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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

The whitewashed 18th-century property in a village near the Oxfordshire-Berkshire border may look like a rustic old country pub, but the interior tells another story. Granted, the ancient beams and floorboards are still in evidence, but the truth is Orwells is a thrusting contemporary restaurant and its decor fits the mood of our times with mellow duck-egg blue walls, quirky pictures and high-quality tableware. Chef-patrons Liam Trotman and Ryan Simpson have a wealth of experience and have created a little foodie oasis in the green countryside of South Oxfordshire. Their own smallholding just down the road produces around 75 per cent of the fruit and veg used in the kitchen, and what isn't home-grown is sourced with due diligence. This fiercely seasonal approach combined with phenomenal technical skill results in beautifully crafted dishes and relatively complex constructions that seldom fail to impress. A superb piece of seared mackerel is partnered with smoked eel, lardons, tart apple and puréed beetroot, and then, in a paradoxical piece of whimsy, a red-hot kick from silky-smooth horseradish ice cream. Next up, a dish of Herefordshire beef is a perfect celebration of the beast, while a tranche of cod arrives with oysters and leeks in a buttery sauce, and a shard of crispy chicken skin. A dessert of apple and salted caramel is a ball (literally and metaphorically), while a cheesecake brings the winning pairing of rhubarb and custard. Brilliant home-made breads (Wessex brown and sourdough, say), and a very clever amuse bouche inspired by a Lincolnshire Poacher ploughman's, show Orwells' class runs from top to bottom.

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 from: 23
  • 2-course lunch from: 25
  • 3-course lunch from: 29.95
  • 2-course dinner from: 30
  • 3-course dinner from: 34.95
  • Tasting menu from: 95
  • 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
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