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Church Lane, SHINFIELD, Reading, RG2 9BY

4 rosettes

The handsome red-brick house was built as a vicarage - lucky old vicar - and enjoys a peaceful spot down a quiet lane in the peaceful village (lucky vicar again), with the hubbub of Reading and the M4 not a million miles away. This is very much a destination restaurant, a fine-dining set up with private dining rooms and multi-course tasting menus serving up culinary fireworks. The smart dining room has a conservatory extension giving views over the pretty gardens. Executive chef Alan Murchison is a dynamic restaurateur with a passion for classically - minded modern French cooking, offered via a tasting menu gourmand, a sensibly short à la carte, and a menu du jour available at lunchtime (which is pretty good value as it happens). The full-on gourmand menu might kick things off with a dish of sesame-crusted tuna served with seared scallops, compressed watermelon and radish salad, a dish which depends on pin-point timing and finely judged balancing of flavours, all duly delivered. Another course pairs duck and pineapple, with a ginger jus unifying the dish into a satisfying whole. A fish main course might be stone bass, the fillet cooked just right, and served up with salsify, parsley purée and girolles. Dishes are presented with real style and verve throughout. There's a vegetarian version of the gourmand menu, too, which offers up some classy veggie dishes such as hen's egg and truffle ravioli with artichokes and salsify, and a pumpkin risotto with Amaretto crumb and sage butter. A dessert of salted chocolate mousse partnered with coconut sorbet and confit passionfuit shows the creativity and craft continues through to the finale, as does another of almond pannacotta with poached pears, candied almonds and pear sorbet. As an alternative, or if you've room for more, the cheese trolley is a tantalising option, full up with a British selection served with home-made raisin bread and biscuits. The wine list is a class act, with organic and biodynamic options, and a sommelier on hand to help you through. There are wine flight options, too.

Further information

Tel: 0118 988 8500
Please quote 'The AA'.
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Days closed: Sun-Mon
Dates closed: 2 wks Xmas-New Year

Restaurant information

Cooking type: Modern French
Chef: Alan Murchison
Number of seats: 58
Accessible for wheelchairs.
Disabled toilets.
Vegetarian meals available.
Children welcome.
Children's portions.
Parking available.


Restaurant price guide

2 Course lunch from: £28.00
3 Course lunch from: £31.50
Prices are for guidance only. Please check when booking for current rates.

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Use the route planner for your trip

From M4 junct 11 take A33 towards Basingstoke. At 1st lights turn left, after garage turn left, 1m turn right at Six Bells pub. Restaurant 1st left (follow tourist signs)
Nearest station: Reading

Local information for RG2 9BY

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