The Palmer Arms

Village Road Dorney Windsor SL4 6QW

A couple of miles of cow-grazed common away from Eton, and just over the Bucks border, lies the Miss Marple-ish village of Dorney, with the Palmer Arms at its heart. Spacious and friendly, it’s a good base for a stroll along the Thames, or round the Eton-funded 2012 Olympic rowing lake. Gastropub staples are served with a dash of flair (duck leg strudel with rhubarb & ginger sauce); Sunday lunches can be packed. When the sun’s out, the lovely beer garden, with its parasols and palm trees, can absorb hundreds – and there's a screened-off children's play area at the far end to keep the little'uns entertained. Parking on site.

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