The Plowden Arms

Squaremeal Review of The Plowden Arms ?

A pretty roadside pub rescued from mediocrity by passionate owners Ruth and Matt Woodley, The Plowden gives a deliciously historical flavour to British cooking. Low, white-panelled ceilings festooned with hop branches, mahogany tables, antique cutlery and a candelabra match a menu brimming with step-back-in-time inspiration. Matt loves Victoriana, updating ‘soles in coffins’ as expertly cooked lemon sole perched on hollowed-out potato skins in a glossy girolle-mushroom sauce; likewise, devilled kidneys are teamed with lamb’s lettuce, croûtons and a silky cauliflower purée. Neither the approach nor the pricing are outlandish; pheasant terrine paired with apple jelly costs £6.95, for instance. Desserts might feature Trinity cream (the original crème brûlée), sticky toffee pudding with its own boat of butterscotch sauce, or gin and tonic sorbet and meringue. Even the drinks list incorporates ‘forgotten’ cocktails alongside well-kept ales and a broad but kindly priced wine list. Efficient staff lend effervescence to an evening. 

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The Plowden Arms
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The Plowden Arms

Reading Road, Shiplake ,Henley-On-Thames RG9 4BX

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Old school grub

by   (4)

Mar 2013

It took me a while to stop peering round the dining room to see if Nicholas Lyndhurst had just stepped through the door, as arriving at The Plowden Arms, is – in the style of 90s sitcom Goodnight Sweetheart – a little like stepping back in time to the 1940s; topped off by the glamorous manageress (perfectly coiffured hair, cherry red lipstick and Land Girl style “slacks”); and Gin Fizz (forgotten cocktail of the month) And the time-travel doesn’t stop there. The menu explicitly celebrates traditional...

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Jenny L.'s rating

star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar half
  • Food & Drink: 9
  • Service: 8
  • Atmosphere: 8
  • Value: 8

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Essential Details for The Plowden Arms

  • Address: Reading Road, Shiplake, Henley-On-Thames RG9 4BX
  • Telephone: 0118 940 2794
  • Website:
  • Opening Times: Mon-Sun 11am-11pm

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