survey result

Summary

£123
£££££
3
Good
4
Very Good
5
Exceptional
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“The setting on the Thames at Sonning Eye is just fantastic, but better still, the quality of the food that comes out of the kitchen is always first class”, according to fans of this long-established and well-known Thames-valley institution, which has been owned by the Emmanuel family since 1972. “If you like formal, this is the place to go”, and while fans acknowledge that “it’s a little pricey”, they feel the investment is “well worth it for special occasions”. As well as its signature duck, spit-roasted over an open fire, it’s “very impressive wine list” is another feature (“we call it ‘The Bible’”).

Summary

£123
£££££
3
Good
3
Good
5
Exceptional
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

A “lovely location for a lazy lunch or dinner” – this traditional and “very enjoyable” Thames-valley staple sits just over the bridge from picturesque Sonning and is best known for its signature duck, spit-roasted over an open fire. Even fans can note prices are “somewhat toppish”, however, and critics feel it is “seriously overpriced for satisfactory but old-school French fine dining”.

Summary

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

“A gorgeous aspect overlooking the river… perfect for a sunny Sunday or bank holiday lunch” creates a picture-book English scene at this Thames-valley fixture, just over the bridge from lovely Sonning. Known for its “outstanding duck, which roasts in an open fire” this “old-fashioned and traditional restaurant” is, say fans, “always a delight” and backed up by a heavyweight wine list too. Caveats? – “while the food is above average, it’s not a show-stopper”, and the occasional cynic feels that “the setting is so idyllic it is understandable that they squeeze you for every penny”.

Summary

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

“A gorgeous aspect overlooking the river… perfect for a sunny Sunday or bank holiday lunch” creates a picture-book English scene at this Thames-valley fixture, just over the bridge from lovely Sonning. Known for its “outstanding duck, which roasts in an open fire” this “old-fashioned and traditional restaurant” is, say fans, “always a delight” and backed up by a heavyweight wine list too. Caveats? – “while the food is above average, it’s not a show-stopper”, and the occasional cynic feels that “the setting is so idyllic it is understandable that they squeeze you for every penny”.

For 32 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 The French Horn?

Owner's description

Now a restaurant with rooms, it has been run by the Emmanuel family since 1972, when it was bought by restaurateurs Ronnie and Carole Emmanuel. The French Horn is now run by their son and daughter, Michael and Elaine. Michael trained in Lyon under Paul Bocuse and in Mougins under Roger Verge.

He and Elaine then opened a restaurant in London which was awarded with a prestigious Michelin star.

Michael and Elaine’s great-grandfather was an oysterman in Whitstable. His son, Bernard Walsh, moved to London and opened Wheelers, the famous fish restaurant, which later expanded to a number of seafood restaurants across the capital.

Bernard’s daughter Carole carried on the family food tradition by training in Paris and then at La Pyramide in Vienne. Her husband, Ronnie Emmanuel, took over Wheelers, while Carole bought The French Horn. The family have also owned oyster beds in Colchester and lobster fisheries in Scotland; and they bring their understanding of seafood to The French Horn’s menu

The family’s passions for fresh ingredients and French cooking can be felt in every dish that comes from The French Horn’s kitchens. This combined with Michael’s skills at developing a splendid wine cellar make dining at The French Horn a real pleasure.

 

Prices

Availability 2 courses 3 courses coffee included service included
SundayLunch   £80.00

Traditional European menu

Starter Main Veggies Pudding
£23.00 £36.00 £3.50 £15.00
Drinks  
Wine per bottle £50.00
Filter Coffee £7.00
Extras  
Service 10.00%

Restaurant details

Highchair,Portions
Yes
20
No dress code
70
Yes

The chef

Our Head Chef – Josiane Diaga

Josiane Diaga has cooked in many of the best Michelin-starred restaurants in London (including The Waldorf) and in France (The Hotel Negresco in Nice); and prior to joining us was Head Chef at a prestigious restaurant in America.

Josiane has the French passion for using the best seasonal produce. She always cooks with the diner in mind, never losing sight of their enjoyment; and she truly understands how to get the best from her ingredients, sourcing delicacies throughout the year.

Sonning-on-Thames, RG4 6TN
Opening hours
MondayCLOSED
TuesdayCLOSED
Wednesday12 pm‑2 pm, 7 pm‑9:30 pm
Thursday12 pm‑2 pm, 7 pm‑9:30 pm
Friday12 pm‑2 pm, 7 pm‑9:30 pm
Saturday12 pm‑2 pm, 7 pm‑9:30 pm
Sunday12 pm‑4:30 pm

The 2023 Harden's Guide

2023 Hardens London Restaurant Guide

"User friendly in price, size and outlook"

Financial Times