Page 1

11th

annual edition

OXFORDSHIRE

A comprehensive guide to eating out in Oxfordshire Restaurants • Cafés • Bars • Pubs • Hotels


The UK’s most comprehensive guide to eating out.

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Welcome Welcome to the Oxfordshire Food & Drink Guide 2019-2020. On the following pages you’ll find a wide range of options for eating out in the region. To help you make your selection, each review features a coloured tab to denote the restaurant’s location – just reference the map and key below.

West WO Oxfordshire Vale of VH White Horse

Editor Hannah Burton-Grieve

South SO Oxfordshire

Senior Editorial Assistants Robbie Masters, Tori Sharpe

Ch Cherwell

Hook Norton

Ch

Chipping Norton

Bicester

Charlbury Burford

WO

Kidlington

Witney Oxford

Carterton

OC

SO

Abingdon Faringdon Shrivenham

VH Wantage

Editorial Assistants Oli Bishop, Ella Fisher, Kate Avetoomyan, Celia Rowland

Thame

Watlington

Didcot

Graphic Designer Jess Porter

Wallingford Henley-onThames

£25 to

£30

Food & Drink Guide 2019-2020 Canningford House 38 Victoria Street Bristol BS1 6BY t: 0117 927 7167 e: editor@foodanddrinkguides.com w: www.foodanddrinkguides.com

OC Oxford City Banbury

Oxfordshire

Photography Greg Thurtle (www.blandfordstudios.com),

Many of the reviews include a price tab. This is the typical cost per person you can expect to pay for two courses from the à la carte menu, plus a drink (unless otherwise stated). This is for guidance purposes only and prices may vary. Restaurants featuring this symbol have both disabled access and a toilet suitable for wheelchair users (this information has been provided by the restaurants in question and should be confirmed prior to visiting). Restaurants featuring this symbol have accommodation.

You’ll notice that some restaurants in the guide have an 084 telephone number. Calls cost 5p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge.

Paul Matthews (www.paulmatthewsphotography.com) Contributors Eliott Benoist Project Manager Joe Packer

Just like the weather, ownership, opening times and prices are subject to change throughout the year. Have a look at our website – www.foodanddrinkguides.co.uk – to see reviews of restaurants nationwide and to request other regional Food & Drink magazines.

Advertising Sales Matt Brentley, Simon Northcott, Paul Balshaw, Sam Terrett, Tim Hall

Contents

Published by Food & Drink Guides Ltd

Foreword................... 2 Fine Dining................ 3 Modern British........... 4 British..................... 10 Seafood................... 16 Modern European..... 17 French..................... 18

Italian...................... 19 Scandinavian............ 21 Turkish..................... 21 Gastropub................ 21 American................. 26 Spanish.................... 26 Mexican................... 27

Bar & Restaurant..... 28 Traditional............... 32 Café......................... 43 Indian...................... 44 Chinese.................... 45 Chef Profiles............ 46 Index....................... 49

Publisher Sam Collins Managing Director Robin Fry

The cost of producing this guide has been met by advertising revenues from the restaurants featured within. We only include restaurants that we know, from either experience or recommendation, provide a quality service, and our journalists review the majority of the establishments. However, some reviews are supplied by third parties, and no review in this guide should be taken as a direct recommendation by Food & Drink Guides Ltd. Printed December 2019.

Oxfordshire Guide 2019-2020

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Foreword

Paul Clerehugh Whether I’m travelling back from other parts of the UK or abroad, I always feel at home when I’m driving back into Oxfordshire. The stunning scenery is a patchwork of fields – rapeseed, poppy, corn and barley – and busy farms. Oxfordshire is South East England’s most rural county, with 75 per cent of the land dedicated to agriculture, and there has been an exciting growth in farm shops, field-to-fork projects and food-from-the-farm-gate schemes. Following the M40 towards the spires of Oxford, you can take a detour at Murcott for a Michelin star-accredited pint and ploughman’s at The Nut Tree. I’m an honorary Oxfordian, having spent the first half of my life in Northumberland. However, my heart, soul, family and cooking are firmly rooted in Oxfordshire. I feel incredibly lucky to own The Crooked Billet at Stoke Row. Here, we are surrounded by beautiful countryside and a large number of suppliers, farmers and producers, so I always try to use locally sourced ingredients where possible. The rich soil and changing seasons help create some great produce in Oxfordshire. I always use seasonal ingredients: wild garlic, young carrots, asparagus, honey, roe deer, cherries, runner beans, game birds, quince, and lamb, which is at its best in late summer. We offer a ‘swap for lunch’ scheme at The Crooked Billet, where you can bring your home-grown goodies and I’ll give you a credit note for lunch, so my diners get to experience freshly picked fruit and vegetables at peak ripeness and flavour. I adore Oxfordshire’s eclectic mix of eateries: the sublime Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, the bohemian and quirky cafés of Oxford, the county’s quintessential tearooms, and the region’s incredible wealth of foodie pubs. We boast the best in Britain. Restaurants wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for the loyalty and appetite of their guests. Oxfordshire is blessed with diners who are enthusiastic and passionate about food. I hope you continue to support this region’s farmers, food producers, independent retailers and towns so you can truly enjoy what the county has to offer. Enjoy reading through this year’s Oxfordshire Food & Drink Guide, and discover the pubs and restaurants within.

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Oxfordshire Guide 2019-2020


The Nut Tree

Fine Dining

 Location Main Street, Murcott, OX5 2RE t: 0844 625 6685 w: www.nuttreeinn.co.uk

Ch

This thatched Grade II listed building may look like a traditional pub from the outside and, in many ways, that’s just what it is – inside you’ll find low beams, log-burning stoves and a bar fully stocked with well-kept real ale. The pub even has its own Aunt Sally team, and there’s a lovely beer garden in which to bask in the sunshine and enjoy a classic ploughman’s lunch.

£35 to

£54

‘...first-class, award-winning modern British cuisine...’ Yet while it may boast all the hallmarks of an unassuming country inn, The Nut Tree is also the proud holder of a Michelin star and has been for over ten years. That’s not to say dining here is a formal affair – proprietors Mike (chef profile page 46) and Imogen North are dedicated to ensuring The Nut Tree is very much a down-to-earth pub that also happens to serve first-class, award-winning modern British cuisine. The Nut Tree is at once a destination dining venue and a relaxed local – a unique combination that has earned it numerous accolades and awards. Chef Mike and his team create everything in-house using as much free-range, organic and wild produce as possible. They also cultivate their own ingredients – pigs are often reared on-site and vegetables are grown in the pub’s garden. As you might expect, the à la carte and tasting menus are updated frequently to showcase this fresh produce at its peak. From the à la carte, a refined starter such as pavé of house-smoked Loch Duart salmon with whipped horseradish cream, pickled cucumber and avruga caviar will set you up nicely for a sumptuous main of grilled fillet of aged Charolais beef cooked medium-rare and served with pomme purée, wild mushrooms and red wine sauce. Finish with an inventive dessert such as prune and Armagnac soufflé with coffee ice cream. The Nut Tree has maintained its AA Notable Wine List award since 2013, so sampling a tipple or two with your meal is a must. Needless to say, The Nut Tree is a top venue for functions – there is ample room to seat up to 60 guests in three different dining areas. Larger groups can book a marquee on the lawn. Private parties, casual midweek outings and special occasions can all be catered for with aplomb at this versatile venue.

Open: Tues-Sat noon-11pm; Sun noon-7pm Food Served: Tues-Sat noon-2.30pm, 7pm-9pm; Sun noon-3pm

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Grays Restaurant

Fine Dining

 Location Bicester Hotel Golf & Spa, Chesterton, Nr. Bicester, OX26 1TH t: 0844 502 5611 w: www.bicesterhotelgolfandspa.com

Ch

Nestled among acres of picturesque Oxfordshire countryside is the four-star Bicester Hotel Golf & Spa resort. This stunning resort has the complete package – 52 luxury guestrooms, an 18-hole golf course, spacious meeting and private event spaces, and a spa complete with an indoor pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, six treatment rooms and more, which makes it the perfect venue for both business and leisure.

£25 to

£30

When visiting Bicester Hotel, a meal at Grays Restaurant is essential. Recently refurbished, Grays has been transformed into a contemporary and inviting space perfect for any occasion. Using only the best local produce, executive head chef Alan Paton and his team turn the ordinary into the extraordinary by enhancing the natural flavour of each ingredient to create exciting and unique dishes. Everything on the seasonally changing menu is made in-house, including the black pudding Open: Mon-Fri noon-2.30pm, and house bread flavoured with blue cheese and white chocolate. Flavoursome 6.30pm-9.30pm; dishes always reign supreme on Sat & Sun 12.30pm-3pm, the menu; diners may find the likes 6.30pm-9.30pm of grilled doughnut with whipped Oxford Blue cheese, blueberry and pecans, or rib-eye steak served with whipped bone marrow, creamed spinach, mushrooms baked in red wine and thyme and chips cooked in dripping. Vegetarians and vegans are well catered for here, and the chefs are more than happy to accommodate for other dietary requirements. To accompany your meal, choose from a selection of fine wine, beer or locally made fruit-based gin.

The Red Lion

Modern British

 Location 115 High Street, Chalgrove, OX44 7SS t: 0844 683 5543 w: www.redlionchalgrove.com

SO

The Red Lion in Chalgrove is a charming village inn whose landlord and landlady have a well-learned background in fine cuisine. Over and above, this church-owned pub, which a few centuries ago was a bolthole for carousing church wardens, delivers £18 to top-quality wine and real ale. As well as a five-star food hygiene rating, The Red £22 Lion has also won many awards for the quality of the real ale and beautiful food on offer. During the summer, its beautiful front and rear gardens are at their peak and are some of the most desirable spots in the area for à la carte dining. During colder months, a welcoming log fire inside will melt away those winter blues. After an evening spent sampling Raymond and Suzanne Sexton’s wares, their masterly approach to food is plain to see. They offer a wide range of excellent food, featured on a seasonally changing à la carte menu, a daily specials board and a light snack and sandwich menu. The addition of a pudding evening with 12 sweet options available on the second Tuesday of every month demonstrates their expanding repertoire. On specific Open: Mon-Sat evenings throughout winter, a pie 11am-3pm, 6pm-late; night boasts eight choices of pie – the Sun noon-10.30pm ultimate comfort food. My breast of Gressingham duck sliced on rhubarb and ginger sauce was an inspired dish – the duck was plump and succulent, beautifully offset by the exciting sauce. The Red Lion can also cater for all manner of events, including weddings, funerals, parties, hog roasts, prize-givings, fundraisers and much more. Everyone is welcome at this delightful rural pub. 4

Oxfordshire Guide 2019-2020


The White Hart

Modern British

 Location Main Road, Fyfield, Nr. Abingdon, OX13 5LW t: 0844 502 6748 w: www.whitehart-fyfield.com e: info@whitehart-fyfield.com The White Hart – named one of England’s 50 great pubs by The Telegraph, and a ‘foodie’s paradise’ by The Oxford Times – is a favourite with locals as well as discerning diners from far and wide. Located in picturesque Fyfield, this historic 15th-century former chantry is now a stunning country restaurant. The setting is breathtaking, from the soaring eaves of the great hall and minstrel’s gallery, to the bar with a cosy log fire in winter and terrace with aromatic herb gardens in summer. Owners Kay and Mark Chandler (chef profile page 46) have created a flourishing restaurant that has held AA rosettes for culinary excellence for 14 years and has won both Restaurant of the Year at The Oxfordshire Restaurant Awards and South East Restaurant of the Year at the Food Awards England. What makes these accomplishments even more impressive is the knowledge that before they bought The White Hart, Kay was a banking lawyer, and Mark began his career not in the kitchen, but as a front-of-house manager. The pair’s successes are down to loving what they do and sharing a combined passion for superb food and service. Mark’s self-taught kitchen skills result in incredible dishes. In particular, his signature slow-roasted local pork belly, which is cooked overnight for 12 hours and served with foot-long crackling and fresh vegetables from the kitchen garden, is a real treat. As you might guess, Mark is passionate about the provenance of his ingredients and, in addition to foraging in local woodlands and swapping villagers’ surplus produce, he takes pride in listing his local producers on the menu. In fact, everything that’s served at The White Hart takes full advantage of the fresh produce that the team cultivates on-site. Drinks are given as much attention as the food, as The White Hart’s cocktail list demonstrates. Guests might try an Elderflower Fizz, which combines homemade elderflower cordial with Prosecco, or a Blackberry Bellini made with blackberries foraged from local hedgerows. Elsewhere in the bar, visitors are welcome to enjoy a range of well-kept real ale and personally selected wine. A truly unique establishment, The White Hart excels at turning a meal out into a memorable dining experience. Whether you visit for a casual drink, dinner, or for one of the popular foodie events, an unforgettable time is sure to be had by all.

VH £20 to

£30

Open: Tues-Sat noon-11pm; Sun noon-10.30pm Food Served: Tues-Fri noon-2pm, 6pm-9pm; Sat noon-2.30pm, 6pm-9.30pm; Sun noon-3.30pm

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The Greyhound

Modern British

 Location Main Street, Letcombe Regis, Nr. Wantage, OX12 9JL t: 0844 625 6124 w: www.thegreyhoundletcombe.co.uk e: info@thegreyhoundletcombe.co.uk

VH

The multi-award-winning Greyhound Inn has been running for four years now as a quintessential village inn and has gained an outstanding reputation for its delicious food and characterful en-suite bedrooms. This charming establishment £23 to occupies a beautiful Grade II listed building with a pretty walled garden, and £30 resides in a pretty downland village on the edge of the North Wessex Downs with the Ridgeway nearby, perfect for walkers and cyclists. On arrival, you’re immediately made to feel welcome in the dog-friendly bar Open: area by Carrie-Ann and her talented team. The bar is open every day from 10am Sun & Mon 10am-10pm; and you can enjoy homemade cakes with a tea or coffee. The cosy dining areas, Tues-Sat 10am-11pm including two private dining rooms, offer relaxed spaces in which to enjoy the Food Served: cuisine served up by head chef Liam Whittle (chef profile page 46). Liam has Mon-Thurs noon-2.30pm, developed an exceptional menu of beautifully presented, modern British dishes 6pm-9pm; Fri & Sat that showcases locally sourced seasonal produce. The menu may include roasted noon-2.30pm, 6pm-9.30pm; halibut accompanied by charred Sun noon-3.30pm, leeks, salsify, mussels and caviar 6pm-8.30pm sauce, and mouth-watering desserts such as chocolate, raspberry and hazelnut delice with honeycomb and viola flowers. To complement your meal, choose from the extensive wine list, which boasts over 20 varieties available by the glass, or a regularly changing selection of top-quality real ale alongside popular lager and cider. Several carefully selected artisan gins complete the offering, ensuring there’s always something exciting to try.

