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The Story So Far


Orwells is located in the rural location of Binfield Heath, just 5 minutes from the town centre of Henley-on-Thames and 10 minutes from Reading. Also easily accesible from London via Paddington Station, in only 30 minutes. Orwells is housed within an old 18th Century pub building, but far from a pub it is.It has a country atmosphere that boasts a contemporary feel.The style of food reflects the personalities of the chefs, whilst the ethos is to be true to sustainability and the seasons, it has rural provenance with a modern approach. We are recognised for our commitment to a sustainable approach for the future, and are also recognised by all major guides, picking up some prestigious awards along the way. Chefs Ryan Simpson & Liam Trotman previously achieved 2 AA Rosettes, a cooking score of 5/10 in the Good Food Guide and 1 Michelin Star at The Goose in 2010. After leaving The Goose Ryan and Liam went on to open Orwells in May 2010.

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Since then Orwells has achieved 4 AA Rosettes, a cooking score of 7/10 in the Good Food Guide, a listing in the Michelin Guide and won The Good Food Guide's Readers Restaurant of the Year 2012, Editors Choice Restaurant of the Year 2017, a listing in Tatler Magazine; being recognised among the Best of Britain, and finally 3 Gold Stars in the Sustainable Restaurant Association for being a champion of sustainability, as well as other local awards.

The ethos is to serve nothing but the highest quality food in a relaxed setting, free from frippery and fuss, where families, friends and colleagues can all feel equally at home. While you won't find a bevy of locals propping up at our bar, we do have a beautiful garden that, weather permitting, is open to drinkers as much as diners, and through our set lunch and dinner menus we strive to offer something for every budget.

The ingredients,  sourced locally wherever possible, reflect the best of what Britain can produce. We also have our own small holding and apiary where most of our fruit, vegetables and honey are produced just down the road from the restaurant. So, although we take a modern approach to preparing them and aren't averse to the odd creative flourish, the idea of letting fabulous ingredients stand out is at the heart of what we do.


Born and bred Scouser, Liam got his start as a chef in the famous 60 Hope Street before moving out of the city  to work at Bovey Castle, Dartmoor before joining Ryan at The Goose in 2008. Liam has spent a lot of time perfecting the pastry at Orwells along with the bread. Along with the cooking Liam loves to garden and currently grows 75% of the restaurants fruit and vegetables from a small holding in Lower Shiplake. He has now added another string to his bow by becoming a fully fledged beekeeper. 


Ryan left his home town of Nuneaton at 18 and moved to Roanne in France where he undertook a culinary apprenticeship working for three-star likes of the Troigros family, Guy Savoy and Pierre Gagnaire. On returning to the UK, Ryan began his journey up the kitchen hierarchy via Restaurant Gordon Ramsey, Sketch, The Langham, Winteringham Fields and The Elephant which culminated in his first Head Chef role at The Goose, swiftly followed by a  Michelin Star only 18 months later. Ryan's approach at Orwells is led by ingredients. Using a wealth of classic and modern techniques he always strives to make the best of what rural Britain can offer.