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Church Lane, SHINFIELD, Reading, RG2 9BY

3 rosettes

The red-brick 17th-century vicarage sits in the leafy embrace of mature trees in immaculately-kept grounds that feels a million miles from the hubbub of Reading and the hurly burly of the M4. L'Ortolan has been a fixture in the top flight of British gastronomic destinations for a generation, offering classical cuisine of a distinctly haute nature in a very serious fine-dining environment. Today, head chef Tom Clarke offers creative, dynamic contemporary cooking with its foundations firmly rooted in classical French cuisine. Via a host of menus including a gourmand option, lighter lunchtime tasting menu and clearly focused à la carte, expect visually stunning dishes of vim and vigour. It all starts with amuse-bouche such as spot-on whitebait in a light, crisp crumb, and some trendy paprika-flavoured popcorn. A first-course confit salmon allows the fish to take centre stage alongside pickled beetroot, horseradish in ice and powder form, and a swipe of liquorice-flavoured 'paint'. Move on to a perfectly cooked piece of stone bass with a creamy smoked potato purée and various textures of Jerusalem artichoke, or a busy plate of Gressingham duck with flavours of orange and ginger. 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. Among desserts, 'toffee apple' combines an apple parfait with Muscavado sponge, salted toffee and Calvados jelly, or go for bitter chocolate tart with olive and praline ice cream. 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 as well.

Further information

Tel: 0118 988 8500
Please quote 'The AA'.
Send an email

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Days closed: Sun-Mon
Dates closed: 2 wks Xmas-New Year

Restaurant information

Cooking type: Modern French
Chef: Tom Clarke
Number of seats: 58
Accessible for wheelchairs.
Disabled toilets.
Vegetarian meals available.
Children's portions.
No children under 3 yrs.
Parking available.

L'Ortolan, Shinfield
  • L'Ortolan, Shinfield
  • L'Ortolan, Shinfield


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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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