RestaurantsOxfordshireShiplakeRG9

Breaking news

Orwells took advantage of lockdown to do a "full-on" refurbishment and menu overhaul, they tell us; this is as well as running a community shop and takeaway.

survey result

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!”

Summary

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

“In the middle of the woods between Reading and Henley”, Ryan Simpson & Liam Trotman’s converted pub – “a delightful spot with a secluded garden” – is firmly on the culinary map nowadays. “The interior has been done up smartly whilst retaining the character of a typical old beamy country inn, and is a good blend of ancient and modern”. The food “is very definitely haute cuisine”, and though the odd reporter “would prefer a bit more simplicity”, most are wowed by its “seriously top end” cooking, “based around local seasonal ingredients, beautifully dressed and presented”. (“The owners and co-chefs live above their restaurant and also farm their own allotment, and are avid beekeepers too!”). Top Tip – “set lunch is a real bargain”.

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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 95.00 Always available 10
Menu2 70.00 Always available 5

Traditional European menu

Starter Main Pudding
£20.00 £36.00 £10.00
Drinks  
Wine per bottle £25.00
Filter Coffee £3.00
Extras  
Service 10.00%

Restaurant details

Highchair, Portions
Yes
16
No dress code
50

Orwells Restaurant Diner Reviews

Reviews of Orwells Restaurant in RG9, Shiplake by users of Hardens.com. Also see the editors review of Orwells restaurant.
Mark C
A couple of years later and the food standa...
Reviewed 3 months, 1 day ago

"A couple of years later and the food standards remain impeccably high, so much so it's bewildering as to why Michelin haven't yet blessed them with a star. Service could be sharpened-up post Covid but this will clearly be addressed, while the menu (half-tasting on this visit) continues to have the flourishes and surprises you'd expect but with a keener focus on keeping things simple and sustainable. Caviar with jersey royals and curried scallops with finger lime being particular highlights. Would eat here once a week if I could. Date of visit - 29/05/21"

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Paul A
A veritable cornucopia of interestingly con...
Reviewed 3 months, 15 days ago

"A veritable cornucopia of interestingly conceived and original dishes worthy of a higher ranking from the French tyremaker. Although Arnaud, the excellent front of house manager and sommelier, does his utmost, the newly recruited, post-covid staff are not quite up to speed and there were longer gaps between the 10 dishes on the Taste the Season menu than would normally be considered acceptable, which resulted in our arrival to departure sojourn lasting well over four hours. "

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Shiplake Row, Shiplake, RG9 4DP
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Opening hours
MondayCLOSED
TuesdayCLOSED
Wednesday12 pm‑2:30 pm, 7 pm‑9:30 pm
Thursday12 pm‑2:30 pm, 7 pm‑9:30 pm
Friday12 pm‑2:30 pm, 7 pm‑9:30 pm
Saturday12 pm‑2:30 pm, 7 pm‑9:30 pm
Sunday12 pm‑2:30 pm

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2020 Hardens London Restaurant Guide

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