Henley-on-Thames-Its Restaurants, Pubs and Coffee Shops. A Personal View
8th March 2013
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Henley-on-Thames Restaurants, Pubs and Coffee Shops. According to the ratings on Trip Advisor the most popular eating place in central Henley is the Italian restaurant Villa Marina. They have received 128 reviews and their rating is 4 ½ out of 5. This got me thinking about what my favourite places are in Henley in 2013.

Henley has several restaurants, like Villa Marina, that have been operating under the same ownership for many years. However we have had several new restaurants open in Henley recently, including the Giggling Squid and the Henley Brew House. There has also been a lot of change of management in the Brakspear pubs with the Anchor refurbished and under new management, and the changes at the Queen Victoria.

Below is a comprehensive and up to date listing (March 2013) of Pubs and Restaurants in central Henley. Where the establishment is  in italics it identifies them as a member of thebestofhenleyonthames. I have also included a list of the coffee and patisserie establishments in Henley as they are many and varied.

Following up to this blog will be a comprehensive listing and review of the Restaurants, Pubs and Coffee/Tea Rooms in the vicinity of Henley.

We are lucky to live in Henley as we have so many good and great restaurants to eat in. However it does mean that there are fewer and fewer pubs where it is OK to just go for a pint or two. Long live the Black Horse at Checkendon!!

Also we don’t have fine dining establishment in Henley town. There are many in the surrounding villages but there does seem to be a gap in the market for an up market eatery in town, and maybe a decent Chinese.

My comments are mine alone. Please feel free to add your own comments and recommendations to this blog. T denotes takeaway available Pubs and Restaurants

I will also be adding to these comments over time as we try out Henley's places that we haven't been to recently or the new andrefurbished establishments.



The Three Tuns, 5 Market Place RG9 2AA 01491 410138 http://www.threetunshenley.co.uk/ Sandra and Mark have done a great job reviving the Three Tuns after some poor tenants. The food is now super and they hold comedy nights and other events in their back Barn Bar.

The Argyll 15 Market Place, RG9 2AA 01491 573400 http://www.theargyllhenley.co.uk Popular pub with visitors to the town and not too bad a pint. Pub grub and Greene King beers. Can be a bit dark inside.

Pizza Express 35 Market Place 01491 411448 http://www.pizzaexpress.com/visit-a-restaurant/restaurant/henley-on-thames    Great location on the edge of the Market Place and usually busy. Remember your discount voucher!

Antico 49 Market Place 01491 573060 http://www.anticorestaurant.co.uk/ Old fashioned Italian restaurant that has been in Henley for many years. Not been in for a while. Bit dated? If you like traditional Italian restaurants then this could be for you. The owner Valerio is very friendly.

Kim Bennett commented on Facebook "Antico's is one of the best Italian restaurants in town. We go there at least once a year and have been doing so for 13 odd years and the staff are always friendly and the owner is wonderful. Definitely recommend for a special night out."

Queen Victoria 48 Market Place Under new ownership again after last owners lasted only a few months. Does serve a good pint of Loddon. Not serving food that I know of.

The Row Barge 37 West Street 01491 572649 http://www.therowbarge.com/ “The Rowbarge,West St, is a fab pub for drinking, mid-week dining & has a warm friendly atmosphere with great locals. Oh & also does the BEST Sunday lunch in Henley!!” says Cath Howie of Henley. I need to check this claim out as Mrs C.’s Sunday lunch is pretty darn good!!

Henley Brew House 38 Market Place 01491 576561 http://thehenleybrewhouse.co.uk/home/  Henley's own brewhouse. Selection of their own beers and beers from local breweries. Restaurant as well.

Green Olive 28 Market Place 01491 412220 http://www.green-olive.co.uk/index.php/locations/greek-restaurant-henley

Loch Fyne 20 Market Place 01491 845780 http://www.lochfyne-restaurants.com/restaurants/henley-on-thames

Chef Peking 10 Market Place, 01491 577856 Traditional English Chinese food. Crispy duck is good but again a little dated. Reviews on Trip Advisor not great.