The George Hotel

Modern British

 Location High Street, Dorchester-on-Thames, OX10 7HH t: 0844 625 6818 w: www.georgehoteloxfordshire.co.uk e: georgedorchester@dominionhospitality.co.uk

SO

Constructed in the 15th century, The George Hotel is one of the UK’s oldest coaching inns. With oak beams and inglenook fireplaces, this pub is packed full of character and has even served as a filming location for Midsomer Murders.

£22 to

‘...packed full of character...’

£27

Upon arrival, take a seat in the bar area for a relaxed drink, or perhaps order an aperitif to take through to the restaurant with you. You can also peruse the bar menu for a selection of sharing platters and pub classics, including a pan-fried steak, and sausage and mash. Those stopping by for lunch are offered a tasty selection of sandwiches as well as a lunch special of a sandwich and a Open: cup of warming soup. If you’re visiting later in the day, begin with one of Mon-Sun 11am-midnight the chef’s delicious starters – perhaps the lightly spiced chilli and garlic Food Served: Mon-Sun king prawns – before sampling a noon-2.30pm, 6pm-9pm main. The rump of lamb, which is accompanied by roast new potatoes, is especially popular, and the tomato, basil and feta risotto is a fantastic vegetarian option. Those celebrating a special occasion, or simply wishing to indulge themselves, will be delighted by the set menu, which offers three courses for just £35. Be sure to enquire about the wine too: the cellar boasts a great collection and staff will be happy to make a recommendation. 6

Oxfordshire Guide 2019-2020


The Star Inn

Modern British

 Location Watery Lane, Sparsholt, Nr. Wantage, OX12 9PL t: 0844 502 6831 w: www.thestarsparsholt.co.uk e: info@thestarsparsholt.co.uk

VH

The delightful village of Sparsholt is home to one of Oxfordshire’s finest inns, The Star. In addition to eight recently refurbished rooms, this pub offers its patrons innovative food of the highest standard. Indeed, as we discovered from perusing skilled chef Matt Williams’ (chef profile page 46) menus, dishes here are designed with pleasure in mind and showcase local and seasonal produce at its finest. My starter of curried cod and salmon fishcakes with coconut and peanut dressing and lime yoghurt was an amazing combination of taste and texture, as was my partner’s choice of pan-fried mackerel with lemon, pomegranate, quinoa salsa, guacamole and jalapeño sorbet. To follow, his choice of herb-crusted lamb loin, breast and crispy sweetbread with pea purée, heritage carrot and potato terrine was a wise decision and was declared perfect. I opted for spiced vegan koftas with Moroccan spiced bulgur wheat, cashews, spring vegetables and beetroot hummus, and couldn’t applaud it enough – it was a magnificent, beautifully cooked showstopper.

£18 to

£30

Food Served: Mon-Sat noon-2.30pm, 6pm-9pm; Sun noon-3.30pm, 6pm-8pm

Our desserts of sticky toffee soufflé with salted caramel ice cream and butterscotch sauce, and dark chocolate and salted caramel Bavarois with raspberry sorbet were both luscious and indulgent, and ended the meal on a high note. With its totally relaxed atmosphere and exquisite food, a visit to The Star Inn won’t be one you’ll soon forget.

The Baskerville

Modern British

 Location 7 Station Road, Lower Shiplake, Nr. Henley-on-Thames, RG9 3NY t: 0844 502 5549 w: www.thebaskerville.com e: enquiries@thebaskerville.com

SO The Baskerville is a traditional family-run country inn that offers unpretentious food to locals, walkers and tourists from its multi-award-winning restaurant. With an AA rosette and the title of Oxfordshire Restaurant of the Year 2016 among its £27 many accolades, the friendly pub focuses on compassionate farming, sustainability to £39 and serving local and seasonal produce. Manager Kevin Hannah took over from his parents Allan and Kate in 2010 and now runs the pub supported by a young, energetic team who put great service at the top of their priorities. Situated directly on the Thames Path, muddy boots and soggy dogs are welcome here, making it the perfect watering hole for both hungry walkers and relaxed diners. The spacious restaurant features comfortable high-backed leather chairs, an eclectic mix of wall art and ambient oil candles to make your experience all the more Open: Mon-Sat 11am-11pm; memorable. Choose from a range of modern British and European dishes such as Sun noon-10.30pm Cornish king scallops, Chiltern lamb sweetbreads, Chateaubriand, lemon sole à la Food Served: meunière, roasted cauliflower cheese Mon-Sat noon-2.30pm, gnocchi and the famous Sunday 6pm-9pm; Sun noon-3pm roast. Pub classics also feature, so traditionalists can opt for the beer-battered cod and chips, before turning to the substantial dessert menu. If you can’t choose, go for the Baskerville sharing plate to try a range of the homemade treats. The accomplished kitchen team works tirelessly to source only the best-quality local meat, cheese, fruit and vegetables. The bread served at The Baskerville is baked just three miles away and much of the meat is reared on Oxfordshire soil. Oxfordshire Guide 2019-2020

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The Maytime Inn

Modern British

 Location Asthall, Nr. Burford, OX18 4HW t: 0844 625 6803 w: www.themaytime.com e: info@themaytime.com

WO

The Maytime Inn has the complete package: high-end, unpretentious food, a cracking drinks menu and impeccable service. Inside this family- and dog-friendly venue you’ll find traditional features including exposed brick work and a roaring fireplace, creating a relaxing and homely atmosphere. In the courtyard there are also six boutique bedrooms if you feel like extending your stay. Outside is a stunning garden boasting picturesque views of the Cotswolds countryside, a gin bar and a boules pitch. With all this available in one pub it should come as no surprise that The Maytime Inn has won multiple awards and has also been recommended by The Times as one of the top 30 places to eat, drink and stay in Great Britain.

£23 to

£32

Open: Mon-Sun 11am-11pm Food Served: Mon-Sat noon-2.30pm, 6pm-9.30pm; Sun noon-3pm, 6pm-9.30pm

The seasonal changing menu has dishes to suit all tastes and dietary requirements. The chefs focus on seasonality and locality when creating their menus, and love to utilise the finest and freshest local ingredients available. A selection of dishes remain throughout the year including the crowd-pleasing wild boar burger served with melted Comté cheese and chilli jam. In the cooler months dishes featuring locally shot game feature heavily on the menu, including pan-fried venison loin with roasted butternut squash, creamy mash, crispy shallot and rich jus. If you feel like stopping by for a drink, The Maytime boasts 50 wines by the glass, regularly changing guest ale, a range of interesting local draught and canned lagers and 150 gins.

Cherwell Boathouse

Modern British

 Location Bardwell Road, Oxford, OX2 6ST t: 0844 502 9875 w: www.cherwellboathouse.co.uk e: info@cherwellboathouse.co.uk

OC

Situated on the idyllic banks of River Cherwell, this beautiful Victorian boathouse treats diners to beguiling views, stunning modern British fare, and the opportunity to enjoy punting, one of Oxford’s best-loved traditional pastimes. Built in 1904, £25 to Cherwell Boathouse was taken on by Anthony Verdin, a local entrepreneur and £40 connoisseur of fine food and wine, in 1968 and is now run by his eldest son John Verdin and his dedicated, friendly team (chef profile page 47). Steeped in charming tradition, the elegant restaurant is locally renowned for serving beautifully presented dishes that make the most of locally sourced, seasonal produce. Head chef Paul Bell leads a hard-working team, serving up the likes of pan-seared scallops with Puy lentils, smoked bacon and butternut squash purée, and roasted breast of guinea fowl with Dauphinoise potatoes, Mediterranean Food Served: vegetables, and carrot and ginger purée. For a delectable seafood feast, plump for Mon-Sun noon-2.30pm, the grilled mackerel with saffron, orange and fennel salad, followed by the roasted 6pm-9.30pm hake with chive-crushed potatoes, pea purée, and white wine and caviar sauce. Strawberry mille-feuille with Champagne sorbet, and peanut and pistachio salted caramel with chocolate and ice cream are triumphant desserts worth saving room for. The food is complemented by an award-winning wine list, which offers great value for money and an exceptional variety of famous producers, rare wine, and vintage bottles. Weddings, parties and corporate events are hosted throughout the year in the restaurant and a spacious marquee, situated on the terrace overlooking the river. 8

Oxfordshire Guide 2019-2020


The Greyhound


Modern British

 Location Gallowstree Road, Rotherfield Peppard, Nr. Henley-on-Thames, RG9 5HT t: 0844 625 6261 w: www.awtgreyhound.com e: greyhound@awtrestaurants.com

SO

When Antony (chef profile page 47) and Jay Worrall Thompson took over The Greyhound over ten years ago, they wanted to create the ultimate pub and restaurant. Every year they continue to make improvements – whether it’s to the garden or the interior – to enhance their customers’ experience. In a nutshell, they wanted to provide an enjoyable and happy experience for everyone who visited, hence The Greyhound’s motto to serve ‘food, wine and happiness’. Their hard work has paid off and now this venue is one of the busiest pubs in the area with a huge base of regular customers. Inside The Greyhound is a classic chocolate-box British country pub complete with beams and low ceilings. Outside is a beautiful garden complete with an outside dining area perfect for al fresco dining. The interior is beyond wild, with antiques, hundreds of pictures, stuffed animals and teddy bears adorning the entire venue.

£25 to

£40

‘...food, wine and happiness...’ Jay encourages her front-of-house team to be knowledgeable, accommodating and most of all incredibly friendly. Meanwhile, in the kitchen Antony has created a menu suitable for every palate. He doesn’t pander to fashionable food trends; he gives the customers what they want to eat. Anthony has cultivated a small but passionate team of young chefs who help keep the menu fresh, vibrant and ever changing. For the little ones, available is a delicious beefburger, which is rumoured to be the best in town. There are also plenty of flavoursome vegan and vegetarian options, ensuring everyone is catered for. For seafood-lovers there are always at least three or four beautiful fish dishes available, which include the likes of octopus, halibut and delicate wild sea bass. You’ll also find a stunning selection of meat dishes that would satisfy even the most discerning connoisseur. Antony takes pride in using only the finest aged wagyu and Aberdeen Angus beef, acorn-fed Iberico pork, salt-cured duck and lamb and he cooks many of these prime cuts over a grill to maximise the natural flavours. While The Greyhound may be off the beaten track, a trip to this spectacular pub is definitely worth the detour.

Open: Weds & Thurs noon-2.30pm, 6pm-9.30pm; Fri noon-2.30pm, 6pm-10pm; Sat noon-3pm, 6pm-10pm; Sun noon-4pm

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The Shilton Rose & Crown

Modern British

 Location Shilton, Nr. Burford, OX18 4AB t: 0844 502 5563 w: www.shiltonroseandcrown.com e: shiltonroseandcrown@gmail.com WO Set in the lovely village of Shilton two miles south of Burford, The Shilton Rose & Crown is a Grade II listed 17th-century Cotswold stone inn. Simply furnished with stone walls, original beams and log fires, it succeeds in being £20 a happy blend of a village local and destination food pub. All tables are to £30 suitable for dining; there are five in the bar, where well-behaved dogs are allowed, and six in the snug, where parties of up to 24 can be accommodated. The well-appointed garden has a further 12 tables. Proprietor and chef Martin Coldicott, who learned to cook at The Connaught Hotel, has owned and run the freehold pub since 2006. Food is freshly prepared on the premises using top-quality ingredients, with fresh fish, game (when in season), and a superb Sunday roast available. Open: Mon-Fri 11.30am-3pm, 6pm-10pm; Sat 11.30am-10pm; Sun noon-9pm Food Served: Mon-Fri noon-2pm, 7pm-9pm; Sat noon-2.45pm, 7pm-9pm; Sun noon-2.45pm, 7pm-8pm

The Chequers

Modern British

 Location Goddards Lane, Chipping Norton, OX7 5NP t: 0844 502 1615 w: www.chequerschippingnorton.co.uk e: chequerschippingnorton@gmail.com Built in the medieval times, The Chequers has gained an excellent reputation with locals and visitors alike. Perched next door to Chipping Norton Theatre, this is the perfect destination for a pre-show pint or a delicious three-course meal. Combining country charm with contemporary flair, you’ll find traditional features in the bar alongside stylish furnishings in the conservatory dining area. Made with the finest local ingredients, you might be tempted by homemade pie of the day served with mash and seasonal vegetables, or the mouth-watering fresh fish and chips with mushy peas and tartare sauce. A selection of small plates is available including crispy pork belly with black pudding and cabbage, and seasonal veg arancini complemented by saffron and cauliflower purée. The team also provides personalised catering for special occasions from 30 to 80 people. The Chequers is worth seeking out.

WO £18 to

£28

Open: Sun-Thurs 11am-11pm; Fri & Sat 11am-midnight Food Served: Mon-Thurs noon-3pm, 5pm-9pm; Fri noon-3pm, 5pm-10pm; Sat noon-10pm; Sun noon-8pm British

The Mole Inn

 Location Toot Baldon, Nr. Oxford, OX44 9NG t: 0844 625 6321 w: www.themoleinn.com e: info@themoleinn.com Set in the village of Toot Baldon, The Mole Inn boasts a beautiful location, and arguably the most stunning gardens in Oxfordshire. You can sit outside among the abundant lavender bushes and butterflies or in the pub’s elegant conservatory, or cosy up in front of the roaring fire in the cooler months. The knowledgeable front-of-house team will ensure your visit is welcoming and seamless, while chef Johnny and the kitchen team guarantee your food is worthy of the pub’s two AA rosettes. Food is locally and responsibly sourced and menus change regularly with daily specials also available. You’ll always find dishes that are seasonal and bursting with flavour, such as potted Salcombe crab, and the delicious tempura courgette flower stuffed with ricotta and pine nuts and served with caponata and tenderstem broccoli. Desserts include dark chocolate and amaretto crème brûlée and The Mole Inn’s famous Pavlova.

SO £20 to

£37

Food Served: Mon-Thurs noon-2.15pm, 6.30pm-8.45pm; Fri & Sat noon-2.15pm, 6.30pm-9.15pm; Sun noon-3.15pm, 6pm-8.15pm 10

Oxfordshire Guide 2019-2020


The Trout

British

 Location Buckland Road, Faringdon, SN7 8RF t: 0844 502 2076 w: www.troutinn.co.uk e: info@troutinn.co.uk

WO

Situated on the banks of the meandering Thames, The Trout at Tadpole Bridge offers a large dose of Oxfordshire countryside charm, with a seasonally changing menu full of mouth-watering delights. We made our visit on a rainy autumn evening, and were instantly struck by The Trout’s homely appeal, with a roaring fire and gentle buzz of conversation greeting us once through its doors.

