Explore Harden's - The restaurant guide created by you for you

survey result

For 25 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. This year diners have submitted over 60,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK.

Summary

Perhaps Michelin should take one of the stars from the nearby Hand & Flowers and give it to Michael Macdonald’s “wonderful” venture? “It’s like having a world class chef invite you to his house”“the dining room is tiny and it can feel like eating in a home” – but the “exciting” cuisine is “always brilliant”, and “staff are attentive and knowledgeable too”.

£67
Exceptional
Very Good
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

Summary

It is “so small”, but – on most accounts – Michael Macdonald’s well-established venture is “perfectly formed”, with a “lovely” atmosphere. The big deal though, is his “wonderful, seasonal cooking” – it’s “the epitome of consistent quality”, and “every course is a delight”.

£66
Exceptional
Very Good
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

Summary

Michael Macdonald’s dining room can feel “a tiny bit cramped”, but its style can also be described as “intimate”, and it wins high praise for its “attentive” service and “absolutely top-notch food” (which is at least as good as at the much-ballyhooed Hand & Flowers, nearby).

£65
Exceptional
Very Good
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

Summary

“Sublime” Gallic cooking, served in an “intimate” setting that’s “rather like someone’s dining room” – Michael MacDonald’s establishment induces “complete contentment” is almost all who comment on it.

£65
Exceptional
Very Good
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

Have you eaten at The Vanilla Pod?

Owner's description

Welcome to The Vanilla Pod.
The Restaurant has been awarded
2010 Regional Winner of the Good Food Guide Reader’s
Restaurant of the Year Award
The Top 100 independent restaurant by Good Food Guide 2013
Listed 92nd by Sunday Times Top 100 Hardens Guide
To celebrate our 13 year anniversary

We are looking to hold some wine and food matching evenings.

Throughout the months to celebrate some amazing wines from each country or region. We will be holding these events on a Thursday night, one each month. Please find dates listed below. The menu will be sent out by email at the beginning of each month

Our first evening will be a visit to South Africa, our aim for these nights is to offer a menu that will showcase some great wines.

Thank you for all your support over the years to which there have been a lot of changes at the vanilla pod. As you may well be aware I have been working alone in the kitchen for the last 4 years, so I do apologise if I am unable to see you all but you are more than welcome to pop your head around the door into the kitchen, it would be great to see you.

Kind regards

Michael Macdonald

5 course menu with 5 wines £70 per person

South Africa. April 16th

Australia. May 21st

Italian. June 25th

Spain. July 23rd

Chile. August 20th

California. September 24th

New Zealand. October 29th

Bordeaux. November 19th

Burgundy. December 3rd

Restaurant details

Highchair, Portions,
Yes
Yes
10 pm
31 West St, Marlow, SL7 2LS
Opening hours

lunch noon - 2 pm, dinner 7 pm - 10 pm
Last orders: 10 pm

The 2017 Harden's Guide

2016 Hardens Restaurant Guide

"User friendly in price, size and outlook"

Financial Times

What social media is saying