Catherine Wheel 7-15 Hart Street 01491 848488 http://www.jdwetherspoon.co.uk/home/pubs/the-catherine-wheel Large Weatherspoon’s in the centre of Henley. Good priced drinks as you would expect. Henley’s night club on Friday and Saturday’s!

Zizzi’s 21 Hart Street 01491 410070 http://www.zizzi.co.uk/venue/index/henley I like Zizzi’s in Henley. The restaurant has a good atmosphere and is usually pleasantly buzzing. Great pizzas.

Café Rouge 37 Hart Street 01491 411733 http://www.caferouge.co.uk/french-restaurant/henley Not been for a long time. Is CR a bit tired. A good place to people watch if you have a coffee on the pavement.

Villa Marina 18 Thameside 01491 575262 http://www.villamarina-henley.com/ Central Henley’s top rated restaurant on Trip Advisor (Feb 2013) A very popular restaurant with locals. The food is generally excellent and you always get a friendly welcome. A bit more modern than Antico’s and great location on Thameside.

Chocolate Theatre Café 13 Thameside 01491 411412 http://chocolatetheatrecafe-henley.co.uk/ Opened around 18 months ago and has quickly established itself as a very popular destination for locals and visitors alike. Their cream tea is very popular. Good service but can get very busy.

Spice Merchant 25 Thameside 01491 636118 http://www.spicemerchantgroup.com/henley Very well cooked food but prices are at the higher end for Indian food. Apparently the Sunday lunch buffet is good value.

Hotel du Vin New Street 084473 64258 http://www.hotelduvin.com/locations/henley-on-thames/

Gillian and I decided to try out the new Spring Menu at the Bistro in the Hotel du Vin. The Bistro is tucked away at the back of the Hotel du Vin in New Street, Henley. (sorry about the quality of the photo. It was taken on my I-phone)

We like the ambience of the restaurant and ate Sunday lunch there a few months ago. Sunday lunch is great value and the restaurant is usually busy on a Sunday. However on the Friday lunch time that we decided to eat the Bistro was quiet. This was a shame as the new Spring Menu is very good and as always the wine choice is superb.

For starters Gill tried the Dressed Crab with Walnut Toast and I had the Prawns and Crayfish cocktail. Both were enjoyed. I do love a traditional Prawn Cocktail and this didn't disappoint and the serving was generous. For the mains I chose the fish of the day, which was simply grilled Haddock. Gill had the Pan Fried Calves Liver. My fish was fine and I had French fries, carrots and beans that were well cooked and the servings were generous again. The chips were served in a lovely cone-nice touch.

As I was off to the gym later neither of us had a pud but the choices looked good. We have always enjoyed our meals there.  If and when we get some good weather the Courtyard is a lovely spot to enjoy lunch or a drink.

The Rose and Crown  New Street 01491 575246 http://www.theroseandcrownhenley.co.uk/   Nearest pub to the Old Brakspears Brewery now the Hotel du Vin. Haven't visited for years! 

Angel on the Bridge Thameside 01491 410678 http://www.theangelhenley.com/ The Angel is the iconic pub on the bridge in Henley. Very popular for outside drinking and eating in the summer months. Rammed during Regatta

Little Angel Remenham Lane 01491 411008 http://www.thelittleangel.co.uk/  Large pub at the bottom of Remenham Hill. The landlord also manages the Cherry Tree at Stoke Row and the Unicorn in Peppard. Very busy during the Regatta. Has a good beer garden overlooking Henley Cricket Club. Varying reviews on Trip Advisor.

The Anchor 58 Friday Street 01491 574753 www.theanchorhenley.co.uk/  Now under management of Jeremy Buckler who used to run the Angel on the Bridge a few years ago. Pub has been totally refurbished. I need to check it out.

La Bodega 38 Hart Street 01491 578611 http://www.labodega-tapas.co.uk/   Mostly good reviews on Trip Advisor, the odd stinker though. This is the old Brakspears off license and is a beautiful building on Hart Street.

Giggling Squid 40 Hart Street 01491 411044 http://www.gigglingsquid.com/henley.html Have had two very good meals at the GS. Seems to have become popular quickly after opening late in 2012.

