This marvellous restaurant with rooms, owned and run by Chef Patron Alain Roux, has purred contentedly beside the Thames for a resounding 47 years. There’s a waterfront terrace and an electric launch at guests’ disposal; the placid river, with the odd boat skulling by, instantly soothes. The inn’s innate sense of occasion, as waiters prepare for the evening’s seamlessly orchestrated performance, reminds one of a bygone age. As well as the unashamedly haute yet delicate cuisine, which has attracted the ultimate accolade of three Michelin stars since 1985, the bedrooms and suites are beautifully kitted out: feminine and elegant in the French manner, and superbly kept under the watchful eye of general manager Frédéric Poulette. Breakfast in bed, served on crisp white linen, is no less a treat than dinner the night before. ‘Dedication and consistency,’ Alain Roux has said, ‘are the two qualities that make a great chef and a great restaurant.’ The Waterside Inn is the greatest of them all. The pretty village of Bray on Thames also makes a fantastic base to explore nearby Windsor, Ascot and Henley-on-Thames.

Rates: Doubles from £275

Contact: +44 (0)1628 620691