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

“An under-appreciated jewel!” say fans of Michael Macdonald’s highly-rated venture – “an intimate, timbered (and nicely extended but still very small and very cramped) dining room” with “enthusiastic” staff (in what was once TS Eliot’s home). Michael Mcdonald’s “consistently brilliant” food is “immaculate, the flavours beautifully calculated, the wine list is wide-ranging and imaginative, and prices are a snip compared with its many famous local competitors which it ranks highly against: why it has no Michelin recognition is baffling”.

£68
Exceptional
Good
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

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.

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.
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

Restaurant details

Highchair, Portions
Yes
8
10 pm
36
31 West St, Marlow, SL7 2LS
Opening hours

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

The 2018 Harden's Guide

2018 Hardens Restaurant Guide

"User friendly in price, size and outlook"

Financial Times

What social media is saying