£24 to

£40

Deep-fried poached egg with wild mushrooms, Parmesan and truffle cream and cavolo nero, and beetroot salad with goat’s curd, honey, truffle and almond were our opening courses, and neither disappointed. The egg was cooked to perfection, with a runny yolk and scrumptious accompanying sauce making for an all-round delectable meal. Likewise, the beetroot salad was fresh and combined well with the salty goat’s curd. Shortly after, our mains of mascarpone risotto made with wild mushrooms and leek, and fregola and saffron fish broth topped with prawns, squid, gurnard, mussels and tenderstem Open: Mon-Sun noon-11pm broccoli followed. The rich and creamy risotto was gleefully devoured by my dining partner, and each morsel of fregola was bursting with flavour from the seafood. Ending our meal on a sweet note, we plumped for the decadent chestnut slice, crème anglaise, chocolate mousse and salted caramel ice cream, and seasonally inspired pumpkin pudding with mascarpone cream and vanilla ice cream, topped with amaretti biscuits. Bellies full, and with a newfound favourite haunt, it’s safe to say that we will be returning to The Trout very soon.

Shoulder of Mutton

British

 Location Playhatch, Nr. Reading, RG4 9QU t: 0118 947 3908 w: www.theshoulderplayhatch.co.uk e: shoulderofmutton@hotmail.co.uk

SO

The Shoulder of Mutton is a traditional country pub that ticks all the boxes. Inside, an open fire, low-hanging beams and exposed brickwork create a warm and welcoming atmosphere, while the gorgeous cottage garden, sunny patio and light and airy conservatory are perfect for a spot of al fresco dining. Owners Wendy and Alan ensure every guest is treated like part of the family. It’s this personalised touch, alongside Alan’s culinary flair, that has helped Shoulder of Mutton garner much recognition, including being named one the top ten best pubs to visit in Berkshire by Berkshire Life.

£20 to

£28

On the menu you’ll find a mixture of British pub classics as well as a selection of unique and flavoursome dishes. To start, treat yourself to a crispy poached free-range egg served on a bed of fresh crabmeat salad, finished with homemade Food Served: lemon and dill tartare. When it comes to the main course, you must try the Tues-Sat noon-2pm, signature dish – shoulder of mutton, 6.30pm-9pm; slow-roasted for seven hours with Sun noon-2pm rosemary, red peppers, onions and red wine. Alternatively, opt for the decadent seafood lasagne or succulent Gressingham duck breast. On Sundays the pub offers a spectacular roast. Each prime cut of meat is marinated and cooked to perfection for maximum tenderness and flavour. What’s more, Shoulder of Mutton can cater for private functions including wedding receptions, birthdays, funeral receptions and anniversaries. Oxfordshire Guide 2019-2020

11


The Crown Inn

British

 Location Pishill, Nr. Henley-on-Thames, RG9 6HH t: 0844 502 1618 w: www.thecrowninnpishill.co.uk e: enquiries@thecrowninnpishill.co.uk

SO

Nestled in the beautiful hamlet of Pishill, The Crown Inn is a hidden treasure just waiting to be discovered. Set in a stunning former coaching inn, this wonderful establishment exudes historic charm. The inn still boasts many of its original £18 to features with roaring open fires, beams, and brickwork complemented by the £30 welcoming atmosphere. Outside, you’ll find a beautiful seating area, perfect for al fresco dining on warm evenings. All food is cooked to order, with the talented chefs utilising the best ingredients, sourced directly from local suppliers. From brunch dishes and traditional favourites to hearty Sunday lunches, visitors to The Crown Inn can choose from a menu that celebrates seasonal flavours. Choose from the likes of Watlington pork, apricot and onion pie served with black pudding mash and seasonal vegetables, and beer-battered catch of the day accompanied by hand-cut chips, Open: Weds-Sat 11am-3pm, mushy peas, grilled lemon and tartare sauce. For those with a sweet-tooth, 6pm-10pm; Sun 11am-4pm there’s a variety of sweet treats on (hours may vary, please see offer, including the moreish sticky website for details) toffee pudding with honeycomb ice cream. The carefully selected range of local ale, beer, wine and spirits complements the delightful bill of fare. The inn is a popular destination for weddings and special occasions and the helpful team will ensure a memorable experience. Whatever the purpose of your visit, The Crown Inn’s welcoming team and magnificent setting are sure to charm.

The Fox Inn

British

 Location Fox Lane, Souldern, Nr. Bicester, OX27 7JW t: 0844 625 6258 w: www.thefoxatsouldern.co.uk e: enquiries2@thefoxatsouldern.co.uk

Ch £20 to

£31

Food Served: Mon-Fri noon-2pm, 6pm-9pm; Sat noon-2.30pm, 6pm-9pm; Sun noon-2.30pm

There’s nothing quite like an English country pub and The Fox Inn is one of a kind. First licensed in 1784, The Fox Inn is the only remaining public house and restaurant in the village of Souldern. Its location also makes this pub a great stopping place on a day trip to Bicester Village or on a weekend away in Oxford. Upon entering, guests are greeted by a cosy interior, complete with wood-burning fire and a well-stocked bar. The menu is a fusion of homely food and high-quality ingredients. The chargrilled rib-eye steak is cooked to your liking and the halloumi, avocado and grilled pepper burger is packed with flavour. The fish and chips and the battered scampi are consistently excellent and always popular with kids, while the sandwich menu is ideal for a lunchtime snack.

‘...high-quality ingredients...’

The relaxed atmosphere makes for an easy environment in which to catch up with friends and family over a drink or a delicious meal. Make sure to visit for one of the pub’s regular quizzes, music nights and other exciting events to see why the pub is such an adored part of the local community. For overnight guests there’s accommodation too – each of the four rooms has its own en-suite and, in this peaceful setting, you’re sure to get a good night’s sleep. 12

Oxfordshire Guide 2019-2020


White Horse Inn

British

 Location Daisy Hill, Duns Tew, OX25 6JS t: 0844 625 6997 w: www.dunstewwhitehorse.co.uk e: info@dunstewwhitehorse.co.uk

Ch

The White Horse Inn occupies a central position in the village of Duns Tew on the edge of the Cotswolds. This 17th-century coaching inn is surrounded by scenic countryside and quaint cottages and, with its open fireplaces, exposed stonework and traditional flagstone flooring, exudes all the charm of a classic country pub. Located just a 20-minute drive from both Oxford and Bicester, and just an hour away from London, this venue is also the ideal spot for tourists seeking a peaceful escape within easy reach of some exciting sightseeing and shopping locations.

£23 to

£29

With rooms of varying sizes, the White Horse is perfect for a weekend getaway. Each room is decorated in a traditional style, with warm colours, vintage furniture and tartan patterns creating a chic but homely feel. A visit to the White Horse isn’t complete without a delicious lunch or dinner in the gorgeous restaurant. The menu celebrates British produce and many of the ingredients come from local suppliers, including the vegetables and fruit that come from an organic farming group based just outside Deddington. A selection of dishes change daily in order to showcase the best seasonal produce available, so diners are guaranteed a variety of freshly prepared house-made dishes throughout the year. Whilst some dishes change regularly, diners will always be able to find a selection of British beauties. Start by casting your eye over the choice of starters – be sure to ask the friendly staff for their recommendations if you can’t decide. Starters may include British classics such as smoked haddock fishcake, leek and potato soup and a traditional ham hock terrine served with sourdough toast. Next, meat-eaters will be torn between the slow-roasted belly pork with root vegetable mash, and the tender half roast chicken with fries. Meanwhile, the fish and chips is a favourite amongst adults and kids, and vegetarians can choose from carefully crafted plates. Finally, treat yourself to an indulgent dessert; with apple strudel, chocolate mousse and carrot cake on offer, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Over at the bar, visitors will find three different guest ales, as well as an extensive selection of whiskey, gin and wine. With such a fantastic selection of food and drinks all served up in a convivial atmosphere, you’re sure to be impressed by the White Horse.

Open: Mon-Sat 10am-11pm; Sun 10am-10.30pm Food Served: Mon-Sun noon-2.30pm, 7pm-9pm

Oxfordshire Guide 2019-2020

13


The Wychwood Inn

British

 Location High Street, Shipton-under-Wychwood, OX7 6BA t: 0844 502 9597 w: www.thewychwoodinn.com e: mail@thewychwoodinn.com

WO

The Wychwood Inn sits in the idyllic village of Shipton-under-Wychwood on the border of the Cotswolds. Having received AA awards for the last three years, this cosy inn continues to impress guests with delicious food and excellent service. Under head chef Joe McCarthy’s guidance, the talented team of chefs creates an exceptional array of dishes using the finest locally sourced ingredients. Every dish is beautifully presented – a treat for the eyes and palate. The menu is constantly updated, but you might start with the likes of baby beetroot with Windrush goat’s cheese, pickled walnuts, oat biscuit and creamy parsley mayo. Follow this with succulent pork belly paired with Dauphinoise potato, sharp apple purée, crackling, tenderstem broccoli and delicious cider jus.

£23 to

£36

Food Served: Mon-Sat noon-2.30pm, 6.30pm-9.30pm; Sun noon-8.30pm

The potato gnocchi served with heritage tomatoes, fresh baby spinach and tofu is a delicious vegan alternative. For dessert, highlights include the likes of sweet clementine pie, featuring clementine curd, Italian meringue and torched clementines. If you’re staying overnight, you can choose from a selection of fresh, warm pastries, a hearty full English or Scottish smoked salmon with scrambled eggs for breakfast. Five stylish and spacious rooms make this the perfect place to stay if you’re looking to explore the local area. With delicious, award-winning food and luxurious accommodation to match, The Wychwood Inn is well worth a visit.

Carpenters Arms

British

 Location Fulbrook Hill, Fulbrook, OX18 4BH t: 0844 502 1614 w: www.carpentersarmsfulbrook.com e: thecarpentersarmsfulbrook@outlook.com

WO

Nestled on the edge of the Cotswolds, the Carpenters Arms occupies a picturesque location surrounded by luscious countryside and open fields. After working up an appetite rambling through the delightful surrounds, this terrific country inn provides the perfect pit-stop, and you can even bring your four-legged friends along. You can expect a cosy setting in winter with a welcoming fire and plenty of intimate corners, while the pleasant beer garden is ideal for al fresco dining during those hot summer days.

£22 to

£38

The menu champions traditional and seasonal British fare, and only the finest local ingredients are used to craft beautifully presented dishes. To start, you might opt for confit sea trout with oyster and wasabi mayonnaise, pickled cucumber, fennel and squid ink. For the main event, the Jesse Smith sirloin Open: steak accompanied by triple-cooked chips, sherry-glazed onion, watercress Tues-Thurs noon-11pm; and peppercorn sauce is a Fri & Sat noon-midnight; popular choice, while the panSun noon-5pm fried plaice served with a crab and chilli croquette, taramasalata and sea vegetables comes highly recommended. You don’t want to miss out on the superb Sunday lunch, boasting a choice of succulent meats with all your favourite trimmings. A delicious set menu available during selected times on weekdays and Saturdays is also available. All this combined makes the Carpenters Arms an unbeatable destination. 14

Oxfordshire Guide 2019-2020


The Lion at Wendlebury

British

 Location Wendlebury Road, Wendlebury, OX25 2PW t: 0844 625 6350 w: www.thelionwendlebury.co.uk e: info@thelionwendlebury.co.uk

Ch

Located in the heart of the village of Wendlebury just a stone’s throw from Bicester Village, The Lion at Wendlebury offers a warm welcome to locals, visitors and passersby alike. The interior of the pub is cosy and traditional – think vintage-style decor combined with comfy seating and a log-burning fire to create that sense of homeliness synonymous with the English country inn.

£20 to

£38

‘...charming beer garden...’ If you’re visiting for a casual drink and catch up with friends, take a seat in the bar and select a tipple from the extensive range of ale, beer, wine and spirits available. On a warm day, you can sit outside and enjoy the charming beer garden. Alternatively, the dining rooms are perfect for a group celebration, an intimate evening meal or a lunchtime meeting, and larger parties have a choice of rooms to hire out for a private event.

‘...the produce used by the chefs is locally sourced...’ Much of the produce used by the chefs is locally sourced and delivered daily. Stop by for breakfast – which is served from 8am every day – to enjoy an indulgent full English, a vegetarian full English, classic eggs Benedict or some sweet Belgian waffles. The menus are seasonal too, and diners can choose from a varied à la carte menu or a carefully curated set menu. Shared starters are an excellent way to whet your appetite and get the conversation flowing – try the hearty garlic and rosemary Camembert, or split the vegetarian mezze, comprising marinated courgette, aubergine, onions, hummus, artichoke and smoked tomatoes. Next, select an equally mouth-watering main. The king prawn and chorizo linguine is packed with flavour and the Thai vegetable curry is popular with vegans and vegetarians. If you’re looking a pub classic, choose the beer-fed beefburger, beer-battered haddock or peruse the grilled dishes. The homemade sandwiches are ideal for a lunchtime bite to eat. If you’re staying in the area be sure to check out the accommodation at The Lion. There are 13 boutique bedrooms available, and each one comes with a complimentary breakfast when booked direct.

Open: Sun-Thurs 8am-11pm; Fri & Sat 8am-midnight

Oxfordshire Guide 2019-2020

15


The Queens Head

British

 Location 72 The Street, Crowmarsh Gifford, Nr. Wallingford, OX10 8ER t: 0844 502 6503 w: www.queensheadcrowmarsh.co.uk SO e: talktous@queensheadcrowmarsh.pub Stuart and Natasha have brought the pub back to Crowmarsh Gifford with The Queens Head – an eatery that has quickly established itself within the village and £21 to surrounding area. The chefs ensure that everything is freshly made on-site and work £30 together to prepare mouth-watering dishes. The menu champions seasonality with meat from Oxfordshire and Berkshire provided by local butchers and fresh fish caught off the Cornish coast, while delivering British takes on great Continental dishes. Starters include breaded calamari with fennel and apple slaw, and pork and chorizo meatballs with warm pitta and a spiced tomato sauce. The signature main courses are guaranteed to turn heads, with the team’s signature orange and maple Open: Mon-Thurs noon-11pm; slow-roasted lamb shoulder, served with roasted new potatoes, carrots and mint and Fri & Sat noon-midnight; chilli pesto proving a favourite among patrons. This unique interpretation of a classic Sun noon-10.30pm demonstrates an innovative approach to traditional ingredients. These kinds of differences are noticeable throughout The Queens Head’s offerings, and are what sets the pub apart from your average local. Even the drinks are presented on a seasonal basis, with a strong selection of Fuller’s ale and beer, and craft cider from Cornish Orchards. Should you need any advice on an accompanying glass of red or white, the team has excellent knowledge of the wine list, and many varieties are available by the glass. Any community would be lucky to have this pub in their village, but The Queens Head has found a favourable home with the people of Crowmarsh Gifford.

