Celebrating its fifth decade of service and over 15 years retaining a Michelin star, L’ortolan continues to be a beacon of Berkshire’s fine dining restaurant scene offering a unique, luxury, timeless quality in its style and setting and impeccable attention to detail in its dishes and service. Reading’s only Michelin-starred restaurant, L’ortolan has enjoyed a prestigious lineage of decorated, award-winning chefs since opening in the late Seventies. From respective two Michelin star holders Nico Ladenis and John Burton Race in the late Eighties to Alan Murchinson’s 14-year tenure, Tom Clarke continues with the same torch and a passion for flavour, French classical technique and a dedication to the ingredients from the Great British larder, having held the role of Head Chef since 2015.
The main restaurant seats up to 50 with a selection of menus, served for lunch and dinner Tuesday – Saturday weekly, from the À la Carte to elaborate tasting menus of up to ten dishes. Amongst the restaurant’s signature dishes are Goose (goose liver parfait, coconut and mango), Salmon (confit with beetroot and horseradish), Halibut (poached with orange and nasturtium), Toffee Apple (apple, pecan, caramelised white chocolate) and Banana (served with peanut and honeycomb). Vegetarian diners are well catered to on the À la Carte, seven-course Gourmand menu and ten-course Discovery menu, with an emphasis on seasonality and technique in creating plant-focused and meat-free dishes.
At L’ortolan, a commitment to produce and skill means much more than just dining. Immerse yourself in a cookery experience, led by Head Chef Tom Clarke and the kitchen team, as guests learn to produce Michelin-star quality dishes that never fail to delight. Participants learn the tricks of the trade to perfect their cookery skills at home from a selection of group masterclasses to morning-long and full-day immersive experiences. From fish and shellfish and ‘the perfect steak’ to canapés and ‘three course Sunday lunch’, there’s a wide variety of group masterclasses to join, or try the morning to afternoon ‘Cook & Dine’ package or day-long ‘Chef’s Experience’ package if you want your skills to really be tested. Each cookery experience is followed by canapés and sparkling wine before a three-course lunch.