With stunning views of the Thames, Phyllis Court is a ‘home away from home’ for its members.

But now the venue is is offering members and guests the chance to experience a completely new luxurious fine dining concept.

Due to popular demand, the pop-up restaurant, Cromwell’s has been extended until April – and missing it really would be missing out.

With elegant interiors and amazing service, it’s little wonder the venue was filled with the hum of guests talking and tucking into delicious foods on a blustery Saturday night.

The new concept has been named after Oliver Cromwell, who features heavily in the private member club’s rich history.

Cromwell, the 1st Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland (1653–1658), was selected as one of the 10 greatest Britons of all time in a 2002 BBC poll, and allegedly built the river wall at Phyllis Court that supports the earthen bank.

The wall possesses a plaque placed by the Club’s founder, Roy Finlay, in 1928 which states ‘This wall was built by Cromwell from the bricks of the old Tudor House of Phyllis Court A.D. 1643.’

Today, the retaining wall is still known as ‘Cromwell’s Wall’.

But back to inside the property, where guests can really see why members think of the club as a home away from home. Plush interiors, clever lighting and a cosy atmosphere make you feel instantly welcome.

The staff are incredibly attentive and really know their stuff.

It’s little wonder that the concept has been extended until April 4, with members comparing it to the best restaurants around the world.

Executive Chef Carl Jackman has developed a seven-course tasting menu as well as an a la carte menu that utilises local British produce.

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Carl says: “Our local area is rich in wonderful flavours and ingredients. I have chosen suppliers from within a 10-mile radius of Phyllis Court where possible as I want Cromwell’s to not only showcase fresh British ingredients, but also support the local community. These delicious local products have a minimal distance to travel which keeps their carbon footprint low and means they are as fresh as can be!”

The menu includes a map of suppliers’ proximity to Phyllis Court, with many being but a stone’s throw away. Local suppliers include Honeys of Henley, Bosley Patch, Chiltern Lamb and Stonor Park Game.

“The fine dining menus at Cromwell’s are full of hearty flavour combinations” adds Carl, “each dish is paired with a carefully chosen wine.”

The dining room has carefully chosen furniture and clever partitioning which means each party can enjoy privacy from other diners. In fact, there will only be 40 seats at Cromwell’s offering diners a truly luxurious experience. There’s also the option to have a drink at the bar before your meal.

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Caroline O’Connor, Head of Sales and Marketing at Phyllis Court, who worked with Carl on creating the Cromwell’s concept says: “Since joining the Club in 2017 it has been Carl’s ambition to bring exquisite ‘experience based’ fine dining to Phyllis Court. Over the last three years Carl has developed an in-depth understanding of the dining styles that members desire, which has informed the Cromwell’s menus.

“Cromwell’s is the perfect complement to the other restaurants we have at Phyllis Court and we are confident that it will deliver an experience that diners will love.”

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The tasting menu is a sight to behold, with dishes such as glazed beef cheek, served with truffle creamed polenta, whipped marrow on bone, garlic crumb, red wine jus. A stand-out is the succulent halibut, which is served with chicken butter sauce, crispy chicken skin, girolle mushroom, parsnip purée, baby shallots, fondant potato, creamed kale and smoked bacon.

Each course is paired with a wine.

Diners can also pick from the a la carte menu, which includes the above dishes as well as rabbit raviolini, seared scallop (amazing, if you like seafood, get this), salt baked celeriac and mallard breast (so succulent we were lost for words).

Try - although exceedingly difficult given how good it tastes – not to fill up before your meal on the warm Bosley Patch sourdough, which is served with whipped butter.

For dessert there is an impressive selection – cardamom parfait, rhubarb and basil tart, passion fruit pudding cake, chocolate marquise and a selection of artisan cheeses.

Chairman Stan Ainsley, is delighted the restaurant has been so well received and extended. He says: “At the launch of Cromwell’s our new CEO, Chris Hogan, heralded the restaurant as ‘the beginning of a new era for this club’ and he was right. We have exciting plans to advance the offering for all our members and the extension of Cromwell’s marks the first step.”

The facts:

  • VISIT: Phyllis Court Club is a private members club beside the Thames in Henley.
  • The restaurant is open Tuesday-Saturday.
  • BOOK: Call 01491 570500 or email enquiries@phylliscourt.co.uk
  • PARKING: There is ample parking at the club.
  • EAT: Do not miss the seared scallop and mallard breast. Check out the menus at phylliscourt.co.uk/membership/cromwells/menus