Cuttlefish Seafood Bar & Grill

Seafood

 Location 36 St Clement’s Street, Oxford, OX4 1AB t: 0844 502 6711 w: www.cuttlefishoxford.co.uk e: cuttlefishoxford@gmail.com

OC

Cuttlefish offers high-quality fresh, seasonal seafood in the heart of Oxford. Run by the same team behind the adjacent La Cucina, the informal restaurant was born from Yola Drage and her husband Alberto Brunelli’s passion for fresh seafood, along with their culinary expertise. They have no shortage of local and reliable fish suppliers from their work at La Cucina, so the couple’s concept, with the support of head chef Michele Genna, has taken Oxford by storm. Whether you’re after a great evening meal out or a delicious takeaway to enjoy from the comfort of your own home, Cuttlefish is a great shout. Children are very welcome in the restaurant, which has a family-orientated feel.

£17 to

£25

Utilising fresh produce and seasonal seafood means the menu changes often. You might find lightly fried whitebait with a sundried tomato and paprika dip, surf and turf – fillet steak with lobster and prawns – or the chef’s mixed grill Open: for one or two, comprising the very Mon-Sun 11am-10.30pm best of the day’s catch on a single platter, gracing the menu. The offering also includes plenty of options for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike, while the wine menu is both confident and accessible. With different promotions each night (see their website for details), brunch-style egg dishes available daily, tapas dishes on offer and car parking directly behind the building, this new addition to the Oxford foodie scene won’t be disappearing in a hurry. 16

Oxfordshire Guide 2019-2020


The Holt Hotel

Modern European

 Location Oxford Road, Steeple Aston, OX25 5QQ t: 0844 502 1608 w: www.holthotel.co.uk e: info@holthotel.co.uk

Ch On a rainy, autumnal evening, we ventured to Bicester’s Holt Hotel. Steeped in centuries of history, this Grade II listed building is noted by many who pass by on journeys to neighbouring villages, but ignore this unassuming gem at your peril. £23 Inside this hotel is the relaxing Highwayman’s Bar, perfect for casual dining, to £39 as well as the stunning Du Vall’s Restaurant, which serves beautiful bistro-style plates on Friday and Saturday evenings. On Sundays diners will be treated to an outstanding Sunday cavery served from noon until 3pm. After a friendly welcome and a snoop around the expansive interior, we were seated at our table. We began our meal with leek and potato soup, topped with tangy Stilton, and pheasant, black pudding and chorizo terrine, accompanied by raspberries, redcurrants, caramelised figs and radish – the perfect tonic to the blustery Du Vall’s Restaurant Open: weather outside. The terrine was packed full of flavour and both dishes Mon-Sat 6pm-9.30pm; Sun noon-3pm left us eagerly anticipating our next plates. Highwayman’s Bar Open: Our main courses arrived in the form of delicate monkfish and Mon-Sat noon-3pm, salmon ballotine, with creamy 6pm-9.30pm; Sun 6pm-9pm moules marinières, and confit pheasant leg alongside potato galette and red wine jus. Both plates were delicious and beautifully presented. We were unable to resist sampling the mouth-watering delights of the dessert menu, with The Holt’s own twist on a classic Eton Mess and decadent sticky toffee pudding a fitting end to a scrumptious feast.

The Beetle & Wedge Boathouse

Modern European

 Location Ferry Lane, Moulsford, Nr. Wallingford, OX10 9JF t: 0844 502 6461 w: www.beetleandwedge.co.uk e: boathouse@beetleandwedge.co.uk

SO

The Beetle & Wedge Boathouse enjoys a wonderful riverside setting in rural Oxfordshire, with stunning views and a magical combination of mouth-watering wine, fabulous food and great service.

£25

‘...a magical combination of mouth-watering wine, fabulous food and great service...’

to

£35

Head chef George Moore’s expert use of locally sourced produce is reflected in an ever-changing menu that features ingredients like local venison, Dover sole, and Cornish crab. Guests can also sit and relax by the open charcoal grill, which is a great source of both warmth and entertainment. Visitors can dine from the set menu, which offers fantastic meals and great value for money, or pop by for the popular Steak Night, which is held every Tuesday. The Beetle & Wedge Boathouse also caters for weddings and celebrations of up to 70 Open: Mon-Sun 9am-11pm guests, offering a choice of bespoke Food Served: Mon-Sun menus for parties of all sizes. noon-1.45pm, 7pm-9pm There are also three charming B&B rooms in the cottage adjacent to the restaurant, which have traditional roll-top baths, huge king-size beds and stunning river views. Looking for a fun way to cruise the Thames? Look no further than Klip – a superb launch that caters for groups of up to ten people, Klip is comfortable and versatile. Oxfordshire Guide 2019-2020

17


The Fish

French

 Location 4 Appleford Road, Sutton Courtenay, Nr. Abingdon, OX14 4NQ t: 0844 502 6692 w: www.thefishatsuttoncourtenay.co.uk e: thefishatsuttoncourtenay@gmail.com The Fish is situated in the picturesque village of Sutton Courtenay in Oxfordshire. Nestled on the bank of the River Thames, the restaurant has made quite a name for itself thanks to its French cuisine, charming setting and attentive yet relaxed service. Inside, this excellent establishment combines the spirit of a traditional pub with wonderful French features to create the perfect destination for any occasion. Outside, you’ll find a large beer garden with ample seating, making it one of the most desirable spots in summer. If you’re visiting for a casual drink and catch up with friends, take a seat in the bar and select a tipple from the extensive range of beer, cider, and spirits. As you would expect from a French restaurant, there’s an excellent wine list to complete the offering.

VH £25 to

£40

‘...excellent wine list...’

Open: Tues-Sat noon-3pm, 6pm-11pm; Sun noon-5pm Food Served: Tues-Thurs noon-2pm, 7pm-9pm; Fri & Sat noon-2pm, 7pm-9.30pm; Sun noon-3pm

18

Oxfordshire Guide 2019-2020

As for the food, you can expect a French-influenced menu that features authentic and unpretentious dishes that are hearty, big on flavour and expertly prepared. French head chef Jean Phillippe heads up the talented kitchen brigade, and menus change seasonally to take advantage of the excellent produce available in the surrounding area. You might choose to start with a dozen escargots in garlic parsley butter. For the main event, perhaps you’ll opt for the mouth-watering herb-crusted rack of lamb served with ratatouille, mashed potato and rosemary jus, or tempura-battered lobster accompanied by sweet chilli sauce, French fries and salad. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, the Scottish rib-eye steak with French fries, seasonal vegetables and peppercorn sauce is guaranteed to please, while the baked tomato and mozzarella tartlet with basil sorbet and salad is a great choice for vegetarians. Round off your culinary experience with chocolate delice enhanced by custard and coffee ice cream, or iced nougat parfait with strawberry coulis. For those planning an event, The Fish can also be privately hired with up to 60 guests, and the experienced team will ensure a memorable visit, whatever the occasion. For fantastic food served in a relaxed ambience, you must pay a visit to The Fish.


Pierre Victoire

French

 Location 9 Little Clarendon Street, Oxford, OX1 2HP t: 0844 502 6504 w: www.pierrevictoire.co.uk e: pierrevictoire@hotmail.com

OC

Pierre Victoire consistently lives up to its stellar reputation, delivering dishes to an exceptionally high standard. With a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence as well as a nod from Harden’s, this wonderful restaurant’s popularity shows no signs of slowing down. The staff are welcoming and knowledgeable, ensuring Pierre Victoire remains a firm neighbourhood favourite. This well-loved independent restaurant opened in 1996 and remains the perfect destination for a romantic meal or a special occasion, and guests can choose from several enticing menus.

£17 to

£24

The seasons dictate the menus, which change regularly to feature the best local produce and to keep ideas fresh. To start, you might be tempted by terrine de poulet et canard comprising smoked chicken, duck and fig terrine served with spicy pear compote. Next, opt for croupe d’agneau featuring a delicious lamb rump with crushed new potatoes, chilli-roasted squash and rosemary and red wine jus, or cabillaud au risotto, a delicious baked fillet of cod served atop shrimp and squid ink risotto with herb dressing. To finish, enjoy the moreish crème Open: Mon-Sat noon-2.30pm, brûlée accompanied by homemade 6pm-11pm; Sun noon-10pm shortbread. Visit on Sunday for the famous roast – booking in advance is highly recommended. As with any French restaurant worth its salt, the wine list is exceptional and has something for all tastes. For fantastic food in a relaxed and sophisticated setting, you must pay a visit to Pierre Victoire.

La Cucina

Italian

 Location 39-40 St Clement Street, Oxford, OX4 1AB t: 0844 502 6708 w: www.lacucinaoxford.co.uk e: lacucinaoxford@hotmail.co.uk

OC Book a table at La Cucina and embrace a real Italian experience. The La Cucina team has been commended in the Harden’s Guide for their attentive service – staff continue to strive to look after parties and families alike, offering a truly memorable dining £15 experience. The team lives for food, and is happy to let children of all ages visit the to £20 chefs at work, tossing pizza bases in the air and preparing food in the open kitchen. Some even get to play with the fresh dough and take some home. La Cucina’s aim is to offer a home-from-home experience, further enhanced by the delicious aromas you’re surrounded by as soon as you arrive. For those La Cucina customers entertaining at home or hosting an event, an outside catering service is available, meaning this Italian experience can come to you. The team can also cater for parties at the restaurant and offers a great selection for vegetarian and vegan diners. Perhaps begin with roasted peppers and sundried tomatoes with a balsamic glaze, or antipasti for two to share. Follow this with a pasta dish like tagliatelle with porcini mushrooms, truffle oil Food Served: and shavings of pecorino, or risotto Mon-Sun 11am-10.30pm with mussels, calamari, prawns and a hint of chilli. Alternatively, you could plump for a homemade pizza – the Maestro Beppe topped with mozzarella, tomato, spicy sausage, bacon pieces and red onions, for example – before finishing with tiramisu and a true Italian espresso. Once you’ve dined here, it will come as no surprise to learn that La Cucina was nominated for multiple awards at the English Italian Awards 2019. Oxfordshire Guide 2019-2020

19


The Half Moon

Italian

 Location Cuxham, Nr. Watlington, OX49 5NF t: 0844 625 6268 w: www.thehalfmooncuxham.co.uk

SO

We headed to The Half Moon in Cuxham on a crisp September evening. A picturesque English pub from the outside, little did we know that awaiting us inside was a little slice of the Mediterranean. Upon entering, we were met with the mouth-watering scent of freshly prepared pizza and the gentle buzz of friendly conversation. Now in its fifth year, The Half Moon has developed quite a local following.

£16 to

£20

‘...the service is warm and friendly...’ We were promptly seated and began perusing the Italian-inspired choices on offer. My dining partner opted to start with battered calamari, while I plumped for the breaded prawns. Both were full of flavour and accompanied by a sweet chilli dip with a warming kick of heat. For our main course, spurred on by the incredible aromas that greeted us on arrival, we decided on pizza. My guest selected the Roma as recommended by our host, comprising mozzarella, robust Gorgonzola, crunchy pecans, spinach and garlic, however I was tempted by the Dulcis – mozzarella, goat’s cheese, spinach, caramelised onions and garlic. Our choices did not disappoint. Each pizza from the extensive list is freshly made, and this shines through with every delicious bite. To end our thoroughly satisfying feast, we couldn’t resist a dessert each. The recipe for one of our chosen sweets – a creamy panna cotta topped with vibrant raspberry sauce – has been passed down through generations, and it’s clear why this magnificent pudding has been such an enduring hit. Our other indulgence was the Bailey’s sundae complete with Toblerone and peanut pieces. The boozy hit of alcohol made for a delightful contrast to the sweet vanilla ice cream, while the peanuts added a welcome crunch to each bite.

Open: Mon-Sun noon-10.30pm

20

Oxfordshire Guide 2019-2020

Fully fed and watered, we were shown the vast gardens where locals and passersby relax when the season suits. With ample space and plenty of bench seating, the gardens boast stunning scenic views of the Oxfordshire countryside when you reach the boundary. In addition to the sumptuous food and superb sights, the service is warm and friendly. We’ll certainly be returning to The Half Moon again.


Skogen Kitchen

Scandinavian

 Location 2 King Edward Street, Oxford, OX1 4HS t: 0844 502 2093 w: www.skogen.kitchen

OC

Nestled just off Oxford’s bustling High Street, Skogen Kitchen is an independent forward-thinking Scandinavian café that’s the perfect place to pause and refuel. The first thing you notice when you enter this cosy cafe is the delicious smell of warm buns loaded with cinnamon and cardamon. Breakfast, brunch and lunch is served all day until 4pm and includes dishes such as the Skogen brunch, featuring Scandi cheese, home-cured gravadlax, beetroot salad, egg, tomatoes, cucumber and cloudberry jam. The quality of the ingredients stands out; British produce is combined with specialist items imported from Scandinavia. For lunch, try the popular homemade meatballs, served either the traditional Swedish way with potatoes, cream sauce and lingonberry jam or in a satisfying sandwich. All cakes are homemade and traditionally Swedish – perfect for afternoon fika, an important Swedish ritual where you take time to enjoy coffee, cake and good company.

£12 to

£17

Open: Mon-Fri 9am-5.30pm; Sat & Sun 9.30am-5.30pm

Gonjoo Café & Restaurant

Turkish

 Location 68 High Street, Witney, OX28 6HJ t: 0844 625 6560 w: www.gonjoo.co.uk e: gonjoorestaurants@hotmail.com

WO

Gonjoo Café & Restaurant is one of the finest destinations for Turkish cuisine in Oxfordshire. Nestled in the historic market town of Witney, this authentic venue consistently receives glowing reviews from all who visit. The interior features an elegant combination of exposed brick and dark wood, while the relaxed ambience and friendly staff will ensure you feel at home. Unwind with a quality tipple from the extensive list of wine and beer as you peruse the menu, which is packed with authentic Turkish delicacies. Why not try a selection of cold and hot meze dishes? You’ll be spoilt for choice. Alternatively, the mouth-watering pideler – Turkish pizza – comes highly recommended and is served with a selection of three meze dishes. The house specials including sizzling kebabs are not to be missed. Whenever you choose to visit, once you’ve had a taste of Gonjoo, you won’t want to leave.

