Simon Bonwick takes on the Dew Drop Inn

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

At the helm: New ventures for Simon and Deborah Bonwick
At the helm: New ventures for Simon and Deborah Bonwick

Related tags Simon Bonwick Gastropub Food Property Berkshire

Simon Bonwick has left the Princess of Shoreditch to take on 16th century pub the Dew Drop Inn, Hurley, Berkshire.

The chef and his wife Deborah Bonwick sold their Michelin-starred Berkshire pub​ the Crown last May to the Beehive chef Dominic Chapman.  

Brakspear pub the Dew Drop Inn boasts a dining room with around 20 covers and sits in the Chilterns, just outside of Marlow and Henley.  

Deborah said after one year off, the pair were ready and excited to go again in this increasingly challenging environment.  

“The pub industry remains alluring to us,” she added. “It’s continually shown its innovative excellence through the pandemic, and has continued to display fortitude through Brexit, a war and now a recession.  

“The rural pub can’t be lost.” 

Better than ever

The pub will reopen mid-January, with Simon heading up the kitchen. Deborah promised his cooking was “better than ever now”. A seasonal menu will focus on quality ingredients, and the chef will work in his signature style of creative country pub cooking.  

“The Dew Drop Inn has been positively nagging away at the two of us for years,” Deborah continued.  “Everything about it is beautiful, as the new guardians we will build on its location and local community in our particular way.” 

In 2021, Bonwick announced he had put the Crown on the market​ ahead of the launch of a larger “more ambitious” restaurant.  

Pub pride

The gastropub was ranked among the UK’s top 100 restaurants in the Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards. 

“Moving on from the Crown was a natural conclusion for us as we felt we had told a story and given our all to the very idea of the Crown,” Bonwick said. “Not one hour in our time there had been easy, but so very rewarding for us all.” 

He continued: “Every ounce of business was fought and grafted for so, when selling up, it had to be to the right person. It was imperative they had the credentials to run with the ball and relax into the Crown even more comfortably than we had.” 

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