Orwells Restaurant in Shiplake Row five minutes from Henley-on-Thames is owned by chefs Ryan and Liam Simpson-Trotman. The pair took over the 18th century former pub in 2010 and have since won Restaurant of the Year 2017 and been rated 28 in the UK Top 50 Restaurants in the Waitrose Good Food Guide 2020. They are also one of less than 50 UK restaurants to hold 4 AA Rosettes in the AA Restaurant Guide 2021. Ryan and Liam are regulars on ITV’s James Martin’s Saturday Morning and BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen and they have both competed for their respective UK regions in BBC2’s Great British Menu.
The chefs have put their classic training to good use, adding modern touches and creating their own style and bold flavours; however the emphasis remains on bringing out the best of each and every ingredient. Ryan and Liam work heavily with local suppliers, only use sustainable produce and Liam tends to their small holding which produces up to 75% of Orwells seasonal fruit, herbs and vegetables. He also keeps bees producing plenty of honey to use across many of the dishes at Orwells. Beyond the kitchen, Restaurant Manager Arnaud Delaporte heads up the front of house team, taking care of the extensive wines, cocktails, spirits and impressive selection of gins.
In June 2021, having dreamed of owing a pub for many years, Ryan and Liam bought their local and rescuing it from the clutches of developers. The pair will relaunch The Plough at Shiplake in early 2022 following an extensive restoration of the building which dates back to 1774. At the new venture the chefs will remain loyal to their ethos of sustainable sourcing and homegrown cooking, whilst bringing a seven day a week dining and drinking local and destination pub to the village.
‘A menu fizzing with creative ideas and exciting combinations’ AA Guide – Simon Numphud
The artichokes with blue cheese and almonds were a favourite and ordered twice! Giles Coren – The Times Magazine. Score 7.87 out of 10.
“We’re impressed. And happy. These lads can cook. This restaurant rocks.” Tom Parker Bowles – Mail On Sunday