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“Great food but be prepared for a long evening!”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Orwells

Orwells
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Ranked #1 of 3 Restaurants in Shiplake
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$26 - US$97
Cuisines: European, British
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Child-friendly, Local cuisine, Business meetings, Special Occasion Dining
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, After-hours, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Off-Street Parking, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Description: Located in Shiplake, near Henley on Thames, Orwells' Kitchen is headed up by Michelin starred chef Ryan Simpson and Liam Trotman. The aim is to source the best produce available locally and prepare memorable dishes with no fuss to let the quality of the produce shine. This rural aproach and modern cooking has won Orwells "Reader's Restaurant of the Year" in the 2012 Good Food Guide, not even one year after opening, and also the Pride of Reading award. 2015 Edition of Waitrose Good Food Guide we feature in the top 100 restaurants. Orwells caters for everyone, offering an extensive choice from the A La carte menu, £15.00 2 Course lunch, 2 Course £19.95 Dinner and Taste of Orwells menu. On Sundays Orwells is very popular for families and couples who enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and good food, in Summertime in the Garden overlooking the Oxfordshire countryside. We look forward to seeing you very soon
Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
50 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Great food but be prepared for a long evening!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 April 2014

Went to Orwells for the first time ever as a bit of a treat and the food was great, but the whole meal from sit down to bill payment was exactly 3 hours, with probably around 40 mins between courses, which I suspect is down to organisation or shortage of kitchen staff, because there were plenty of staff out front. On the plus side, the food was imaginative and very tasty - my wife particularly loved the special Wagyu beef dish and the sorrel ice-cream which had a truly unique flavour. Make sure you try the home-made bread because it is superb - especially the wild garlic rolls. On the down side, apart from the length of time it took to get served, it seemed odd to have 5 different people attending to our table, when just the Maître De and one waiter/waitress would have felt more personal. Overall though we would go back, because it was a real gastronomic treat, but we would make sure we were on the case to make sure we were served faster.

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Alastair2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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478 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
1 review
“Becoming pretentious .... Shame....”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 April 2014

Have been enjoying Orwells for the past year but a sad day today... A £300 lunch for 3 ladies left us feeling frustrated. A new menu that didn't stimulate, staff that weren't interested in explaining the menu and the proprietor that didn't have the time to be courteous despite a request to discuss the new menu has made us realise we need to find new pastures.... Enjoy the moment boys, it doesn't last ......

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Layla15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Herefordshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
75 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Star Quality”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 April 2014

We were taken to Orwells by our Son & Daughter in law to celebrate a big birthday!!.they had been before. Well what a superb evening, the food is wonderful, ambience and setting make this an experience not to be missed. The flavours & textures were mouth watering. Asparagus & wild garlic soup, Scallops, Pigeon, to name a few. Desserts to die for Rhubarb & Custard Cheesecake where you could taste the custard & rhubarb. The almond & caramel sponge was so light in texture, a great hit! The service is relaxed so do allow plenty of time. I hope that they will get a Michelin star in the not to distant future, they thoroughly deserve it.

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank wonderbabes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Henley-on-Thames, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Sensational Surprise tasting menu”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 April 2014 via mobile

Orwells continues to be our first choice for a special meal out and although we've been many times before and always been super impressed with the tapas, lunch and evening menus, for our first anniversary we wanted to treat ourselves to the surprise tasting menu and we were not disappointed!

As always the hard work, love, care and attention to detail put into this restaurant by the talented young team running it made the evening for us! And the food completely measured up with stunning presentation, incredible flavour combinations and fantastic value for money for the quality delivered in each course.

The only down side was that if you go on a Saturday night you should be prepared to sit back, relax and enjoy the evening because the restaurant was fully booked and the wait was long but we had lovely wine to drink and good company so didn't mind. Although after the 5th or so course the booze kicked in and we forgot to photograph some of the later courses before tucking in ; )

Overall still our number 1 choice, thank you Kurt, Liam and Ryan...awesome as always. We will be back!!

Helpful?
Thank FrekeFamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Great meal every time!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 April 2014

My boyfriend and I went to Orwells last night for his birthday treat. We had the tasting menu with the Wagyu beef which was fantastic! We're never had Wagyu beef before and it was incredibly tasty and tender. We had the wine pairing with each course which was delicious and really opened our eyes to more adventurous wine. This is probably the 30th time I've been to Orwells and I have to say they amaze me each time as the menu is always changing to new seasonal dishes and the warm welcome by all of the staff makes your feel relaxed as you come in the door. I find it hard to believe the some people have been complaining about the waiting, Orwells isn't a fast food restaurant as it focuses on quality and experience. I suggest if people are after a quick rushed meal they should go to a Weatherspoons.

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Kelijiggens
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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