The Leatherne Bottel

The Bridleway, Goring-on-Thames Goring , Wallingford, RG8 0HS

6 reviews

53 British Oxfordshire

SquareMeal Review of The Leatherne Bottel

The secluded riverbank setting suggests wistful reveries, with the Thames gilding by, verdant meadows to admire and a crowd-pulling decked terrace – no wonder this delightful restaurant is a dream ticket for fine-weather outdoor dining. The kitchen mixes seasonal ingredients with flavours from home and abroad – witness herb-crusted loin of venison with braised endive, pumpkin purée and quince jam or spiced monkfish with a fricassee of winter vegetables and Marsala sauce. To start, you might venture east for tea-smoked carpaccio of tuna with cucumber sorbet, pickled ginger and wasabi mayo or stay closer to home for a mosaic of game with apple chutney, while dessert might bring dark chocolate tart with whisky ice cream and Seville orange. The heavyweight French-led wine list focuses on serious drinking from the big-name regions, with 18 house selections by the glass or carafe.

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Food & Drink: 7.0

Service: 7.5

Atmosphere: 7.7

Value: 7.2

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 2.0

Foodess platinum reviewer 05 May 2013

Since the departure of Julia Storey, this place is on the decline. Some ingredients were reasonable quality, but basic errors such as not even properly cleaning the vegetables popped up. Broccoli spears as though straight from a supermarket pack served without trimming, complete with greying dried ends on display. Not what you'd expect at these prices. Other basic errors were evident and overall standard was not good. Still a fabulous venue, but that is virtually all it has to commend except for service (see below), and I think this place will struggle unless someone as serious and passionate about food as Julia steps in – deep pockets and business acumen requisite . Restaurant was quiet and staff could be heard ‘running amok’ upstairs, which made me wonder what may go on in the kitchen. The only saving grace was the delightfully obliging Romanian waitress (worked for Julia and her husband) knows the trade and importantly she knows how to treat the customer. She deserves better than this. I have not visited Cilantro but if the standard at Leatherne bottel is representative of Majedski-backed places then I will avoid.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

Alex S. bronze reviewer 07 November 2011

Went for Sunday lunch and left rather underwhelmed. Dull, rather hushed atmosphere, rather overdone service. Food was mixed, with a reasonable mackerel to start, a very under seared piece of tuna. Main course of loin of pork was ok but a bit dull. Best was the wine list but generally this place just seems to miss. Alex S

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 4.0

Steven M. 27 September 2009

Superb location, ambience. Sunday lunch was excellent, and good value considering the quality. Friendly competent service. Recommend wholeheartedly.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Foodess platinum reviewer 13 April 2009

A calm evening early April 2009 enabled us to enjoy the river view before dusk. I doubt anyone could deny the setting is partly responsible for placing this restaurant on the foodie map. Since re-vamp, diners sit amongst a restful mix of contemp/trad décor with natural light permeating the conservatory area. Flashes of high culinary skill appear, but like many places not consistently enough. I wish I could say I recall eating something outstanding rather than remembering the delightful setting, because they try so very hard to please. The menu sounds quite adventuresome, but occasionally chef seems rather timid, and dishes lack the impact of flavour that some main ingredients demand. Conversely, she cleverly balances those requiring a more delicate touch. Her husband/sommelier was keen to ensure we were absolutely satisfied with the wine we’d selected, insisting if not, we should switch to the other we were considering. We were, so we didn’t. Good canapés; amuse bouche very acceptable; bread v.good; halloumi starters flavoursome, colourful and all components used to good effect. Use of herbs in hot dishes can be questionable (sprig of rosemary highly pungent, but otherwise undetected in the pork dish). A small chervil sprig adorning my Guinea Fowl would have lifted it, had it been larger, chopped and distributed through. I like herbs to be used for flavour rather than just for visual garnish. Generally my main did not disappoint except for a greyish unidentifiable puree, which wasn't really needed given the other accoutrements. Quality of ingredients is undeniable as is careful presentation, however, my partner – less pleased than I – will be reluctant to go back soon – cinnamon flavoured pork became tiresome as he worked his way through his main. We will return probably in summer, as on balance there are sufficient positives, plus outdoor eating alongside the riverbank is a joy.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 2.0

Reinhard C. 19 October 2008

They seem to have a thing about putting out of season fruit on all the desserts. It is October. This is 2 Rosette restaurant. Pork was overcooked.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Wendy C. 28 September 2008

July 2008 What an enjoyable experience. The picturesque setting, the delicious food, the recommended accompanying fine wines, the excellent service and even the weather, were perfect! My friend has already been back and was equally delighted second time around. My next visit will be in the winter when I am looking forward to enjoying the cosy ambience of the lovely restaurant as much as I did the riverside setting. I can't wait!