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“A delicious treat”
Review of L'Ortolan

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Ranked #7 of 621 Restaurants in Reading
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $36 - $133
Cuisines: French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions, Business meetings
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Transit: Train: Reading Station then taxi. Bus: Lines 9 & 144 stop within a few minutes walk of the restaurant.
Description: A unique culinary experience in the pleasant village of Shinfield, just outside Reading, Michelin starred L'Ortolan is wonderfully appointed, a complement to the impressive historic house which it calls home. Surrounded by beautiful grounds and serving food of the very highest quality,creative and sophisticated, is prepared by Head Chef Tom Clarke and his team using the best possible ingredients. A range of unique dining options are available including private dining and a Chef's Table, making L'Ortolan perfect for any occasion.
Wokingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“A delicious treat”
Reviewed November 22, 2012

My husband and I went to L’Ortolan for dinner on our wedding anniversary after hearing such good reviews. We were thoroughly impressed with the delicious food, wine and overall experience. It is quite pricey so definitely somewhere we’ll save as a treat but certainly worth the money on special occasions.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Laura T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,049 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Basingstoke, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
159 reviews
131 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
“Delicious lunch”
Reviewed November 18, 2012

We decided to go to L'ortolan for lunch after reading their menus on the website and liking the look of their set lunch menu.

L'ortolan is a bit in the middle of nowhere... But the restaurant suits its surroundings well.

We received a friendly welcome and were shown through to the bar for pre lunch drinks and a chance to select from the menus. Its a nice touch, but means you feel obliged to buy a drink (not included in the set menu cost). I must admit, the Austrian white wine was lovely and well priced and the coke (for the driver) wasn't too over priced.

The set lunch menu had a decent varied selection. The food came out well presented and tasted delicious. The extra courses that formed part of the set menu were yummy and went with the rest of the menu.

The service was friendly and efficient and not 'stuffy' as similar London restaurants can be. It was a relaxing experience and we both left feeling rather full!!

I would say the only thing that let L'ortolan down was the final bill.... Although the food was lovely and the service was very good, it didn't represent the best value for money for a restaurant so far out of the way.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Thank Littleferrett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England
Level Contributor
37 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“A pleasant restaurant”
Reviewed November 16, 2012

Living close by, there's quite a selection of fine dining restaurants within a fifteen minutes drive of here .... most notably the Bray and Sonning contingent. L'Ortolan is a mixed bag ... good points and not so good points. Here's my take ... pretty setting, though a slightly weird entrance, the house and garden having been carved up in the past and next door to what looks like a housing estate. M4 road noise can be quite loud.
We went for the seven course tasting menu:
Vegetarian option of fine dining ... words from my companion ... interesting, unusual combinations. Two courses out of seven were memorable for good points; two of the remaining courses were memorable for the wrong reasons: beetroot (just weird) and risotto (far too salty) wasn't good; Mentioned an allergy to sesame ... and the beetroot was laced with mixed seeds, sesame included - fortunately the anaphylactic shock was averted prior to eating the dish. Presentation was so so (tried hard, but some looked unappetising!)
The normal course tasting menu ... five courses were a hit - two were forgettable; small portions, but that's the point of a tasting menu. All food looked great.
I didn't know there were so many people near Reading with speech impediments! Fake french accents abound - beware (I think one of the staff actually was from France ... the rest were pretending, badly); decor a bit seventies kitsch ... some will like, some won't.
The wine list was fairly extensive, though I felt the mark-ups were steep - but in line with what's normal for a michelin starred restaurant.
If it sounds like I didn't like this place, then that would be harsh and unfair ... I do. I struggle to rate this place overall - better than average - not quite worthy of very good.
I think this is the marmite of restaurants ... those who like will like it very much, others will (and have) hated it ...

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
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1 Thank Wearsthesoap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
139 reviews
81 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“Excellent service and cooking”
Reviewed November 14, 2012

We are so lucky to live near to L'Ortolan. We are frequent visitors and have never been disappointed with the standard of the service nor of the cooking. The whole experience is a delight with professional, engaging staff who really know their business and convey their passion for their work.

  • Visited January 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Thank mrsmills55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
89 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“A great experience.”
Reviewed November 12, 2012

A recent visit to this restaurant to sample their Lunchtime tasting menu, at a fair price, was outstanding in terms of the quality of the food, experience and service. In this case it was also excellent value for money - but I am sure those paying higher prices would still relish their meal in this environment.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Thank M T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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