£18 to

£25

Open: Mon-Sat noon-11pm; Sun 5pm-10pm

The Swan Foodhouse & Bar

Gastropub

 Location The Green, Sutton Courtenay, Abingdon, OX14 4AE t: 0844 625 1602 w: www.theswanfoodhouse.com e: food@theswanfoodhouse.com

VH

The Swan Foodhouse & Bar is situated on the village green, pitched at the very centre of its community. With a large enclosed garden and children’s play area, The Swan is popular with families and perfect for summer visits. In winter, the open log fire adds warmth to the cosy pub, providing comforting respite from the elements. This charming family-run pub prides itself on serving some of the best food in the area using local, seasonal produce. The menu has a touch of Spanish flair, offering authentic tapas and paella throughout the year. Perhaps start with deep-fried crispy squid with honey and black pepper. Mains such as prime fillet burger with hand-cut chips and barbecue sauce are generously portioned for those with large appetites. The tiger prawn and chorizo paella with roasted red onions and baby spinach is highly recommended and a fantastic roast is available every Sunday lunch.

£20 to

£30

Open: Tues-Thurs noon-3pm, 6pm-11pm; Fri noon-3pm, 5.30pm-11pm; Sat noon-11pm; Sun noon-6pm Food Served: Tues-Thurs noon-2pm, 6pm-9pm; Fri noon-2pm, 6.30pm-9pm; Sat noon-3pm, 6pm-9pm; Sun noon-4pm Oxfordshire Guide 2019-2020

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The Angel at Burford

Gastropub

 Location 14 Witney Street, Burford, OX18 4SN t: 0844 502 6703 w: www.theangelatburford.co.uk e: enquiries@theangelatburford.co.uk

WO

Visit The Angel at Burford once, and you’ll forever want to return – that is both the blessing and the curse of this charming Oxfordshire venue. Located in a medieval town known as the gateway to the Cotswolds, and proud owners of an AA rosette, the team behind The Angel works hard to actualise their vision of a great pub and inn – a vision that comprises spectacular, honest food with a creative spark; cosy bedrooms with all the comforts of home; and, of course, a range of drinks that appeal to even the most avid connoisseurs.

£24 to

£32

The kitchen offers the best of both pub and restaurant dining, with menus available for breakfast, bar meals, à la carte dining, and a range of sandwiches for a light lunch. On our visit we ordered from the à la carte menu. The quality of the produce really shone through in every dish that we sampled. The Hooky beer-braised beef cheeks stole the show as a main course, presented artfully with puréed carrot, sweet shallots, and pearl barley risotto.

Open: Mon-Sun 10am-11.30pm Food Served: Mon-Sun noon-9.30pm

After dinner, we moved to the bar where we were thoroughly impressed with the range of drinks on offer. From local Hook Norton ales to a diverse and well-researched wine list, we found it impossible to resist sampling a few tipples, which soon became new favourites. Luckily, there was a room free upstairs, which gave us a great excuse to stay for breakfast.

The Unicorn Inn

Gastropub

 Location Market Place, Deddington, OX15 0SE t: 0844 502 1679 w: www.unicorndeddington.co.uk

Ch

Situated on the market square in the historic Oxfordshire town of Deddington, The Unicorn Inn is an oasis for all seasons. The contemporary interior gives a chic nod towards vintage styling, affording the pub a stylish feel in a traditional, village pub setting. Outside, you’ll find a cosy patio area with hanging baskets and a well-kept beer garden that’s perfect for al fresco dining.

£16 to

£28

The kitchen team takes great pride in the food served here, and the impressive menu is created using the finest local ingredients. Owner Kris comes from a farming family and his main focus is to ensure as much produce as possible is grown, sourced or reared within the local community. All the sausages and burgers are made in-house and all potatoes are grown on his family farm, while Open: other ingredients are sourced from down the road. The extensive menu offers Mon-Thurs noon-11pm; a range of traditional favourites with a modern interpretation, and vegetarian, Fri & Sat noon-11.30pm; vegan and gluten-free dishes are Sun noon-10.30pm available. Alternatively, finish your weekend in style and pop by for the fantastic Sunday roast. Unwind at the bar with a pint of local ale or a glass of wine from the extensive list. The Unicorn Inn is the perfect venue in which to relax and enjoy welcoming hospitality and top-quality food and drink. This wonderful pub also offers very reasonably priced accommodation for those wishing to prolong their stay. 22

Oxfordshire Guide 2019-2020


The Chequers at Burcot

Gastropub

 Location Abingdon Road, Burcot, OX14 3DP t: 0844 625 1643 w: www.thechequers-burcot.co.uk e: enquiries@thechequers-burcot.co.uk

SO A visit to The Chequers at Burcot is always an exciting culinary experience. Expect outstanding food, fine wine and ale, and a warm, friendly atmosphere. Award-winning head chef Steven Sanderson (chef profile page 48) has been £20 delighting visitors with his beautiful seasonal dishes since 2006. The beautiful to £30 thatched inn is over 400 years old and boasts ancient beams, an open fire, and contemporary touches. The Chequers now specialises in serving dry-aged steaks, and offers many different cuts including rib-eye, sirloin, fillet and Chateaubriands. These can be served with anything from the list of 26 side dishes, which have been designed to promote a fun, social approach to dining. There are also sharing boards that you can customise to suit your taste, alongside tasters, pub classics and the Open: Mon-Sat noon-11pm; best of British mains served with a modern twist. The Chequers’ Sunday roast Sun noon-8pm is lauded one of the best in the county, so booking is strongly advised. With Food Served: Mon-Sat outstanding service and great food, noon-2.30pm, 6pm-9pm; it’s no wonder that The Chequers Sun noon-5pm is recommended in the Harden’s Guide, The Good Food Guide, and by Muddy Stilettos. With a private dining room, a beautiful gallery space, and the option of booking the entire pub, The Chequers at Burcot is a fantastic place in which to host a wedding reception, corporate event, or private function – it’s the place that puts fun back onto the plate. Stay overnight in one of the nine wonderful guest bedrooms designed with you in mind.

The Eyston Arms

Gastropub

 Location High Street, East Hendred, Nr. Wantage, OX12 8JY t: 0844 502 9896 w: www.eystonarms.co.uk e: info@eystonarms.co.uk

VH For many years, The Eyston Arms has been delighting the friendly folk of the historic village of East Hendred and its visitors with sophisticated pub food, fantastic, personal service and an extensive wine list in a setting that oozes £22 tradition. A huge log fire makes this the perfect winter hideout, while a spacious to £32 courtyard is an ideal place to enjoy al fresco dining in warmer months. Talented and well-respected chef Maria Jaremchuk (chef profile page 48) is known for her regularly changing menu of beautifully presented fare that showcases local ingredients and draws inspiration from all over the world. For a classic starter, plump for chilli, salt and pepper squid with lime aioli, or rillettes of confit duck with homemade chutney, toast and cornichons. Showcasing Maria’s passion for fresh, local produce and world food, sumptuous mains include maple-glazed Tomahawk pork chop with black bean and chorizo stew and chilli Open: greens, and the delicious roast pavé of venison served with pommes Anna, celeriac and carrot purée, buttered Mon-Sun 11.30am-11pm greens and peas and blackberry jus. Food Served: Mon-Thurs noon-2pm, 6pm-9pm; If you prefer something more Fri & Sat noon-9pm; classic, perhaps you’ll opt for The Sun noon-3pm, 6pm-8pm Arms Burger comprising beef and venison, topped with plum chutney, melted Cheddar and celeriac remoulade, and served with shoestring chips, or something from Maria’s specials blackboard. The dessert menu is a delight to behold; you’re sure to leave with a smile on your face. Oxfordshire Guide 2019-2020

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Centrally located in the heart of the city, Oxford Castle Quarter is the city’s unique, historic centre. Within the centuries-old walls, Oxford Castle Quarter is the home of an eclectic mix of bars and restaurants, from the sophisticated to the convivial and family friendly. A stone’s throw from the shops, Oxford Castle Quarter is ideal for a post-shopping lunch, a family get-together, a celebratory dinner, or a night out with friends.

For delicious, freshly prepared pizza, Oxford Castle Quarter’s Pizza Express is ideal for a post-shopping lunch or a dinnertime treat to eat in or take away. With its dedicated Piccolo menu, Pizza Express is a firm favourite amongst families, and the broad vegan and vegetarian options are increasingly popular.

A haven for wine connoisseurs, the independent, award-winning 1855 offers an extensive selection of wines, along with craft beer, cider and lager. For a sophisticated evening out with friends, pair wine with 1855’s food offering, including cheese and olive boards. The charming surroundings are transformed into a café environment during the day, ideal for a preshopping coffee and pastry.

For a pre-work breakfast, an on-the-go lunch between shops, or an after-work craft ale, the vibrant Swan & Castle, part of the Wetherspoon group, serves up a range of food and drink to suit all tastes, and offers regular curry nights.


A firm favourite amongst those seeking high-quality fresh food and cocktails in a stylish environment, Oxford Castle Quarter’s Slug & Lettuce is perfect at any time of the day, from hearty breakfasts and working lunches to cocktail masterclasses and afternoon tea.

An exclusive hotel within a unique setting, Malmaison is located in the heart of Oxford Castle Quarter. With its atmospheric, stylish brasserie feel Malmaison is the ideal destination for any occasion. Enjoy family Sunday lunches, a sophisticated cocktail night with friends, a romantic meal or afternoon tea in chic surroundings.

Prezzo offers great-value, Italian-inspired cuisine made using fresh ingredients. Perfect for casual dining, the menu comprises a variety of dishes, including pizza, pasta, salad, fish and meat, along with a vast array of vegetarian meals.

Enjoy a cup of tea and a slice of homemade cake whilst soaking up the atmosphere of the historic Oxford Castle Quarter. The cafĂŠ is ideal for a lingering light lunch or a takeaway coffee or sandwich, freshly made using locally sourced ingredients.


Chequers Smokehouse

American

 Location 47 Corn Street, Witney, OX28 6BT t: 0844 502 2102 w: www.chequerssmokehouse.com e: old.smokey@mail.com

WO

You’ll find Chequers Smokehouse in the historic market town of Witney and will be instantly drawn in by the mouth-watering barbecue scents wafting down the street. Opened by friends who shared a passion in American food, the Smokehouse is now an established destination for keen meat-lovers, but the host of delicious vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free dishes means nobody has to miss out. Inside, the decor combines exposed brickwork and traditional features with American-inspired graffiti and wall prints.

£18 to

£32

The Smokehouse is the go-to spot for all things pulled, cured and barbecued, and everything is made fresh to order using the finest local ingredients. The custom-made smoker ensures the sumptuous fare is cooked to perfection. Start with the likes of Louisiana hot wings with blue cheese dip, and stuffed Open: cheese and spinach potato skins. Next, it’s hard to resist the combo of baby Mon-Thurs noon-9.30pm; ribs, pulled pork and burnt ends served with fries and coleslaw. If that doesn’t Fri & Sat noon-10pm; tickle your fancy, the Big Daddy Sun noon-9pm burger topped with beef brisket, pulled pork, bacon and cheese is a crowd-pleaser, while the mac and cheese served with mushrooms and crispy onions comes highly recommended. Guests can also expect a delicious range of topped hotdogs, homemade beef chilli, succulent steaks, and crispy fried chicken, alongside a dedicated children’s menu. With top-notch food, a lively atmosphere and friendly staff, Chequers Smokehouse is a tremendous choice.

Al-Andalus Tapas Bar

Spanish

 Location 10 Little Clarendon Street, Oxford, OX1 2HP t: 0844 683 0057 w: www.tapasoxford.co.uk e: info@tapasoxford.co.uk

OC

Oxford’s cosmopolitan dining scene isn’t short of a Mediterranean restaurant or two, but, in my eyes, one of the best places to go for traditional tapas and an authentic Spanish experience is Al-Andalus on Little Clarendon Street.

£15 to

The menu presents the likes of jamón iberico (hand-cut ham from the Iberian black-footed pig), chorizo (served ‘de la casa’, with chicken and potatoes sautéed with onion, pepper and brandy), grilled marinated lamb, beef with dates, and octopus topped with olive oil, paprika and sea salt. You’ll also find familiar favourites such as meatballs in tomato sauce, deep-fried calamari, patatas bravas and several different types of paella. Everything here is homemade, beautifully presented and complemented by Al-Andalus’ gorgeous Spanish wines.

£25

Dance performances are often held on Friday and Saturday nights; an ambience and rhythm normally found south of the Pyrenees fills the venue as flamenco dancers swirl between candlelit tables. With a choice of party menus and an intimate atmosphere created by clever arrangements of mirrors, paintings and coloured lights, Al-Andalus is a winning venue for celebrations and events. Available for groups of seven or more, the carefully designed menus are served in a banquet style and are guaranteed to fire up the party. Open: Mon-Thurs noon-3pm, 5pm-late; Fri-Sun noon-late

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Oxfordshire Guide 2019-2020


Dorindo’s

Mexican

 Location 1st Floor, 15 High Street, Abingdon, OX14 5BB t: 0844 625 6671 w: www.dorindos.co.uk e: eat@dorindos.co.uk Dorindo’s is one of the finest destinations for authentic Mexican cuisine in Oxfordshire. Consistently glowing reviews are a testament to Dorindo’s ability to exceed expectations time and time again. Friendly staff, outstanding food and a vibrant atmosphere; this independent establishment really has it all. Inspired by the delicious food on their family holiday to Mexico, owners Teodora and Tashko were inspired to start up their own Mexican restaurant. Three years later, with the Food Awards England regional Best Mexican Restaurant award under its belt, the restaurant is absolutely thriving. Ideally situated on the quaint High Street in the centre of the market town of Abingdon, Dorindo’s is a great spot for refuelling during a day of exploring the pretty town, and those visiting by boat will enjoy the scenic route to the pub from the river Thames. The historic building features high beamed ceilings, making for a unique and spacious dining space. As you enter the colourful interior filled with striking Mexican decorations, you’ll receive the warmest of welcomes from the front-of-house team. Head chef Tashko shows off his expertise with an authentic menu, all of which is made fresh to order with love. Visit for lunch to enjoy a fantastic-value meal, with special offers available on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Dorindo’s also offers express and take out lunches so you can pick up and enjoy a delicious meal on your work break or even in the comfort of your own home. Whether you’re visiting for lunch or dinner, you can expect classics such as sizzling fajitas, soft or crispy tacos, enchiladas and burritos with a choice of delicious filling. Make sure to try the homemade guacamole to start – it might just be the best you’ve ever tasted. For mains, the chilli con carne made with succulent slow-cooked beef comes highly recommended as a chef speciality, as do the spicy king prawns. Top it all off with cinnamon churros served with a chocolate or caramel dip, and a range of vegan and gluten-free options are also available. All of these tempting choices are complemented by cocktails including Margaritas in a variety of flavours, a wide range of tequila and mezcal, mocktails, wine and beer. Dorindo’s is a place the whole family will love. Priding itself on an unrivalled atmosphere and cheerful service, this Mexican eatery will tempt you back time and time again.

