Since Heston Blumenthal took ownership of The Crown at Bray in 2010, the inn has been sensitively refurbished both internally and externally to ensure that it continues to offer warmth and comfort for guests who are both dining and drinking.
Matt Larcombe has always had a passion for cooking. One of his earliest memories is of being in the kitchen with his mother and making Yorkshire puddings.
He was born in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, where he spent most of his childhood. Later the family moved to Worksop, where Matt had his first introduction to life in a professional kitchen. This is where at the age of sixteen, he started his career as a kitchen porter after doing work experience from school in a local hotel.
Following his growing passion for cooking, he joined the Royal Navy for two years as a training chef. On his return to the UK, Matt then worked in several kitchens from Michelin star restaurants to pubs.
In January 2011, he joined the team at The Crown at Bray as Sous Chef.
In March 2014 – Matt accepted the position as Head Chef at The Crown at Bray, where his knowledge and experience have made him a valuable part of the team.
David Ashton Hyde
David Ashton Hyde was born in Ascot in 1979. His first family home was in Bray, where he lived until the age of two. Afterwards the family moved to Hurley where he spent most of his childhood.
He grew up in and around pubs – his father managed The Hind’s Head for a period during the 70’s – long before Heston Blumenthal took ownership. His fathers stories led to a fascination with bar life from a very young age and some of earliest memories are of following him to the local and sitting outside with his half pint of prawns.
As a teenager and on weekend mornings, he used to help the son of the local pub landlord in Hurley, empty the bottle bins and restock the fridges in the bar. Once their work was done, they would take delight in the fresh hoppy aromas of furtive half pint.
In 2010 he completed the full circle and returned to his origins, Bray, to become assistant general manager of The Hind’s Head, now under the patronage of Heston Blumenthal. In Bray, he worked alongside The Fat Duck Experimental Kitchen to develop Heston’s Waitrose beverage range as well as the cocktail and beverage list for The Perfectionists’ Cafe which opened in 2014.
In 2014 he took on the role of Pub Manager at Heston Blumenthal’s The Crown at Bray, where he oversees all aspects of the day-to-day running of the establishment.