Orwells
Orwells

Orwells

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.orwellsatshiplake.co.uk/
  • Phone: 01189403673x
  • Hours of Operation:


    Wednesday - Saturday:


    Lunch: 11.30am - 3pm


    Dinner: 6.30pm - 9.30 pm


    Sunday:


    Lunch Only: 11.30am - 3.30pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Modern European, British
  • Executive Chef: Ryan Simpson
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet, Beer, Chef's Table, Fireplace, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: We supply full onsite- and off-site catering, anything from Canapes and finger food to full buffett and special bespoke events catering.
  • Special Events: Birthdays
    Weddings
    Business Meetings
    Canape & Bubbly Receptions
    Buffet & Finger Food
    Tasting Menu
    Exclusive Hire

Getting there

  • Public Transit: Shiplake Train Station (5 Minutes Car/Taxi Journey)
    Reading bus route, number 800
  • Parking: Private Car Park
A word from Orwells
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 approach and modern cooking has won Orwells "Reader's Restaurant of the Year" in the 2012 Good Food Guide, not even one year after opening,also the Pride of Reading award and quite recently awarded with 3AA Rossettes.
Orwells caters for everyone, offering an extentive choice from the a la carte menu, a 6 Course & Surprise Tasting Menu as well as our Lunch Menu, running from Wednesday to Saturday.
On Sundays Orwells is very popular for families and couples who enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and good food, Summertime in the Garden overlooking the Oxfordshire countryside.

