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  • Orwells

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Orwells Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.orwellsatshiplake.co.uk
  • Phone: 0118 940 3673
  • Hours of Operation:

    Wednesday - Saturday:

    Lunch: 11.30am - 3pm

    Dinner: 6.30pm - 9.30 pm


    Lunch Only: 11.30am - 3.30pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: British, Modern European
  • 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 & Promotions: Birthdays
    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
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambience
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Diner Reviews
  • "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."
    dined on 16/08/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 16/08/2014
  • "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"
    dined on 14/08/2014
  • "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!"
    dined on 08/08/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 02/08/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 31/07/2014
  • "Delicious food for a perfect Sunday lunch. The restaurant deserves its recommendation in the Michelin guide."
    dined on 27/07/2014
  • "Outstanding food,very friendly staff,deserves a michelin star,highly recommended"
    dined on 25/07/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 19/07/2014
  • "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”."
    dined on 12/07/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 04/07/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 22/06/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 21/06/2014
  • "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!"
    dined on 21/06/2014
  • "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!"
    dined on 20/06/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 19/06/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 14/06/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 13/06/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 13/06/2014
  • "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!"
    dined on 01/06/2014
  • "Not quite the same view but the food is far superior at a fraction of the price. We WILL return"
    dined on 28/05/2014
  • "Great food and service! Highly recommended! Lovely surroundings and roast potatoes to die for!! "
    dined on 25/05/2014
  • "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. "
    dined on 10/05/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 10/05/2014
  • "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. "
    dined on 08/05/2014
  • "We had a lovely lunch at Orwells, the set menu is very good value. The imaginative and delicious food did not disappoint. It was very busy, so our pudding took a long time to appear- just the way it worked out with the timing of orders, and perhaps the shortage of waiting staff? Would not have been such an issue, except we needed to leave by a set time. The pork belly starter, and the pigeon main course deserve special mention. Thank you."
    dined on 05/05/2014
  • "I was excited at the prospect of eating here as I had seen the menu on line earlier. Our table was booked for 830pm. And we were shown straight through. But then just sat for 10 minutes and were ignored. Finally a waitress came and asked us for our drinks order. We then waited another 10 minutes before that arrived. Menus did not arrive for 35 minutes. By the time our main course arrived it was 10.10pm and I was past hunger. The service was friendly, the food beautifully presented and very tasty but just far too long to arrive. I don't know whether it is the kitchens fault or waitresses fault but it spoilt the whole evening and I would not recommend an evening meal whilst they have so many covers to serve. "
    dined on 26/04/2014
  • "Once again, this was an experience that could not be faulted. From the moment you walk in the door these people make you fell very welcome. This was backed by top quality food and friendly and humour sharing service. Two of our party had never visited and they were very impressed by their experience. Can't wait to come back"
    dined on 26/04/2014
  • "This has to be one of the best if not the best restaurants in the area. We eat out a lot and this restaurant never fails to please. The food is consistently good, although quite a short menu there is enough selection to please all palates. Produce is exceptionally fresh. Only question for us is when will a michelin star arrive? It will be well deserved"
    dined on 25/04/2014
  • "Our third visit, and this time with friends who really enjoyed it too. We all had the six course tasting menu and each dish was well worth the wait. We like Orwells for many reasons, but the fact that the chef is very accommodating of our aversion to dairy in recipes really stands out. We didn't do wine flights this time but on previous occasions the young sommelier proved to be a real star, and another good reason to return. "
    dined on 12/04/2014
  • "What a treasure tucked away in the Chiltern hills just a short drive from Shiplake and Henley - came upon it by chance on the internet researching for a weekend away and it set up the whole weekend for us. Fabulous food, beautifully presented and great service from our hosts. Try the loin of tuna starter and the pigeon for main and you'll never want to bother again wondering if you can get a table at the Hand & Flowers-Marlow! Don't be put off by the unprepossessing front of the building - just head inside and enjoy."
    dined on 12/04/2014
  • "Second visit and went A la carte ( tapas before) and was not dissapointed. Steak was great and the fish and chips was considered better than some M stared competitors. Poods were good and I loved the cheese selection. Great meal again- can not wait for the next visit."
    dined on 05/04/2014
  • "Heard about Orwell’s and gave the tapas lunch menu a try. Tempura vegetables were light and tasty. Squid good. Mountjac rissoles very tasty and enjoyable. Venison brisola slightly disappointing but ok. Salmon good but not so keen on the horseradish ice cream. Chicken livers to die for had a second portion. The staff are very friendly and efficient well worth a visit or two."
    dined on 28/03/2014
  • "Great food and ambience spoilt by disappointing service. One hour for bread, 2 hours for main course and we had to rush an ice cream and coffee to catch the taxi. Three hours was too long. Great pity because if the guys got their act together, it could be one of the great restaurants."
    dined on 22/03/2014
  • "This is the second time we have visited for the tapas lunch, and we were not disappointed. The range of dishes is excellent and all are of very good quality. This is an interesting, different and delicious lunch, and very good value."
    dined on 21/03/2014
  • "Lovely, relaxed atmosphere and food at Michelin-standard in our opinion, just without the snobbiness that can come with that label!"
    dined on 14/03/2014
  • "This restaurant has everything. Lovely ambience, privately arranged seating where you can't be overhead. Superb food and attentive staff with a sense of humour"
    dined on 14/03/2014
  • "Having enjoyed the set lunch several times before we moved on to the new Tapas type menu for the first time. There is an excellent selection of small dishes which you could have individually or share and gives much better choice than the previous set lunch formula. Three dishes each would be a good light lunch and four would satisfy the larger appetite. All dishes were beautifully prepared in accordance with the high standards you can expect from Orwells and the quality of the food was faultless. The dishes were served as they were prepared which provided some breathing space and gave a very relaxing experience. Very good value for such quality as always and we will do this again."
    dined on 11/03/2014
  • "I've been to Orwells a handful of times and really rate the food however on the last two occasions the service has been excruciatingly slow. Our table was booked at 9pm but we didn't get served our food until 10.30. Being told apologetically that the delay was due to all the tables arriving at 7.30pm made me wonder what booking system they were using...."
    dined on 01/03/2014
  • "We arrived for a booking at 2030 and finally got our starters about 915. Staff seemed completely disorganised. The portions were small and the so-called triple cooked chips weren't even double cooked. We won't be back!"
    dined on 01/03/2014