VH £20 to

£30

Open: Mon & Tues 6pm-10pm; Weds & Thurs noon-2.30pm, 6pm-10pm; Fri & Sat noon-2.30pm, 5.30pm-11pm

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The Oxen Bar & Grill

Bar & Restaurant

 Location 6 Milton Gate, Milton, OX14 4FP t: 0844 502 2073 w: www.theoxen.co.uk e: reservations@courtyardoxfordsouth.com

VH

A stylish contemporary restaurant, The Oxen Bar & Grill is found in the Courtyard Oxford South Hotel. A real hidden gem, this popular restaurant serves exquisite modern dishes with beautifully dedicated presentation. Staff are knowledgeable and £22 to professional, but pride themselves on delivering friendly and informal service, making £40 for a relaxed atmosphere in which the dishes can really speak for themselves. The menu is made up of the freshest seasonal ingredients. Whet your appetite with Scottish salmon fishcakes served with lemon mayonnaise and watercress or opt for heirloom tomato and buffalo mozzarella atop sourdough, finished with basil pesto and toasted pine nuts. For your main course, you can’t go wrong with a juicy steak accompanied by triple-cooked chips. The Oxen uses Longhorn steaks that are dry-aged for 35 days to create an award-winning taste. If steak doesn’t tickle your tastebuds, order from the delicious list of mains including Open: Cornish hake fillet with heritage potatoes, samphire, brown shrimp, and Mon-Sun noon-9.30pm lemon and caper butter sauce. A mouth-watering selection of burgers, pizzas and salads completes the extensive menu. Finish with the moreish dark chocolate tart with salted caramel, toffee ice cream and popcorn. A visit to The Oxen on Sunday would not be complete without a delicious lunchtime roast, although booking is recommended due to popularity. The food offering is complemented by a fine selection of wine, spirits, beer and ale. Consistently delighting diners with quality cuisine and a welcoming atmosphere, The Oxen Bar & Grill is well worth seeking out.

George Street Social

Bar & Restaurant

 Location 35 New Inn Hall Street, Oxford, OX1 2DH t: 0844 625 6862 w: www.georgestreetsocial.com e: info@georgestreetsocial.com

OC

Step inside George Street Social’s inviting interior and you’ll feel immediately at ease among the cosy furniture and quirky decorations. Whether you’re visiting for a speedy bite to eat, an indulgent meal or a round of drinks, this contemporary space does not disappoint.

£14 to

£22

The menu offers something for all tastes and appetites. Catch up with friends over an all-day brunch – you’ll find options such as shakshuka, smashed avocado toast, and for those with a sweet-tooth, fluffy American pancakes with a range of toppings, or irresistible French toast with cinnamon, maple syrup, mixed berries and whipped cream. If you’re visiting on a weekend, why not treat yourself and upgrade to bottomless brunch? Popular choices for mains include the beefburger with Russian dressing and wedges, and the chicken laksa noodle soup with butternut squash, mint, spring Open: Mon-Fri 8am-11pm; onion, basil and toasted nuts. Sat 9am-11pm; Sun 9am-7pm Vegetarians will enjoy the new menu with more choices than ever before, including the likes of fresh linguine with basil pesto, cherry tomato, green beans and Parmesan, and the spicy bean burger with avocado. A wide range of craft beer from independent UK breweries – including Oxford’s own Loose Cannon – is available to accompany the delicious food offering. You’ll also find a variety of cocktails, wine and coffee. Don’t forget to keep up to date with the latest offers and events on the website. 28

Oxfordshire Guide 2019-2020


Cotswold Lodge Hotel

Bar & Restaurant

 Location 66a Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 6JP t: 0844 625 6802 w: www.cotswoldlodgehotel.co.uk e: enquiries@cotswoldlodgehotel.co.uk

OC

Occupying a beautiful Victorian building in the heart of Oxford, the Cotswold Lodge Hotel has been delighting guests for decades. Nestled on Oxford’s Banbury Road, this historic establishment has garnered a stellar reputation for its unparalleled hospitality, charming setting and excellent fare. Inside, the hotel’s period features including long bay windows, high ceilings and historic furnishings emphasise the character of the building.

£25 to

£36

‘...perfect for a special occasion...’ The hotel’s 66A restaurant focuses on modern British cuisine and the menus change regularly to incorporate the freshest ingredients possible. Start with the likes of seared Scottish scallops and verbena with celeriac, Romanesco and pancetta marmalade, or veal and pork terrine with a pistachio nut crust, apricot and smoked salsify. For your main course, it’s hard to ignore the mouth-watering Oxford pork belly and crackling accompanied by artichoke, fennel, caperberry and raisin, while the fillet of wild turbot served with celeriac, red endive, herring caviar and pink grapefruit is a total triumph. Alternatively, enjoy the Chateaubriand, which is carved at your table and enhanced by garden vegetables, potato of the day, sauce Choron and porcini jus. Finish on a sweet note and indulge in the mango and white chocolate delice with peach and lime sorbet, or the moreish pear and frangipane tart with crème anglaise and Poire William ice cream. Sunday lunch is another popular affair and guests can choose from several succulent local meats, along with all your favourite trimmings. If you’re after an indulgent treat, afternoon tea in the elegant drawing room is perfect for a special occasion. For guests looking to relax and unwind over quality tipples, the beautiful bar and terrace is the perfect place. As well as an excellent selection of beer, wine, cider and spirits, this wonderful establishment also boasts a tempting bar menu full of delicious dishes and light bites. The Cotswold Lodge Hotel is the ideal venue for events and special occasions, including weddings and conferences. The experienced team will cater to your needs and will ensure a wonderful experience. With so much to explore on the hotel’s doorstep, why not stay the night in one of the 49 beautiful en-suite bedrooms?

Food Served: Mon-Sun noon-10pm

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The Grapes

Bar & Restaurant

 Location 7 George Street, Oxford, OX1 2AT t: 0844 502 1598 w: www.grapesoxford.co.uk e: enquiries.go@grapesoxford.co.uk

OC

First built in 1820, The Grapes is one of Oxford’s most popular pubs. Having recently been taken on by West Berkshire Brewery, the pub has been given a makeover and traditional 19th-century architecture is now the backdrop for £18 a cosy yet modernised interior. With a laid-back, friendly atmosphere and to £28 convenient central location, The Grapes is an ideal spot for tourists, students, families and four-legged friends alike. The kitchen specialises in simple dishes perfectly executed using locally sourced produce. The menu has something to suit every palate. From the beer bites section, plump for popcorn shrimp with garlic mayonnaise, or Buffalo chicken wings with blue cheese sauce. If you’re feeling peckish, opt for one of the delicious tacos or go for a traditional English favourite such as fish and chips. Open: Each meal can be matched perfectly with any of the beers so be sure to ask Mon-Thurs 10.30am-11pm; the team for advice. Fri & Sat 10.30am-midnight; Good beer is at the heart of Sun noon-10.30pm The Grapes’ offering, and a broad range of beers from 13 keg taps and seven cask lines are available. On the drinks menu you’ll always find the latest cask and keg beers from West Berkshire Brewery as well as an ever-changing selection from guest breweries. Also on offer is a range of hand-picked wine, spirits and soft drinks. Be sure to check the website for regular monthly events such as the quiz and live music nights. Bar & Restaurant

The Merry Miller

 Location Cothill Road, Cothill, Nr. Abingdon, OX13 6JW t: 0844 625 6849 w: www.merrymiller.co.uk e: info@merrymiller.co.uk Nestled away in the village of Cothill is The Merry Miller. A warm welcome, flawless service and an exceptional menu complete with a fine selection of beer and wine is what you will always find here. £25 to The wood-beamed ceilings, pine panelling and oxblood leather Chesterfields add £35 to The Merry Miller’s heritage feel, while the soft contemporary furnishings and framed prints by Tim Bulmer create a relaxing atmosphere; it’s the perfect setting in which to enjoy some delicious food alongside your favourite tipple. The Merry Miller introduced a Sunday lunch carvery in 2007 and now serves three separate freshly prepared roasts on Sunday to cater to popular demand. Five different meats – including beef topside, leg of lamb, turkey breast, pork leg and gammon – are roasted to perfection and served with homemade Yorkshire puddings, Open: roast potatoes, honey-roasted parsnips, cauliflower cheese, seasonal vegetables, Mon-Sat noon-2.30pm, rich gravy and every sauce imaginable. If you have a craving for a midweek roast, 6.30pm-9.30pm; The Merry Miller also serves a Sun noon-3.30pm, 6pm-7pm carvery on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. There’s also a dinner menu full of delectable delights, which includes the likes of creamy Stilton mushrooms, confit duck leg with sundried tomato pesto, hearty venison casserole and chicken forestière. Desserts such as white chocolate and Baileys cheesecake, and lemon tart with raspberry sorbet provide a satisfying finale. With gourmet burgers, stone-baked pizzas, a pie buffet and more on offer, The Merry Miller is worth visiting any day of the week. VH

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The One

Bar & Restaurant

 Location 2 Botley Road, Oxford OX2 0AB t: 0844 502 2135 w: www.theoneoxford.co.uk e: theonebar@hotmail.co.uk

OC

The One is a popular Chinese restaurant and bar conveniently located near Oxford railway station. Renowned for its excellent fusion of Chinese, Japanese and Thai cuisine, this wonderful city centre establishment is the perfect destination to gather with friends and family. Occupying a pretty stone building, The One’s interior combines contemporary and traditional Asian features to create a stylish setting, while outside you’ll find a well-kept garden that is the perfect setting for a casual drink. This beautiful venue is only enhanced by the friendly and knowledgeable staff, who are always on-hand to recommend a dish or drink to suit your tastes.

£18 to

£35

Using the highest-quality ingredients, the menu showcases the finest dishes from Pekingese, Cantonese and Szechuan cuisine, alongside other favourites from the Far East. Begin with Thai chilli crabcakes served with mango salad and Thai sweet chilli sauce, or the succulent Szechuan lamb skewers. Next, opt for steamed eel in black bean sauce, or fresh lobster with ginger and spring onions. If seafood doesn’t tickle your tastebuds, the Szechuan pepper spicy beef fillet is guaranteed to please, while the sliced pork belly hotpot with preserved vegetables is another crowd-pleaser. Alternatively, choose from the griddle sizzle section, including the sizzling fillet of beef in Cantonese sauce. This authentic establishment is perfect for social dining, with a range of shared banquets and platters to enjoy for groups of five and more. Vegetarians and vegans will also be delighted as there’s a dedicated menu with plenty of choice. Start with the likes of teriyaki tofu skewers and diced vegetable lettuce wraps, before tucking into the mouth-watering braised bean curd with vegetarian oyster sauce or Chinese mushrooms accompanied by seasonal vegetables for your main course. To complement the impressive bill of fare, the talented team has put together an incredible drinks list. From real ale and lager to wine and spirits, there’s something for everyone. However, it’s the mesmerising cocktail list that really makes The One stand out. With over 125 cocktails to choose from, it’s fair to say that you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Open: Sun-Thurs noon-11pm; Fri & Sat noon-midnight

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The Boat Inn

Traditional

 Location Canal Road, Thrupp, Nr. Kidlington, OX5 1JY t: 0844 502 2047 w: www.theboatinnthrupp.co.uk e: contact@theboatinnthrupp.co.uk

Ch

Recently voted family-friendly Pub of the Year by LUX Magazine, this awardwinning inn has plenty to shout about. Nestled in the beautiful hamlet of Thrupp, The Boat Inn boasts a fantastic canalside location, making it the perfect £18 to destination for families and ramblers alike. In summer, the thriving beer garden £30 is the place to be, whether you’re simply sipping a pint of ale or tucking into a delicious lunch. Service is cheerful, charming and efficient, contributing to The Boat Inn’s air of warm conviviality. When it comes to food, everything is home-cooked where possible and made fresh to order. The extensive menu is brimming with mouth-watering favourites, ranging from a selection of homemade pies and grilled dishes, to pub classics and chef’s specials. Start with the likes of chicken liver and Open: Mon-Fri whisky pâté served with Melba toast and caramelised red onion chutney, noon-3pm, 6pm-9pm; and freshly made smoked haddock and mozzarella fishcakes. Next, opt for Sat & Sun noon-9pm the succulent rump steak served with chunky chips, or try the slow-cooked lamb shank accompanied by peppered mash, parsnip crisps and rosemary and mint gravy. Alternatively, the selection of pies is guaranteed to please, and vegans will love the mushroom, squash and spinach pie. If you’re looking to host an event, why not get in touch? The experienced team will ensure a memorable visit, whatever the occasion. Throughout the year, The Boat Inn brings people together thanks to top-notch British food, a beautiful setting and an inviting atmosphere.

The Greyhound

Traditional

 Location Bessels Leigh, Nr. Abingdon, OX13 5PX t: 0844 502 6194 w: www.greyhound-besselsleigh.co.uk e: greyhound@brunningandprice.co.uk

VH

This former coaching inn, with its creeper-clad frontage and attractive gardens, really draws you in, and once inside you’re not disappointed. Its spacious but cosy interior with several interlinking rooms of different shapes and sizes creates an £18 to intimate feel. £28 We were warmly welcomed and, despite it being very busy indeed, drinks and menus arrived swiftly. The menu is original, seasonal and caters well for all tastes. I started with the pan-fried scallops with beetroot purée, smoked haddock and horseradish fritters, and sundried tomatoes. My husband had the equally exciting potted crab and crayfish with samphire, pink grapefruit and cucumber salad. Not only were both starters immaculately presented, but the taste exceeded even this high standard. We followed with slow-braised ox cheek ragu with pappardelle Open: Mon-Sat 10am-11pm; pasta, sunblushed tomatoes and Parmesan, and goat’s cheese arancini with roast squash, artichoke and courgette salad. Both dishes were simply delicious and Sun 10am-10.30pm each ingredient was packed with Food Served: fresh flavour. Dessert comprised Mon-Thurs 10am-9.30pm; a hot waffle with toffee sauce, Fri & Sat 10am-10pm; caramelised banana and honeycomb Sun 10am-9pm ice cream – beautifully rich and the perfect complement to a wonderful evening. Portions are generous and the menu changes every six weeks, so there’s every reason to come back time and again. There’s also a well-considered children’s menu, making The Greyhound an excellent choice for a family meal. 32

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The Cotswold Arms

Traditional

 Location 46 High Street, Burford, OX18 4QF t: 01993 822227 w: www.cotswoldarms.co.uk e: coty.arms@btconnect.com

WO

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more welcoming and quintessentially British pub than The Cotswolds Arms. Nestled on Burford’s beautiful High Street, this charming 18th-century inn provides the perfect base for those exploring the stunning surrounding area. Outside, beautiful hanging baskets and ivy adorn the Cotswold stone exterior, while the well-kept beer garden to the rear is a hidden gem that’s perfect for al fresco dining during warmer months. The interior is equally charming, with log-burning fires, beamed ceilings and vintage furnishings featuring throughout. With so much on the pub’s doorstep, this a popular destination with tourists and ramblers alike.

