RestaurantsOxfordshireShiplakeRG9

survey result

Summary

£92
 ££££
4
Very Good
4
Very Good
3
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Serious food in a chilled and characterful countryside pub setting” has won acclaim for Ryan & Liam Simpson-Trotman’s well-established venture, a short drive from Henley. The “superb tasting menu” provides “a veritable cornucopia of interestingly conceived and original dishes, worthy of a higher ranking from the French tyremaker” (who inexplicably has not given them a star yet). “There was prodigious use of dry ice during our meal like at The Fat Duck, except here it’s 1/4 price and 1/10 as pretentious!”

Summary

£90
 ££££
5
Exceptional
4
Very Good
3
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Love it, love it, love it!” is the universal theme in all feedback on Ryan & Liam Simpson-Trotman’s gentrified pub, a short drive out of Henley, where, in summer, you can “eat the beautiful garden with views of the countryside”. Service is “professional” and the well-judged cooking – “innovative” without being unduly ‘cheffy’ – is “exceptional”. Michelin continue to miss a trick here.

Summary

£90
 ££££
5
Exceptional
4
Very Good
3
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Love it, love it, love it!” is the universal theme in all feedback on Ryan & Liam Simpson-Trotman’s gentrified pub, a short drive out of Henley, where, in summer, you can “eat the beautiful garden with views of the countryside”. Service is “professional” and the well-judged cooking – “innovative” without being unduly ‘cheffy’ – is “exceptional”. Michelin continue to miss a trick here.

Summary

£63
  £££
5
Exceptional
4
Very Good
3
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

Ryan Simpson and Liam Trotman’s smartly converted old pub – “beautifully situated” in the woods between Reading and Henley – has “grown in stature since it opened” a couple of years ago “and has not rested on its laurels”. One or two reporters accuse it of “trying too hard”, but the overwhelming picture is of “superb cooking matched by the quirky and superb selection of wines available from their Coravin”. “Surely Michelin must give it a star soon – it’s already a cut above many who have that honour!”

For 31 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. In a typical year, diners submit over 50,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK. Each year, the guide is re-written from scratch based on this survey (although for the 2021 edition, reviews are little changed from 2020 as no survey could run for that year).

Have you eaten at Orwells?

Owner's description

THE STORY SO FAR...
Orwells is set inside a pretty pub building, located just 5 minutes from the town centre of Henley on Thames and 10 minutes from Reading. Also easily accesible from London via Paddington Station, in only 30 minutes.

Chefs Ryan Simpson & Liam Trotman previously achieved 2 AA Rosettes a cooking score of 5/10 in the Good Food Guide and 1 Michelin Star at The Goose in 2010. After leaving The Goose Ryan and Liam went on to Open Orwells in May 2010.

Since then Orwells has achieved 3 AA Rosettes, a cooking score of 6/10 Good Food Guide, a listing in the Michelin Guide and won The Good Food Guides Readers Restaurant of the year, A listing in the Tatler Magazine, being recognised amount the best of British and finally 3 Gold Stars in the Sustainable Restaurant Association for being a champion of sustainability as well as other local recognition.

The ethos is to serve nothing but the highest quality food in a relaxed setting free from frippery and fuss where families, friends and colleagues can all feel equally at home. While you won't find a bevy of locals propping up our bar, we do have a beautiful garden that - weather permitting - is open to drinkers as much as diners, and through our set lunch and dinner menus we strive to offer something for every budget.

The ingredients are soured locally where ever possible that reflect the best of what Britain can produce, so although we take a modern approach to preparing them and aren't averse to the odd creative flourish, the idea of letting fabulous ingredients stand out is at the heart of what we do.

Orwells is located on Shiplake Row, near Henley on Thames, surrounded by farmland in the beautiful South Oxfordshire countryside just on the Berkshire boarder. Nearby we have our own small holding and apiary where most of our fruit, vegetables and honey are produced.

Prices

  Cost Availability Courses
Menu1 130.00 Always available 5
Menu2 80.00 Always available 5

Traditional European menu

Starter Main Pudding
£23.00 £32.50 £12.00
Drinks  
Wine per bottle £28.00
Filter Coffee £2.00
Extras  
Bread £0.00
Service 10.00%

Restaurant details

Highchair,Portions
Yes
16
No dress code
35
Shiplake Row, Shiplake, RG9 4DP
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Opening hours
MondayCLOSED
TuesdayCLOSED
Wednesday12 pm‑2 pm, 7 pm‑9 pm
Thursday12 pm‑2 pm, 7 pm‑9 pm
Friday12 pm‑2 pm, 7 pm‑9 pm
Saturday12 pm‑2 pm, 7 pm‑9 pm
Sunday12 pm‑3:30 pm

The 2022 Harden's Guide

2022 Hardens London Restaurant Guide

"User friendly in price, size and outlook"

Financial Times