We look forward to seeing you very soon
Continued
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambience
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Orwells reviews from OpenTable diners
111 reviews since 1 November 2013
Average Rating4.4
  • Food4.6
    Service4.2
  • Ambience4.1
    Value3.9
95% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasions (78)fit for foodies (77)romance (41)sunday lunch (38)business meals (29)outdoor eating (12)group bookings (9)outstanding value (7)good vegetarian options (7)child friendly (5)brunch (3)pre/post theatre (2)afternoon tea (1)Show More
  • TiggyD
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 26/10/2014
    Lunch was simply outstanding. The meats were cooked to perfection, seasonal vegetables beautifully prepared. Orwells is a real gem.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, Sunday lunch
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Foodie bliss
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 18/10/2014
    We have dined at Orwells on three seperate occassions and each time our experience has been excellent. It is a quaint pub with exceptional food and attentive staff. I'm surprised the chef has not yet received a Michelin star. Im already looking forward to my next visit.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good vegetarian options, special occasions, Sunday lunch
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 12/10/2014
    Excellent all round and lovely location. Staff very welcoming and food sublime.
    Special Features:
    Sunday lunch
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • WorldTraveller
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    We found the food to be superb - at least one Michelin star level, if not more.
    Special Features:
    business meals, fit for foodies, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Autumn!!!
    Shiplakelocal
    Dined on 2/10/2014
    Lovely new menu! Ryan and Liam's food is fantastic and ever evolving. Lovely dinner last Thursday. Service impeccable as always. Our personalised wine flight was wonderful with a few new ideas for us to try. Thrilled to hear Liam is now keeping bees! There is no end to the talents of this crew.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, outstanding value, romance, special occasions, Sunday lunch
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointing for vegetarians
    nixout
    Dined on 27/9/2014
    My husband, being a meat eater, was happy with his meals. The side dishes we had were a good size and tasty.The dessert was fantastic. However from a vegetarians point of view I was disappointed. There was only one starter and one main available. I had the Cauliflower panna cotta to start and the Kholrabi for the main. The starter was something I was pleased I tried as it was different from anything I had tried before. The main was disappointing and very poor value for money at £18. It was simply a collection of loose, vegetables arranged on a plate with nothing to link them together like a sauce. The methods chosen to cook the vegetables were also not the best ones to do them justice and some parts were simply unpleasant to eat.
    Special Features:
    Sunday lunch
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food
    PaulO
    Dined on 27/9/2014
    4 of us ate on a Saturday night. The food was excellent and the service good for a busy night. We had one drink before the meal, shared a bottle of £27 wine between 4 and it cost ££68 a head. Food was really excellent and imaginative.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very good
    HYS2
    Dined on 26/9/2014
    Very busy so service wasn't its usual 100%, but still very good. Wine excellent, and food always quality.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • First impressions
    Sylave34
    Dined on 20/9/2014
    First visit to Orwells, the atmosphere was warm and welcoming at the bar, with a great range of cocktails and aperitifs. Menu looked great but I was worried about the portions with modern fine dining. scallop starter was gorgeous and light, I had the suckling pig and my wife had the Wagu beef. Both excellent but we did think £4 per side dish was excessive. Service was excellent, attentive without being intrusive. Desert was also gorgeous, I had the salted caramel sponge, Devine and the desert wine matched it perfectly. A wonderful meal for a special occasion on our wedding anniversary. We had both had plenty to eat at the end, so don't worry about the portions. It's not cheap but an excellent choice for special occasions.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wrinkley
    Dined on 19/9/2014
    This is no longer a place where you can get a good value lunch. The £10 set lunch is now £15 and the Friday Fish and Chips has gone from the Menu. A shame
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Sustainable food
    ICS6
    Dined on 31/8/2014
    Friendly staff and a sustainable ethos. The latter not advertised as much as it could be.
    Special Features:
    Sunday lunch
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding Orwells
    Gooner44
    Dined on 28/8/2014
    We have been going to Orwells regularly since Ryan and Liam took it over. The cooking was always good but is getting better. Front of House is run very urbanely by Kurt (Liam's brother). It's all very relaxed and high class, close to Henley but without any pretension.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good vegetarian options, Sunday lunch
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing meal & wonderful experience
    ebtsv
    Dined on 27/8/2014
    I'd heard that Orwells was fantastic so I chose it for a special celebratory meal and the experience was even better than expected. The service was attentive without hovering, we were warmly greeted and then the meal! The food was delicious and beautiful as I would have expected from a high end London restaurant. Beautiful setting in a very old building, wonderful experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good vegetarian options, group bookings, romance, special occasions, Sunday lunch
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • JJ2014
    Dined on 23/8/2014
    This was our third visit. We thoroughly enjoy the food here, especially the venison which was cooked to our satisfaction. The service is efficient and friendly. Recommend the 2 or 3 course lunch.
    Special Features:
    business meals, outstanding value, special occasions, Sunday lunch
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Delicious Food
    dinners
    Dined on 21/8/2014
