up with the perfect solution – shot size desserts! Think of it as the tapas of dessert world. Amaze. We opted for the Knickerbocker Glory, the Cranachan, Lemon Cheesecake and Scotch Pancakes with Maple Syrup to share.
All of the desserts were gorgeous – my favourite was the lemon cheesecake whilst the boy loved the more boozy based puds. This meant that everyone was a winner.
Finally admitting defeat and having had a truly lovely evening we decided to roll ourselves home. It took a lot longer to get home than the spritely walk to get there.
If you live in or around Windsor, or you’re thinking of paying it a visit, Caleys is definitely worth checking out. I spotted that they also do a mean Sunday Roast, so that’s next up on my list….
The Macdonald Windsor Hotel
23 High Street
T: 0844 8799101