Harden's survey result
“A drink in the conservatory” has been a precursor to any meal at this bastion of fine dining for 35 years – in a converted village rectory near Reading – that “keeps up standards”, with chef Tom Clarke’s “absolutely superb” cooking: “a perfect balance of flavours, portion size and excitement on the plate, from the amuse bouche to the pudding”. One or two reporters find the ambience a tad “hushed”, but more commonly it’s thought to be “lovely”.
“Every mouthful of the beautifully presented food is a joy!”, according to fans of this well-known posh destination – a converted vicarage in a village near the M4’s Reading turn-off. Criticisms are sometimes levelled at it – of an atmosphere that’s “boring” or food that “promises more than it delivers” – but on balance it’s seen as “continuing an excellent tradition under chef Tom Clarke”.
“Wonderfully located, in an old rectory” (a little off the M4, near the Reading turn-off), this well-known foodie bastion put in a more uneven performance this year. A vociferous minority described “poor” service and judged the food “overpriced and overhyped”, but the majority still applaud Tom Clarke’s “superb standard of cuisine” and “an amazing experience rather than just a meal”.
“New head chef Tom Clarke is fab-u-lous!” and he’s more than carried on where Alan Murchison left off, at this Home Counties foodie bastion, which occupies a very pukka former rectory, and provides “superb” cuisine (including a “cracking 10-course tasting menu”), plus “many thoughtful wine options”.
For those extra special occasions you can enjoy Tom Clarke's innovative Michelin starred cuisine in the exclusivity of your own private dining room. Whether you are celebrating with friends and family, entertaining clients and colleagues or looking for a place to hold your corporate dining event, with its beautiful grounds and elegant setting L'Ortolan provides a choice of unique dining and entertaining experiences for the most memorable occasion.
Our three private dining rooms each have their own personality and style and accommodate between 8 and 22 guests. For larger parties and weddings the restaurant can be hired for exclusive use for up to 58 guests. No room hire is charged for any of our private dining rooms provided the minimum number of guests or food and beverage spend is achieved.
A dedicated member of our team will be on hand from the early stages of planning your private dining event right through to the occasion itself - enabling you and your guests to truly relax and enjoy your private L'Ortolan experience.
We know how important it is for everything to be right for your special occasion and encourage you to have a look around the restaurant prior to your event and discuss details with our team. Please call 0118 976 8800 beforehand to arrange a convenient time.
L’Ortolan Restaurant Diner Reviews
"This certainly was a fabulous evening and a delightful way to start our Anniversary Celebration week. The restaurant is set in a lovely quiet location near Reading.and you certainly get a good feel as you enter the grounds as the building looks stunning. We had a warm and friendly greeting on arrival and was asked if we would like to have a drink in the bar or outside on the patio. Due to it being a lovely evening we opted for a drink outside. While enjoying our Gin & Tonic's and a delightful snack you are presented with the menus to browse through. There were two choices of menu to choose from the 7 course Gourmand menu or the one we decided to choose the 10 course Discovery menu. The next thing to choose is the wine but with help from the sommelier who was very helpful in assisting you with your decision and was very good throughout the evening . Their reason for doing it this way I felt was quite a nice idea so when you're seated at the table everything is ready for you to start enjoying your evening. Our table was in the conservatory which was nice and cool and overlooked the patio and garden.So now to our first dish which was very interesting indeed consisting of Carrot pressing , mustard & tarragon with on top of the carrot was Herring ice cream which in fact was delicious and went perfectly with the carrot. We then moved onto a heavenly Confit Trout , elderflower & cucumber before enjoying a stunning Beef Tartare , Charcoal & a Confit Yolk I have to the first three courses were an absolute delight and we were definitely not disappointed with what was to follow starting with a fantastic Lobster Ravioli , Citrus Fruits & Crab Bisque. Our next dish was the main course a Roast Quail Breast , Sweetcorn & Truffle and matched perfectly with the wine highlight of the evening a beautiful ChatteauNeuf Du Pape. It was then time for a Cheese course with a difference consisting of Confit Tomato , Burrata & Watermelon with a Basil Dressing which was delightful and so refreshing Now it was time for desserts and to my delight there were two with the first being Apricot , Pecan & Skyr this really was heavenly but even more so was the Dark Chocolate Pave , Banana & Lime a truly fantastic way to finish We then had a coffee and a lovely after dinner cocktail in the comfort of the the bar with some Petit Fours. This rounded of a marvellous evening and we were so glad we made the trip from east to west. I would highly recommend a visit as the food is stunning the service is very professional and friendly all this in a beautiful building with lovely grounds"
"Lovely meal with very good service, however it is quite hushed which can be a little discomforting. But the unusual twists to the courses was really something!"
Church Ln, Shinfield, RG2 9BY
|Number of Diners:|
|Tuesday||12 pm-2 pm, 7 pm-9 pm|
|Wednesday||12 pm-2 pm, 7 pm-9 pm|
|Thursday||12 pm-2 pm, 7 pm-9 pm|
|Friday||12 pm-2 pm, 7 pm-9 pm|
|Saturday||12 pm-2 pm, 7 pm-9 pm|