Harden's survey result
“This beautiful house on the outskirts of Reading is still a favourite for a special meal” – an impressive old vicarage that many reporters are lucky enough to visit regularly. “Chef Tom Clarke has made this restaurant his own” and there’s a feeling of “relaxed attention to detail at all levels, with warm and friendly staff, plus beautifully judged cooking”. The “wonderful tasting menu” features in many reports, as does the “fantastic chef’s table”: “when you see the kitchen, it’s like a well-oiled machine”.
“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”.
|Wine per bottle||£26.95|
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|