Magoos 22 Hart Street 01491 574595 http://www.magooshenley.co.uk/

Thai Orchid 8 Hart Street 01491 412227 http://www.thaigroup.co.uk/thai-orchid-henley-on-thames.php Looks a bit tired compared to the Giggling Squid. Never been in!

La Strada Bell Street 49 Bell Street 01491 571497 http://www.strada.co.uk/italian-restaurant/henley We like La Strada in Henley. Modern décor and the food is fine. Convenient for the Regal Cinema and The Kenton Theatre.

The Bull on Bell 57 Bell Street  01491 576554 Please see recent blog after visit. Now fully open.

Beer Tree 30 Duke Street 01491 412030 http://www.beertreepub.co.uk/default.asp Started out as just drinks and bring your own food. Now offering hot stone steaks and lots of different types of sausages. Impressive beer list-lots of foreign beers by the bottle

Bird in Hand 61 Greys Road 01491 575775 http://www.henleybirdinhand.co.uk/ The Bird is a real locals local and is our local too. Very good real ale served. Friendly Landlord and Landlady, Graham and Celia. Minimal food at lunchtime. One of the few free houses in Henley.

Saracen’s Head 129 Greys Road 01491 575929 http://www.brakspear.co.uk/our_pubs/pub_page/12/saracens-head/ Just been refurbished. Another local’s local just up the hill from the Bird. Friendly landlady Melanie.

Mountain View Kitchen T 16 Reading Road 01491 573974 The Chappell’s favourite curry house in Henley. Mr Yonjan has owned this for years and used to be the Himalayan. He knows all of his customers and the food is always well cooked. Good takeaway as well.

Asianana Spice T 34 Reading Road 01491 574422 http://www.asianaspice.co.uk/index.html Mixture of Indian and Thai. Always suspicious of mixed restaurants but when we have been in it has been OK.

Royal China 53 Reading Road 01491 410001

Raju's Tandoori T 21 Reading Road 01491 572218 http://rajus.co.uk/

Café Le Raj T 17 Reading Road 01491 573337 http://www.cafeleraj.co.uk/ Another good curry house. Well cooked food.

Casa Nostra  59 Reading Road  01491 573998

Tubbies  Diner  Henley Station 01491 410479

Henley's greasy spoon cafe!! 

Three Horseshoes 90 Reading Road 01491 818498 http://www.threehorseshoeshenley.com/

La Barca--Now Closed Thameside, Station Road 01491 577937 http://labarcahenley.co.uk/index.html Started out with disappointing feedback and doesn’t seem very busy. Reviews on Trip advisor have improved though. Great location on the river. They seem to use the discount sites a lot.

Coffee Shops and Patisseries

Patisserie Valerie 4 Market Place 01491 413038 http://www.patisserie-valerie.co.uk/henley-cafe.aspx

Starbucks Market Place 01491 413274 http://starbucks.co.uk/store/2342/

Café Nero 44 Bell Street

Café Buendia Bell Street 8 Bell Street 573706 Lovely local café. These sort of cafes are under threat from the mega chains so need supporting. Good coffee.

Maison Blanc 1-3 Duke Street 01491 577294 http://www.maisonblanc.co.uk/Portals/Restaurant/?info=TVRBPStG

Chocolate Theatre Café 13 Thameside 01491 411412 http://chocolatetheatrecafe-henley.co.uk/

Hot Gossip Friday Street 7 Friday Street 01491 414070 Popular but small coffee and cake shop tucked away in Friday Street.

River & Rowing Museum Cafe Mill Meadows 01491 415600 http://rrm.co.uk/visit/cafe  A lovely spot to have a drink and a bite to eat. Good meeting place. Shame that the cafe doesn't face towards the river. Can eat outside if weather good. Sunny spot.

About the Author

Gill and Phil C

Member since: 9th July 2012

Hi, We are Phil and Gill Chappell. We own the Best of Henley-on-Thames. We live in Henley so would love to hear your views and opinions about all things Henley.

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