    We visited for my husband's birthday and had a delicious meal, with friendly, attentive service. Both had squid starter and monkfish main. Both dishes were unusual and tasted great. Extensive winelist with plenty that were affordable. Dessert and cheese were just right. Overall we would thoroughly recommend for a special occassion.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful food - great atmosphere
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 16/8/2014
    Great meal with friendly and funny staff in a relaxed atmosphere. The food was wonderful and interesting with good accompanying wines. They achieved the right balance of attentive service without rushing, the food simply arrived at the right time in the evening. Would highly commend and recommend to friends.
    Special Features:
    business meals, fit for foodies, group bookings, special occasions, Sunday lunch
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delightful
    burgundyduck
    Dined on 16/8/2014
    We took some friends from the US out for lunch. The setting was quiet with a cosy feeling - lovely wood bar. The staff were friendly and kindly held a table for us for more than an hour. We enjoyed a leisurely meal and were not rushed in any way. The food was picture perfect and very good. We tried and enjoyed scallops, suckling pig, John dory and grouse. My dessert of sorrel sorbet on a pink praline tart really hit the spot. The food was fun and all very good, definitely a hit with all in our group. We will definitely be going back.
    Special Features:
    business meals, fit for foodies, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Another awesome meal !
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 14/8/2014
    Expectaions are always high when we eat at Orwells , and as always we were not dissapointed. Awesome food Ryan's skill at flavour combinations is at another level. Well worth a visit
    Special Features:
    special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Another great lunch
    Brianheliman
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    This is a great place to eat with a good friendly atmosphere. The scallops are very good and the chicken liver parfait is a delight. The mackerel starter was very tasty. The main of place was well cooked and melted in the mouth. Just can not find fault – keep it up lads and a star is on the way!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, outdoor eating, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Faultless
    Is678
    Dined on 2/8/2014
    Great menu. Attentive friendly service. Lovely selection of bread roll offered frequently. All very tasty. I testing menu. Portion size good. All food superb. Relaxing atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 31/7/2014
    My friend and I went along to sample the lunch menu which is reasonably priced. Instead we had the sardine starters from the lunch menu, but chose to have the 'special' starter of scallops rather than what was on offer on the lunch menu for the mains as this appealed to us more. Consequently our bill came to rather more than we had budgeted for! Nevertheless the food was absolutely delicious, although being 2 starters we could have eaten it again even with the side order of potatoes. The strawberry cheesecake dessert which came with crunchy slices of strawberry on the top was also really delicious. The decor in this restaurant was very tasteful and I look forward to going back one evening with my husband.
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent
    slurp
    Dined on 27/7/2014
    Delicious food for a perfect Sunday lunch. The restaurant deserves its recommendation in the Michelin guide.
    Special Features:
    outdoor eating, Sunday lunch
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 25/7/2014
    Outstanding food,very friendly staff,deserves a michelin star,highly recommended
    Special Features:
    outstanding value, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Down at ell!
    Brianheliman
    Dined on 19/7/2014
    We like Orwell’s as it has a warm friendly informal atmosphere coupled with good service and excellent food. The scallop starter is great. The smoked ell and foie gras could have done with a bit more ell as just two very small bits was a disappointment given the flavour and its star billing. The Wagyu beef, duck and John Dory were delightful.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Outstanding
    1789il
    Dined on 12/7/2014
    Orwells is without doubt one of the best restaurants I have been to for some time. You will not be disappointed with the food. One word can describe this restaurant and staff “OUTSTANDING”.
    Special Features:
    business meals, child friendly, fit for foodies, group bookings, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions, Sunday lunch
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Great food at a reasonable price
    PassionateFoodie
    Dined on 4/7/2014
    The food at Orwells is such good value for money. Lovely, fresh to quality produce cooked to perfection. I could not fault anything at all on the food front. We sat out in the garden which was lovely were it not for the fact the extractor fan from the kitchen vents directly into the garden and is unfortunately very loud indeed. Apart from that, I can't find fault at all.
    Special Features:
    special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Wonderful
    Suzy
    Dined on 22/6/2014
    This is the first time we've gone for Sunday Lunch having dined there several times in the evening. The Big Green Egg Roast was superb, two of us had lamb the other two beef. All of it was really good. Menu choices are very good and similar to the Evening A La Carte Menu. The big plus is the set price for Sunday Lunch with a couple of options shown with a small surcharge. Overall an excellent experience. They do some excellent drinks including homemade rosehip syrup served with champagne. On this occasion I had a new one which was raspberries from the garden, gin and champagne - lovely.
    Special Features:
    business meals, fit for foodies, outdoor eating, special occasions, Sunday lunch
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent garden lunch
    FunkyG
    Dined on 21/6/2014
    Good food, nice staff, good service although a bit slow. Lovely garden, good lunch menu, but should have real ales on draft. Will come back.
    Special Features:
    business meals, fit for foodies, outdoor eating, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Excellent food & service
    Sarahvp
    Dined on 21/6/2014
    Our Orwells experience was excellent. We particularly enjoyed the attentive yet not overwhelming service with very knowledgeable waiting staff. The restaurants ability to cater gluten free was also highly appreciated. We will be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, outdoor eating, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Will be back
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 20/6/2014
