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AA rating

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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Creative contemporary dining in a Georgian country pub

AA Inspector

At a glance

Tasting menu
Private dining
Wines by the glass

Don’t be fooled by the unassuming pubby frontage of this whitewashed 18th-century property near the Oxfordshire-Berkshire border: Orwells may look like a rustic old country inn, but the interior is that of a rather splendid contemporary restaurant. The bones of the old pub are still evident in its ancient beams and floorboards, but the decor has moved on a few centuries with mellow duck-egg blue walls, decorously clothed tables and high-backed chairs. Chef-patrons Ryan Simpson and Liam Trotman have nailed local supply lines and contemporary culinary thinking to deliver a menu fizzing with creative ideas and exciting combinations. Their own smallholding just down the road produces the lion’s share of the fruit and veg used in the kitchen, and this fiercely seasonal approach combined with phenomenal technical skill results in beautifully crafted dishes that seldom fail to impress. A starter from the à la carte menu might seek inspiration from Japan in combining scallops with seashore herbs, asparagus, edamame and yuzu. Next up, an on-trend and rather luxurious meat-seafood pairing of wagyu beef and lobster might be supported by multifarious fungi, wild garlic, potato and carrot, or there could be a splendid piece of turbot with asparagus, clams, cucumber and a trenchant hit of verjus to bring it all to life. Thoughtfully composed desserts might run to lemon tart with fromage blanc and hibiscus. There is a tasting menu, with a wine flight if you fancy going the whole hog, and at the other end of the spectrum, the fixed-price lunch is a bit of a bargain.

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: Ryan Simpson, Liam Trotman

Food and drink

  • Cuisine style: Modern British
  • Vegetarian dishes available
  • Wines under £30: 29
  • Wines over £30: 205
  • Wines by the glass: 37

Price guide

  • Starter from 8
  • Main course from23
  • 2-course lunch from25
  • 3-course lunch from29.95
  • 2-course dinner from30
  • 3-course dinner from34.95
  • Tasting menu from95
  • Credit cards accepted

Accessibility

  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Accessible toilets

Facilities

  • Seats: 40
  • Private dining available
  • Private dining seats: 20
  • On-site parking available

Additional information

  • Seats: 40
  • Private dining available
  • Private dining seats: 20

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£29.95**Based on the minimum price for a 3-course lunch *Based on the minimum price for a 3-course lunch
*Based on the minimum price for a 3-course lunch
*Based on the minimum price for a 3-course lunch
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