£18 to

£28

‘...charming 18th-century inn...’ Those looking for a quality tipple will be more than satisfied by the selection of local real ale. Unwind and sink into the sofa as you peruse the mouth-watering menu. No good village pub is complete without a hearty bill of delicious home-cooked fare, and The Cotswolds Arms does not disappoint on this score. To start, opt for the chef’s seasonal soup of the day served with crusty bread or share the pub combo sharing board, featuring chicken goujons, jacket potato, wedges, scampi, onion rings and garlic bread. Next, the homemade cottage pie is a firm favourite and is the perfect choice for a wintery evening, while the fresh fish and chips served with homemade tartare sauce is guaranteed to please. A selection of sumptuous steaks and burgers complete the impressive range of mains, while a choice of sandwiches, panini, and jacket potatoes are ideal for a light bite. There are several vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free dishes available, ensuring there’s something for everyone. Events are a regular occurrence at The Cotswolds Arms, and social media and the pub’s website are updated regularly to keep visitors abreast. You can expect live music, quiz nights and special themed nights throughout the month, alongside screens showing live Sky Sports and BT Sports – there’s always a reason to visit this famous venue. Why not hold your next special occasion here too? With a dedicated function room and an experienced team, it’s the perfect space whatever the occasion.

Open: Mon-Sun 10am-midnight

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The Duke of Marlborough

Traditional

 Location Woodleys, Nr. Woodstock, OX20 1HT t: 0844 625 1103 w: www.dukeofmarlborough.co.uk e: sales@dukeofmarlborough.co.uk Nestled on the outskirts of the historic town of Woodstock, The Duke of Marlborough combines country charm with friendly service and excellent dining. This family-friendly pub provides a cosy retreat in winter with open fires, while the well-kept beer garden is perfect for warmer days. The menu changes seasonally and boasts an impressively varied selection of fare, with favourites including chargrilled swordfish served with crushed new potatoes and homemade lasagne accompanied by garlic bread and fresh salad. If you have any room left, be sure to sample one of the sumptuous desserts. At the weekend, the Sunday lunch draws guests from far and wide, and a gluten-free and small portions menu completes the offering. With so much to explore on the pub’s doorstep, why not extend your stay and retreat to one of the recently refurbished bedrooms?

WO £18 to

£32

Open: Mon-Thurs 7.30am-11pm; Fri 7.30am-midnight; Sat & Sun 8.30am-11pm

The King’s Arms

Traditional

 Location 19 Market Street, Woodstock, OX20 1SU t: 0844 625 6319 w: www.kingshotelwoodstock.co.uk e: kingsarms.woodstock@fullers.co.uk Located in the heart of Woodstock, The King’s Arms is a local treasure with a fantastic offering of food, drink and overnight accommodation. Perfectly positioned for visits to Blenheim Palace, the historic city of Oxford and the beautiful Cotswolds, it was shortlisted for Best Pub at the GQ Food & Drink Awards 2018. The well-appointed guest bedrooms promise a relaxed and comfortable stay with breakfast in the morning. If you’re stopping by for a relaxed drink with friends you won’t be disappointed by what’s on offer, including a range of Fuller’s ale, spirits and wine – for a special occasion, why not order a bottle of English sparkling wine? The food at The King’s Arms is equally impressive. You’ll find a range of traditional pub dishes alongside sumptuous seasonal favourites. Be sure to visit on a Sunday for the traditional roast – it’s second to none.

WO £22 to

£30

Open: Mon-Fri 7am-11pm; Sat 8am-11pm; Sun 8am-10.30pm Traditional

The Gardeners Arms

 Location 39 Plantation Road, Oxford, OX2 6JE t: 0844 502 6320 w: www.thegarden-oxford.co.uk e: info@thegardenersarms.co.uk This pub is a vegetarian’s dream – every dish on the menu is meat-free. That’s not to say vegetarian and vegan diners shouldn’t bring their carnivorous companions along too, though; the dishes are so downright tasty that they’ll impress even the most devoted meat-eater. The bar stocks an excellent range of local ale and wine to accompany your vegetarian feast. We plumped for the famous burger, which was full of flavour and more than a match for its meat counterpart, and an Indian platter featuring delicately spiced curry, basmati rice, poppadoms, mango chutney and salad. We finished up with a great craft beer at the bar. With lots of other tempting dishes on the menu to try – including flatbread calzone – many more visits to The Gardeners Arms are certainly on the cards. Keep up to date with everything The Gardeners Arms has to offer on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. *Price range represents the cost of a main course and a drink.

OC

*

£10 to

£15

Open: Mon & Tues 5pm-midnight; Weds-Fri noon-2.30pm, 5pm-midnight; Sat noon-midnight; Sun noon-11pm 34

Oxfordshire Guide 2019-2020


The Chequers Inn

Traditional

 Location Main Street, Charney Bassett, OX12 0EX t: 0844 502 6807 w: www.chequerscharney.co.uk e: info@chequerscharney.co.uk

VH

Ian and his wife Jacquie endeavour to bring the very best to their patrons at The Chequers Inn. It’s an approach that is obviously working, as the pub has gathered quite the loyal following, in addition to receiving critical recognition from a number of local and national magazines. Consistently glowing online reviews from locals and visitors alike are a testament to the outstanding food and hospitality The Chequers prides itself on.

£22 to

£27

‘...menus shine with the seasonal produce...’ Dating back to the early 19th century, The Chequers’ attractive exterior matches its pretty countryside surroundings with plenty of colourful flowers to entice you inside. The interior is no less charming, with vintage oak beams and an open fire for the chillier months. The team at The Chequers Inn is both passionate and knowledgeable. Ian’s expertise as a butcher means the pub uses only the finest cuts of meat. All cut to order, you can always find a selection of fillet, sirloin, rib-eye, and T-bone steaks on the menu. The chef ensures this meat – along with all of the ingredients on the ever-changing menu – is treated with respect. From autumn right through to the end of summer, the menus shine with the seasonal produce that Oxford is so renowned for. In addition to championing slow food, the menu also showcases locally caught game to excellent effect. Vegetarians are well catered for too, thanks to a combination of Oxford’s agricultural heritage and the team’s creative flair. The outdoor terrace allows for pleasant al fresco dining if the weather allows, so whether you’re visiting for a special occasion or a relaxed catch up with friends or family, the pub’s surroundings make for a serene backdrop to a foodie experience. Three bright and well-appointed en-suite rooms are also available to turn your visit into a blissful countryside escape – you’re guaranteed a comfortable base from which to explore the surrounding area. Add all of this to the idyllic greens of Charney Bassett, the great range of real ale on offer, and the inviting atmosphere of The Chequers Inn, and you’ll find yourself returning week after week to see what’s on offer. We certainly have done.

Open: Mon-Sun noon-11pm Food Served: Mon-Sat noon-2pm, 6pm-close; Sun noon-8pm

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St Aldates Tavern

Traditional

 Location 108 St Aldates, Oxford, OX1 1BU t: 0844 625 1621 w: www.staldatestavernoxford.co.uk e: info@staldatestavernoxford.com

OC

Just a stone’s throw from Oxford’s High Street, St Aldates Tavern is perfectly located for families, tourists and students alike. It offers a cosy, olde-worlde atmosphere and a laid-back, social ambience that lends itself to friendly catch-ups and special events.

£16 to

£22

The team prides itself on serving delicious homemade dishes, which are all made fresh to order. Catering for all tastes, St Aldates Tavern boasts a selection of vegetarian and vegan dishes alongside hearty classics and small plates. The Tavern’s Sunday roast is often revered as the best in Oxford – you’ll have to stop by and decide for yourself. The drinks list includes 20 whiskies, seven real ales and six rotating craft beers. Whether you’re hosting a birthday party or planning a conference, The Blue Room is the perfect setting. With its own fully stocked private bar, projector Open: and sound system, this unique Sun-Weds 11am-11pm; function room seats up to 40 Thurs-Sat 11am-midnight diners, with standing room for up Food Served: to 60 guests. As well as serving Mon-Sun 11am-9pm delicious food and a wide range of drinks, St Aldates Tavern has a selection of books, board games and TV screens to keep you entertained. Dogs are very welcome in the pub, so there’s no need to leave your four-legged friend at home.

The Crooked Billet

Traditional

 Location Newlands Lane, Stoke Row, RG9 5PU t: 0844 502 5580 w: www.thecrookedbillet.co.uk

SO

There’s a ‘wanted’ sign on the rickety door of The Crooked Billet – local produce is what’s being hunted down by chef Paul Clerehugh, who’s willing to cook you lunch in exchange for a basketful of the stuff (winter truffles being a recent swap). This place oozes character. There’s a table stacked with jars with handwritten labels noting that the honey inside is produced behind the pub, and perhaps most notably, there’s no bar – pints are drawn directly from casks in the cellar.

£20 to

£44

Open: Mon-Fri noon-3pm, 6pm-10pm; Sat & Sun noon-10pm

Then there’s the food. I still salivate over the salty crackling, Colchester oysters, monkfish with Morecombe Bay shrimp and capers. I felt like a pig, but couldn’t resist the wild mushroom and local truffle risotto cakes with wild rocket and Twineham Grange crisps, followed by the hare Bourguignon with a creamy pillow of celeriac mash.

Often a famous face graces The Crooked Billet’s mish-mash of second-hand chairs and old farmhouse tables. Prince Harry and Kylie Minogue have dined here, and Marco Pierre White was holding court on our last visit. The pub also famously cooked Kate Winslet’s bangers and mash wedding reception. Hidden at the end of a single-track lane in deepest Oxfordshire countryside, surrounded by beech trees, oaks and rolling countryside, The Crooked Billet is the cosiest location for lunch or dinner and is the quintessential foodie pub. A Daily Telegraph restaurant critic recently rated the restaurant ten out of ten. 36

Oxfordshire Guide 2019-2020


The Plough Inn

Traditional

 Location High Street, Long Wittenham, Nr. Abingdon, OX14 4QH t: 0844 625 6335 w: www.theploughinnlw.co.uk

SO

The picturesque village of Long Wittenham has all the characteristics of a quintessentially English setting: thatched roofs, narrow winding roads and, of course, an enticing pub to retreat to. In this case, The Plough Inn is the go-to destination, and my dining partner and I were fortunate enough to taste its fare.

£20 to

£25

This 17th-century, Grade II listed building has all the charm you’d expect from a place with such heritage, boasting log fires and beamed ceilings that afford it a homely feel. With a warm welcome and friendly smile we were shown to our table. We pondered over the delicious choices on offer and eventually plumped for the cream of leek and potato soup accompanied by glazed Welsh rarebit, and rillette of pork with apricot and tomato chutney. The soup was deliciously smooth and flavoursome, while the rarebit offered a tangy contrast. Forming a sumptuous combination with the sweet and sticky chutney, the rillette was also well received. Our mains of creamy smoked salmon and mascarpone risotto, and poached chicken, mushroom and Stilton burger soon followed. Undoubtedly hearty and undeniably tasty, we were soon singing the praises of each dish. Three giant onion rings accompanied the succulent burger, making it the perfect dish for those seeking a wholesome feast. For chillier evenings, the risotto is a must – delectable and indulgent with satisfyingly rich flavours. Amongst a thoroughly enticing list of desserts to finish off the meal were Eton Mess with a homemade chocolate chip cookie, bread and butter pudding and sticky toffee pudding, all prepared in-house. Though all of the above would have provided the perfect parting dish, we settled on sharing a triple chocolate brownie with warm chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream. Catching the aroma of the melted chocolate was a mouth-watering experience in itself, and the sweet end to our dining experience met all expectations. With a scrumptious selection of traditional British dishes scattered with those from warmer climes, the menu at The Plough is sure to appeal to all. And should you wish to extend your stay into the night, there are bed and breakfast rooms in which you can rest your weary eyes.

Open: Mon-Sun noon-11pm

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The Fox & Hounds

Traditional

 Location Christmas Common, Watlington, OX49 5HL t: 0844 625 0252 w: www.topfoxpub.co.uk

SO

Nestled high up in the Chilterns near Watlington, The Fox & Hounds at Christmas Common dates back over 400 years. Built from brick and flint, the pub’s main dining area has a homely and rustic feel and an open kitchen, and a delightful lavender-scented garden provides a lovely French ambience.

£20 to

£25

The pride shown by head chef Justin Mason is clear to see in the quality of the fresh, locally sourced and seasonal ingredients with which he puts his daily changing menus together. Our starters were delicious and beautifully presented. I chose the feta and broad bean salad with roasted aubergines and red peppers topped with marinated courgette ribbons, and my husband plumped for the ham hock terrine with artisan breads and caramelised red onion chutney. For the main Food Served: course, I enjoyed pan-fried chicken supreme in wild mushroom and cream sauce, Mon-Sat noon-2.30pm, with fresh seasonal vegetables and Parmentier potatoes. My husband opted for the 6.30pm-8.30pm; homemade steak, mushroom and ale pie with green beans, mashed potatoes and Sun noon-2.30pm rich jus. It was out of pure gluttony that we ordered the panettone bread and butter pudding with salted caramel ice cream, but every indulgent bite was worth it. All of the dishes were beautifully crafted, flavoursome and very generously portioned. The Fox & Hounds offers a very special dining experience for one and all. With plenty of beautiful walks – including the Chilterns’ famous Ridgeway – starting and finishing here, this dog-friendly pub is the perfect stop for sustenance after a stroll with your four-legged friend.

The Bicycle Shed

Traditional

 Location 204-206 Banbury Road, Summertown, Oxford, OX2 7BY t: 0844 625 6825 w: www.thebicycleshedoxford.com e: info@thebicycleshedoxford.com Situated in the heart of Summertown, The Bicycle Shed is a popular destination with locals, students and visitors alike. It boasts a stylish and modern interior with subtle vintage touches. Its location just outside of Oxford allows visitors to this cosy eatery to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, while The Bicycle Shed’s decor and ambience exude a charm that’s reflective of its setting.