    From the Perez art on the walls to the cosy dining room, this was a lovely setting for a romantic dinner. The food was delicious and the chef was very accommodating (my boyfriend asked for one of the starters to be done as a main course portion). The only (very minor) down side was that some of the other diners very loosely interpreting the smart casual dress code by turning up in shorts and a T-shirt which detracted from the otherwise lovely ambiance - if a restaurant is going to list a dress code on the website it should ask their patrons to stick to it. However, we had a lovely evening and will be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Sublime experience
    Foodlover
    Dined on 19/6/2014
    We have visited The Orwells many times as a couple, with friends, and with children; for lunch and for dinner. We have always found quality of the food very high, and the atmosphere and service friendly and welcoming, However, this was the first time we had the Taster Menu. We were 5 people, including teens and a child, who have tried taster menus at other restaurants in different countries. None of us has ever tasted one as splendid as this one at The Orwells. It was creative, perfectly cooked, every mouthful was like heaven, and the amount was just super. My husband and I chose the wine menu which matched each course perfectly well, making it all an unforgettable experience that we would highly recommend to anyone for a special occasion.
    Special Features:
    business meals, outdoor eating, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Outstanding
    1789il
    Dined on 14/6/2014
    Orwells is possibly one of my top 10 restaurants that I have ever been to. The food was to die for, service and staff great and friendly. I would recommend this restaurant to everybody, really worth a trip in to the country.
    Special Features:
    business meals, fit for foodies, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Great food but you wait for it
    Fuzzball
    Dined on 13/6/2014
    The food when it comes is delicious. It's easily Michelin standard. The issue though is that the kitchen sends good at a very slow rate. 2.5 hours for 2 courses is too slow. The staff are lovely and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it as an affordable way to eat very fine food in a nice setting but the speed the food comes out of the kitchen really had an impact on us enjoying the meal. I had to ask for more bread between courses and others in the dining room followed suit. The food rivals the Hand and Flowers, and you can get a booking, but they need to speed up.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, outdoor eating, special occasions, Sunday lunch
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good Food, Expensive Wine!
    OysterCatcher
    Dined on 13/6/2014
    We took friends to introduce them to Orwells and they, like us, enjoyed our evening. As we have come to expect, the food was excellent, it just seems such a shame that you have to spend such a lot to enjoy good wine with your meal. When we first visited Orwells, some time ago now, it seemed that whatever we chose off the wine list was enjoyable, now bottles at the lower end (in the region of £40) are 'disappointing' for the price, which I feel is in excusable - at that price, the wine should be more than acceptable and I object to paying £50 or more to get one that would be my choice. Perhaps we have just become more discerning in our tastes and they have become less so for their guests who don't want to pay OTT for their wine.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • A Feast!
    rl72m
    Dined on 1/6/2014
    How this place doesn't have a Michelin star (or two) is beyond me. There's a good, but not massive, choice on the menu which I always think is a good indicator of a really decent restaurant. Using seasonal ingredients, there are some lovely fresh ideas and twists within the cooking. Presentation is clean and elegant. Most importantly the food is heavenly. I booked Orwells on the basis of a recommendation from someone I work with. My husband and I went for Sunday lunch. I had twice-baked cheese soufflé followed by pan fried Turbot which was served with amazing girolles and sea vegetables. My hubby went for pork in various ways to start and had roast beef. All completely delicious. Highly recommended!
    Special Features:
    business meals, fit for foodies, special occasions, Sunday lunch
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Better than the shard!
    Kossuman
    Dined on 28/5/2014
    Not quite the same view but the food is far superior at a fraction of the price. We WILL return
    Special Features:
    business meals, child friendly, fit for foodies, romance, special occasions, Sunday lunch
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tip top!
    Curly1
    Dined on 25/5/2014
    Great food and service! Highly recommended! Lovely surroundings and roast potatoes to die for!!
    Special Features:
    special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A Birthday Treat
    MikeS
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    Friends had previously recommended Orwells as a great place to dine but mainly due to its location in Shiplake (a little difficult to get to from Caversham without a designated driver) we hadn't got around to giving it a try. But we booked a table for my birthday and we were not disappointed. The food was outstanding and we had the privilege of having a ring-side seats (from a few tables you can see the chefs at work through a viewing window) for its preparation. The staff were knowledgeable, witty and completely engaging which made the whole dining experience all the more special. Orwells has immediately become my favourite restaurant in the Reading area. Make sure you give it a try.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • What no tapas
    Brianheliman
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    We booked for the tapas menu to find it had been stopped the week or so before. We tried the set lunch which was great. The scallops (additional charge) were great The soup was "beautiful" and the sea bass was excellent. All in a great meal and we will be back but do bring back a tapas menu soon PLEASE.
    Special Features:
    brunch, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Simply excellent!
    Ieattoomuch123
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    Visited Orwells for my wedding anniversary and so glad we did, such a fantastic place! From the service to food our experience was simply outstanding. Looking forward to trying their catering service for my wifes next birthday.
    Special Features:
    business meals, fit for foodies, outstanding value, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value