I’d been to The Golden Ball pub in Maidenhead once. It wasn’t great so I didn’t go back, and while I’m sure it was the go-to of anyone within walking distance, I wouldn’t have called it a destination pub. However, thanks to the team at Epic Pubs, The Golden Ball has been transformed into just that, a destination venue where it feels like you’re going out without leaving the neighbourhood.
You probably haven’t heard of Epic Pubs before and that’s because The Golden Ball is the team’s first foray into the world of free housing. When I asked the manager Anderson Santos why the team chose Maidenhead, he said it’s because there was a gap for an upmarket pub in the area.
In the past, if you wanted a nice place to go for special occasion, a big family meal or even a night out with friends, you’d have to go into Cookham, Bray or further afield. But not anymore. With a soft opening on the 17th of August, the refurbishment of the old local was fast and astounding. Contemporary tones of primary colours are tastefully woven into the muted green and grey of the decor. Plush banquette seating, warm timber tables and a fun and eclectic mix of textures and genres lifts the interior of the Golden Ball into the realm of the modern gastro pub.
The front bar is the place to be; sleek yet cosy and room enough for plenty, this area will no doubt become a hit with the after work drinks and Saturday night crowds. The dining space is large and yet surprisingly intimate and welcomes families and larger groups. Dogs are also welcome in the bar and the private room which can accommodate up to 12 people.
When it comes to the menu, it’s smaller than your average and it changes every month, with a focus on seasonal eating. You’ll still find your favourites, or something like them, on the fluid menu but it’s the extensive drinks selection that takes things up a notch. The Golden Ball boasts a respectable cocktail menu and a large and varied wine list where everything is available by the glass. There is a good range of Rebellion draught ales, a Brew Dog beer on tap as well as an excellent selection of bottled craft ales. But what I found most impressive was the variety of dessert wines and ports. Well-priced and designed to complement the traditional cheese table, the Epic team want to create an opportunity for their patrons to try new things and become adventurous diners without the barrier of price or pretension.
Everything on the menu is priced relatively well for the standard of fare on offer. The menu offers an exciting yet accessible selection of starters, mains and desserts including a kids menu, and gluten-free options; all made fresh on site. Every Sunday you’ll find the traditional roast on offer, but at the Golden Ball it’s available all day, 12pm – 9.30pm.
The Golden Ball, Maidenhead’s very own destination pub is open 7 days a week and you’ll find it at No. 2 Golden Ball Ln, Maidenhead, Windsor and Maidenhead SL6 6NW. Book online or call 01628 580212.