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This Grade II-listed vicarage has played host to some of the UK’s top chefs over the years, and following the departure of previous incumbent Alan Murchison it has a new wunderkind in the shape of Tom Clarke. “Great cooking and excellent prices for Michelin-starred food”, confirms one fan. Like his predecessors, Clarke brings a high level of sophistication to proceedings, creating wonderfully honed flavours from a larder of seasonal ingredients – think Cornish lobster with raspberries, orange and charcoal, hay-smoked quail with sweetcorn and truffle or stone bass with squid ink and lemongrass. The cheese trolley is a treasure-trove of ripeness, while desserts might offer a pistachio and rapeseed cake with gariguette strawberries and basil. Set lunches are a bargain for blue-blooded Berkshire, and the auspicious wine list is notable for its impressive selection of organic/biodynamic bottles. The building may not look much from the outside, but the chocolate tones of the interior give out a soothing warmth and notable private rooms also catch the eye. With Clarke at the helm, we think that this Home Counties aristocrat has a bright future.
Squaremeal’s Best Restaurants in the UK 2016 is compiled using votes from our annual survey, last conducted in spring 2016. Thousands of readers and bloggers took part and the results were moderated by the Squaremeal editor and his nationwide team of professional reviewers. The survey does not ask for or include any restaurants in London. Click here for a full list of Squaremeal’s Best Restaurants in the UK.
Its taken a while to get this post up, what with Christmas and New Year, but with a few quiet days at home before I head back to work, here it is. A review of Reading&s only Michelin Starred restaurant - french inspired L&Ortolan. Headed up by Alan Murchison, an amazing chef with real solid Michelin experience behind him, its one which has been on my hit list for a while. Seeing as we were visiting good friends who live near by, we decided a lunch trip was in order.L&ortolan is in a strange location, down a narrow road through a housing estate so I was impressed when we turned the corner to face a stunning...
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