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“great service, great food” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Essence at Old Red Lion Court - CLOSED

Essence at Old Red Lion Court
Price range: US$25 - US$47
Cuisines: British, Mediterranean
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, After-hours, Highchairs Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Description: "Essence" is in the Old Red Lion Court, which connects Bridge Street to Sheep Street. Our team of chefs prepare all our dishes on the premises including our selection of breads, ice creams and sorbets.Essence is perfect for catching up with friends over coffee or a light lunch, business lunches, pre & post theatre meals, romantic dining, private parties in our upstairs dining room, traditional Sunday lunches and alfresco dining when the weather is suitable!Come and drop in to experience the fresh contemporary feel of our new dining and drinking environment. We look forward to welcoming you.
Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
288 reviews
265 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
“great service, great food”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 April 2013

Like many no doubt, we were looking for somewhere close the the (RSC) Theatre and I can thoroughly recommend Essence as fitting the bill. It is tucked away but less than five minutes walk from the Theatre. (Tip. Find McDonald's on Bridge St and Red Lion Court is adjacent). The welcome and attention we got was second to none and the food also top rate. The menu is not too long but is great value with starters in the £4 - £6 region, mains £8 - £12 and deserts £4 - £7. there is also a decent wine list with several good wines by the glass. (Good when you want red and the wife wants white!).
Starters we had homemade mushroom soup, fishcakes with chilli dip and lambs kidneys in a large yorkshire pudding with a coarse mustard sauce, (see photo). I had the fishcakes which were very nice, but I wish I had ordered the kidneys - food envy! Mains were chicken breast on a bed of hot pot potatoes in a bacon sauce, grilled salmon and a haddock risotto. For deserts only two of us managed to complete the course with warm choc late brownies with homemade chocolate ice cream. Apparently all of their ice cream is home made and you really can taste the difference.
In summary - recommended!

  • Visited April 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Jez D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

370 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    268
    66
    21
    10
    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Dunstable, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Delicious food. Wonderful service.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 April 2013

Reasonably priced dishes cooked by owner/chef. Good range of delicious British dishes. Service was attentive and we were not made to feel rushed.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank JanetD59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
95 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Lovely restaurant and great service”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 April 2013

We visited this lovely restaurant for lunch on Easter Friday, after reading very good reviews, and were not disappointed. The atmosphere and service were wonderful, and we had the set menu for lunch, which was just lovely! (Very tasty soup) - it was an excellent deal. The normal menu also looked very good....and the wine list is excellent!

It is quite hidden away and I doubt we would have found it by chnace, but it is well worth finding out. I imagine it gets very busy, especially at night, so worth booking.

The waiting staff are so friendly and nothing is too much trouble.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank GKellyBirmingham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leigh on Sea - Essex UK
Level Contributor
29 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Maybe too well hidden?”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 April 2013

My wife and I took a weekend break in Stratford and realy stumbled across Essence out of desperation for a light lunch, hidden down an alley of small shops off the bottom of the High Street.

Service impeccable, food to die for and a lunch time fixed price menu to suit even the meanest of pockets, as well as the fussiest of foodies - but you have to wonder how many opportunities they miss out on.

Put yourselves about lads - you've got a brilliant product and you don't tell the weekend break brigade you're there. Get some leaflets around the hotels!

  • Visited March 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank SeasiderLeighonSea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Derby, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Excellent food”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 April 2013 via mobile

The food was excellent and the two course lunch deal was very good value for money.The wine was very nice too! Definitely recommend the salmon and prawn pasta dish.We will definitely come back next time we are in Stratford.

    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Hanny85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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