Found in the village of Shinfield (not far from Junction 11 on the M4) L’Ortolan is a sophisticated contemporary French restaurant which also holds the title of Reading’s only Michelin star joint. The restaurant is set within a gorgeous Grade-II listed building that is surrounded by manicured gardens and welcomes both regular tables for casual Christmas catch ups, as well as more formal festive affairs where hiring a private room is required.
Between 14-24 December of this year, L’Ortolan will exclusively serve a nine-course festive tasting menu, at both lunch and dinner. The feast begins with festive canapes, before moving on to playful seasonal dishes such as an apple ‘bauble’ stuffed with foie gras, a ‘Santa’s hat’ filled with lobster ravioli and an edible snow scene for dessert.
If you are looking to host a festive soiree, L’Ortolan offers three dedicated Christmas party spaces to choose from. The most intimate is The Champagne Room, which can accommodate up to 12 guests for a sit-down meal. Here, guests sit around a specially commissioned bubble-etched glass table resting on a timber beam, while a luxe feel is provided via gold decoupage effect walls and a Venetian mirror which dates back to the 1940s.
For medium-sized parties, instead opt for The Wine Cellar. This striking and dramatic space is decked out in shades of red (a perfect match for the Christmas season), as well as featuring crushed velvet drapes and a French Empire mirror dating from 1810 complete with a black glass surround.
The third and final Christmas party space at L’Ortolan is The Glass Room, which (unsurprisingly) features a number of windows that flood the space with natural daylight. The room can welcome up to 22 guests for a sit-down meal and also features exposed brick walls lined with striking original artworks.