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About this rating

Restaurants are awarded from 1 to 5 Rosettes for culinary excellence. One Rosette restaurants are highly recommended in a local area and five Rosettes have reached the pinnacle of culinary excellence at a world class level.

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Inspirational modernist cooking with a direct approach

AA Inspector

At a glance

Vegetarian menu
Tasting menu
Private dining
Wines by the glass
Wheelchair access
Credit cards accepted

A five-minute canter from the centre of Henley, in the rural enclave of Binfield Heath, Orwells is the labour of love of Ryan Simpson and Liam Trotman. It may look like a straightforward whitewashed country inn from the Georgian era, but all kinds of creative magic are going on here. A little along the road is the Orwells smallholding, where much of the fresh produce for the kitchens is grown, with honey from the resident apiary. Crisply linened tables and a modern wood floor make a neat contrast to the unevenly beamed shell of the place, and the cooking is something else again. There is a distinct inclination to keep things straightforward rather than going for fiddly complexity, but the dishes are still possessed of inspirational modernist impetus. A starter of spider crab paired with smoked apple is a revealing combination of elements, while the Japanese katsu treatment of monkfish gains even sharper edge from rhubarb and spring onions. Main courses lean more towards classical treatments, as for lamb loin with turnips, broccoli and wild garlic, or muntjac venison with girolles and hazelnuts. The single fish offering could be a bracing preparation of Torbay brill in verjus with radish and cucumber. That honey then comes into its own as the anointment of a sponge pudding dessert served with salt caramel, or as the honeycomb that comes with tonka pannacotta, pistachios and rhubarb. Well-kept British cheeses are outlined on their own menu. Seasonal multi-course tasters run from an array of appetisers to a pair of desserts, with two exciting choices of wine flight.

Opening hours

  • Closed: 2 weeks beginning January and 2 weeks beginning September
  • Days closed: Monday to Tuesday
  • Closed for dinner: Sunday
  • Lunch served from: 12
  • Lunch served until: 3
  • Dinner served from: 7
  • Dinner served until: 9.30

Chef

  • Chef(s): Ryan Simpson, Liam Trotman

Food and drink

  • Cuisine style: Modern British
  • Vegetarian menu
  • Wines under £30: 15
  • Wines over £30: 110
  • Wines by the glass: 14

Price guide

  • Starter from: £10
  • Main course from: £23
  • Dessert from: £9
  • 2-course lunch from: £25
  • 3-course lunch from: £30
  • 2-course dinner from: £30
  • 3-course dinner from: £35
  • Tasting menu from: £60
  • Credit cards accepted

Accessibility

  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Accessible toilets

Additional information

  • Seats: 35
  • Private dining available
  • Private dining seats: 16
  • On-site parking available

Getting here

A4155 to Binfield Heath, take Plough Lane to Shiplake Row, restaurant on left.

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Nearest train station

Shiplake, Reading
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Three-course lunch from£30**Minimum price for a 3-course lunch *Minimum price for a 3-course lunch
*Minimum price for a 3-course lunch
*Minimum price for a 3-course lunch
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