Shinfield is a parish to the south of Reading, in the county of Berkshire, with a fast growing population of 18,000. The name Shinfield is a shortening of the original name "Shining Field", most likely derived from the fact that the surrounding fields used to flood periodically, covering the ground with shining water. The parish includes several villages plus urban space. Perhaps the best known village in Shinfield is Three Mile Cross, a small village separated from Reading by the M4. It was the home of famous 19th century author Mary Russell Mitford: a poet and dramatist well known for her wit, and for the series of sketches 'Our Village', inspired by the people and the village life of Three Mile Cross. Shinfield now plays host to the Michelin starred L'Ortolan restaurant, a gourmet eaterie which featured on the Great British Menu in 2009, and the Green Park Business Park: a 195 acre business plot with over 5000 employees working on site.