OC £18 to

£29

The dishes make the best use of high-quality local produce and a wide array of seasonal ingredients. If you’re stopping by for a drink, why not order some nibbles to accompany your cocktail or glass of wine? The sweetcorn croquettes with herb yoghurt are perfectly crispy, and the marinated olives are full of flavour. Those looking for something more filling will find it on the all-day Open: menu: there’s a delicious vegan cauliflower steak, which is served with quinoa, Mon-Sat 10am-11pm; confit cherry tomatoes, golden raisin purée and broad beans, as well as a Sun 10am-6pm mouth-watering pan-fried sea bass Food Served: dish. The puddings are equally Mon-Sat 11am-9pm; tempting and include bay leaf Sun 11am-5pm panna cotta with roasted pineapple and honeycomb, and pear and blackberry crumble. On Sundays, guests can also peruse a special lunch menu. Select from a range of roasts accompanied by all the trimmings, and alternatives such as sea bass, sea trout and vegetarian roasted squash salad. 38

Oxfordshire Guide 2019-2020


The Extraordinary Hare

Traditional

 Location Reading Road, West Hendred, Nr. Wantage, OX12 8RH t: 0844 502 2106 w: www.theextraordinaryhare.co.uk

VH

Tucked away in the market town of Wantage, The Extraordinary Hare is located off the beaten track, and provides the perfect pit-stop for anyone in the surrounding area. Having closed for five years, the pub reopened in early 2019 and has gone from strength to strength, receiving glowing reviews from all who visit. A pub with strong community values, locals and visitors alike are always greeted with a smile and made to feel welcome by the friendly front-of-house team. Inside, you’ll find oak-beamed ceilings, open fires and a mixture of traditional and contemporary furnishings. Outside, there’s a decked garden and cosy seating area, and the two goats residing in the back garden are always a popular attraction with families. The menu features a delicious range of pub classics alongside daily specials, and all the food is freshly prepared to ensure your meal is of the highest quality. Menus change seasonally to make the most of the freshest local produce but you might find starters such as basil and garlic bruschetta, and salt and pepper squid with aioli. Follow with the mouth-watering beefburger topped with pulled pork and mozzarella, served with fries and coleslaw, or battered cod and chips accompanied by mushy peas and homemade tartare sauce. Alternatively, the slow-roasted barbecue ribs are sure to please, alongside the tempting selection of seasonal pies and pasta dishes. Vegetarians and vegans are well catered for and can expect dishes such as the vegan Vietnamese curry and battered halloumi burger topped with tomato and chilli chutney and fries. For a final flourish, finish with the warm chocolate brownie with salted caramel ice cream, or the moreish crème brûlée with shortbread. This extensive menu means there’s truly something for everyone – there’s even a dedicated children’s menu, alongside excellent gluten-free dishes. Sundays are another popular affair, and the roast offering is not to be missed. With a wide range of beer, ale, wine, cider and gin to choose from, this wonderful establishment is an inviting watering hole. The Extraordinary Hare hosts regular events, including quiz nights and themed parties, as well as showing Sky Sports and BT Sport. There’s truly something for everyone at The Extraordinary Hare, but don’t just take our word for it – stop by and see for yourself.

£18 to

£26

Open: Tues-Thurs 11am-11pm; Fri 11am-midnight; Sat noon-midnight; Sun noon-10.30pm

Oxfordshire Guide 2019-2020

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The Bull & Butcher

Traditional

 Location Holloway Lane, Turville, Nr. Henley-on-Thames, RG9 6QU t: 0844 625 6518 w: www.thebullandbutcher.com e: info@thebullandbutcher.com

SO

Turville’s Bull & Butcher is a wonderful Chilterns secret – from its location in the shadow of Cobstone Windmill, which famously featured in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, this pub whips the freshest produce into generous rustic portions, delighting locals £18 to and visiting ramblers alike. We crossed the expansive garden, and were delighted £32 upon entering the beautiful beamed building. We enjoyed the cosy atmosphere on a chilly evening, and felt immediately welcome. We opted to whet our appetite with crisp whitebait with spiced aioli, and a mezze board complete with homemade tzatziki, hummus and Continental meats. The Bull & Butcher’s stellar reputation stems partly from its all-British pies. In fact, the venison and bacon pie, and lamb and mint pie won gold and silver at the British Pie Open: Championships in 2019. The ever-changing vegan pies are so popular that ringing Mon-Fri noon-3pm, ahead is always recommended. My dining partner opted for the succulent 6oz burger 5.30pm-11pm; with gloriously fat triple-cooked chips, whilst I was delighted with my sirloin steak: Sat noon-11pm; cooked perfectly to request and Sun noon-7pm complemented by a chalice of creamy Béarnaise. On offer were also a number of exciting chef specials including ribs with Monkey Gland sauce, and halibut, king prawns and green-lipped mussels cooked and served in a pan, finished with garlic cream sauce. For dessert the delectable black cherry cheesecake and vanilla crème brûlée did not disappoint. Warm fires, full plates, big smiles – whether for drinks or dinner, the open-armed staff, charmingly mismatched aesthetic and stunning scenery render The Bull & Butcher a quintessential stop. Traditional

The White Hart

 Location 28-30 High Street, Nettlebed, RG9 5DD t: 0844 625 6506 w: www.thewh.co.uk e: whitehart@tmdining.co.uk Dating back to the 14th century, The White Hart can be found at the heart of the pretty village of Nettlebed. The pub retains plenty of its traditional charm yet offers stylish interior design with modern comforts such as free Wi-Fi. The £20 interior strikes an inviting balance of modern comfort and traditional charm. It’s a to £30 relaxed backdrop that allows diners to focus on the outstanding food and drink on offer. Outside, you’ll find cosy snugs and seating areas, perfect for al fresco dining during summer. The White Hart’s food offering is truly the star of the show. Top-quality produce and plenty of care and attention come together for a menu packed full of irresistible dishes inspired by a range of cuisine. All prepared fresh to order, delicious starters include smoked mackerel pâté accompanied by horseradish cream and toast, Open: and South African-style boerewors served with polenta and Sheba sauce. Next, Mon-Thurs 7am-11pm; opt for one of the legendary steaks served with your choice of potato and a rocket Fri 7am-midnight; and red onion salad, or try the hot Sat 8am-midnight; Calabrese pizza featuring ‘nduja Sun 8am-10.30pm sausage and chillies. A selection of mouth-watering classics is also available, including fish and chips, while the Sunday carvery draws diners from far and wide. Why not turn your visit into a relaxing weekend stay? The White Hart boasts 18 luxurious rooms and offers a delicious traditional breakfast. Exclusive hire is also available for weddings and events, and the experienced team is always happy to talk you through the options. SO

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The Maltsters Arms

Traditional

 Location Rotherfield Greys, Nr. Henley-on-Thames, RG9 4QD t: 0844 625 6621 w: www.maltstersarms.com e: hello@maltstersarms.com

SO

The Maltsters Arms resides in a 250-year-old coach house, attracting customers from near and far. Sitting in the idyllic space next to a Saxon church, this traditional venue in the small village of Rotherfield Greys boasts a covered courtyard and beer garden.

£21 to

£31

With passionate landlords George and Calum at the helm, the past two years have been spent transforming the ethos of the venue to actualise their own vision of the long-fabled perfect pub. A trim and tailored menu of regularly changing favourites, such as a great seasonal pie and lovely fish and chips, complements a specials board that offers a range of exciting additions. A fantastic three-course roast is available every Sunday, which features delights such as roast beef and Yorkshire pudding as well as roast leg of lamb and mint sauce served with all the trimmings.

‘...friendly staff are always on-hand...’ The exceptionally knowledgeable and friendly staff are always on-hand to share the provenance of the ingredients. The level of service at The Maltsters Arms really sets it apart, as does the team’s commitment to catering for all dietary requirements, providing options for vegan and gluten-free diners. To start I chose the smoked mackerel with chive and new potato salad – a light and flavoursome summer dish. My dining partner opted for the pigeon breast served with shallot and apple confit and Calvados cream sauce. The lamb rump with hasselback potato, roasted courgette, tomato and salsa verde was a delightful, seasonal treat. The pan-fried cod with cannellini bean and spinach cassoulet left my dining partner suitably sated. Our desserts arrived in resplendent style and two firm favourites were chosen: blackberry and apple crumble with custard, and the sticky toffee pudding with salted caramel ice cream, and both exceeded even our high standards. If you’re not sweet-toothed, perhaps plump for a selection of British cheese to conclude your meal.

Open: Mon-Thurs 11am-3pm, 5pm-11pm; Fri & Sat 11am-midnight; Sun noon-8pm

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The Falcon

Traditional

 Location Warwick Road, Warmington, OX17 1JJ t: 0844 502 6540 w: www.falconatwarmington.co.uk e: falcon@brunningandprice.co.uk

Ch

Named for the falcon’s symbolic affinity with success, The Falcon at Warmington began life as a phoenix. Rising from the ashes of the fire that decimated The Wobbly Wheel in September 2013, the team behind The Falcon made spectacular use of the opportunity to develop a contemporary yet cosy space – bringing traditional pub ideals to a 21st-century venue.

£18 to

£28

The menu also makes use of these values – you’ll find a great range of traditional pub classics including straight-from-the-grill burgers, steaks, and pies alongside contemporary plates such as braised belly pork with pork shoulder croquette, apple purée and roasted baby onions and a sumptuous Sri Lankan curry. No matter what you choose, you can be certain it will be delicious. On top of all this, Open: Mon-Sat 10am-11pm; you’ll find a range of menus encompassing children’s meals and lighter bites, Sun 10am-10.30pm
 with honey-roast ham, crispy chicken goujons, and pasta all freshly prepared Food Served: to keep the little ones happy. Mon-Thurs 10am-9.30pm; Afternoon tea is served between Fri & Sat 10am-10pm; 2.30pm and 5pm on weekdays. Sun 10am-9pm There is a great garden to the rear of the pub, where children can play and flowers bloom through spring and summer. The Falcon is perfectly situated to provide a spot of relaxation following a day out at one of the many local attractions, from the magnificent regality of Broughton Castle, to the spectacular walks of Burton Dassett Hill Country Park.

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Oxfordshire Guide 2019-2020


The Black Horse

Traditional

 Location Faringdon Road, Gozzards Ford, Nr. Abingdon, OX13 6JH t: 0844 625 1179 w: www.the-blackhorse.co.uk e: info@the-blackhorse.co.uk

VH

Visit The Black Horse at Gozzards Ford for a delightful pub meal, warm and friendly hospitality, and a great range of drinks. Upon entering you’ll find that the pub is as cosy as a traditional pub should be, but the quality of the food will exceed all expectations. Choose from starters such as sweet chilli crispy beef salad or Camembert studded with rosemary and garlic with delightful home-baked crusty bread – gluten-free bread is available on request. For a hearty main, you might plump for a trio of juicy Blackgate sausages with mashed potato, rich onion gravy and fresh vegetables. The team uses local, seasonal and ethically sourced ingredients wherever possible, and ably caters for dietary requirements. Desserts include indulgent chocolate fudge cake and sticky toffee pudding. Booking in advance is highly recommended for the endlessly popular Sunday roast.

£15 to

£20

Open: Tues-Sun noon-11pm Food Served: Tues-Fri noon-2.30pm, 6pm-9pm; Sat noon-9pm; Sun noon-7pm

The Tite Inn

Traditional

 Location Mill End, Chadlington, Nr. Chipping Norton, OX7 3NY t: 0844 502 2320 w: www.thetiteinn.co.uk e: annanddavid@xlnmail.com

WO

Situated in a delightful corner of the village of Chadlington on the edge of the Cotswolds is the 17th-century Tite Inn. This cosy pub has it all: tasteful traditional decor, a terrific atmosphere, friendly hosts, a good range of real ales, and a menu of mouth-watering home-cooked food. That’s not to mention the garden, which is one of the loveliest in the Cotswolds and is a great spot for al fresco dining, with the children’s play area allowing parents to enjoy a peaceful drink or bite to eat. The menu includes nibbles and light bites for those with smaller appetites; omelettes and baguettes for lunch, traditional pub favourites and vegetarian options, and a selection of specials including fish and shellfish dishes. Sampling a dessert such as the classic sticky toffee pudding and custard is a must, as is stopping by for Sunday lunch (booking is advisable). Visit The Tite Inn and experience all that this establishment offers.

£20 to

£25

Open: Mon-Sat noon-11pm; Sun noon-10.30pm Food Served: Mon-Sat noon-2.30pm, 6.30pm-9pm; Sun noon-4pm

Bampton Coffee House

Café

 Location Market Square, Bampton, OX18 2JH t: 0844 625 0799 Bampton Coffee House is a quiet hideaway and the perfect setting in which to lose yourself for a couple of hours. Nestled in the quaint market town of Bampton, Bampton Coffee House is the perfect place to stop during a day’s exploring. Visitors flock to this charming area to get a glimpse of scenic backdrops where Downtown Abbey was filmed. This all-day destination is the perfect place to gather for a hearty breakfast or delicious lunch, and there’s always something new and exciting to try on the specials board. A delicious range of burgers, jacket potatoes, salads, sandwiches, and other light lunches complete the extensive offering. Those visiting for coffee and a sweet treat will be delighted, as there’s a superb range of homemade cakes available, alongside a range of award-winning Dorset ice cream. Service is friendly and efficient, making a visit to Bampton’s Coffee House a thoroughly delightful experience.

WO £10 to

£15

Open: Mon-Sat 8am-4pm Oxfordshire Guide 2019-2020

43


R&R

Café

 Location 16 Market Place, Abingdon, OX14 3HA t: 0844 502 6559 e: randr_16@outlook.com

VH

R&R is an independent coffee shop located on the Market Place in Abingdon. It boasts contemporary decor and a relaxed atmosphere, making it a popular haunt for locals and visitors alike. Outside you’ll find a pleasant seating area overlooking the historic Market Place, making it one of the most desirable destinations to unwind during the summer. Bread is sourced from the award-winning artisan bakers Degustibus, while the scones are always made on-site. The selection of savoury options also includes panini, jacket potatoes and fresh soup. Those looking for something sweet will undoubtedly be delighted with the cakes and traybakes, freshly made crêpes and Roskilly’s Cornish ice cream.

*

£6 to

£8

The drinks offering is equally varied and includes ethically sourced coffee and tea, hot chocolates and ice cream milkshakes. The café is also licensed, so guests can enjoy a late afternoon tipple. Whether you’re just popping by to grab a hot drink, a hearty lunch or are looking to stay and make use of the free Wi-Fi and charging points, you can expect a friendly welcome from Rachel and her team. This truly is a hidden gem in the heart of Abingdon – stop by and see for yourself. Open: Mon-Sat 8am-5.30pm; Sun 9am-5.30pm

*Price range represents the cost of a sandwich and a hot drink.

Spice Lounge

Indian

 Location 81 High Street, Burford, OX18 4QA t: 0844 625 6896 w: www.spiceloungeburford.co.uk e: info@spiceloungeburford.co.uk

WO

Sitting in a prime location on the quaint High Street of Burford, the award-winning Spice Lounge places customer satisfaction at the heart of their ethos. With such a loyal following behind them, it’s no wonder Spice Lounge is often rated as the top restaurant in Burford on TripAdvisor. Delighted guests speak highly of the staff, who go above and beyond to ensure you have a flawless experience featuring fresh and unique food and a vibrant atmosphere.

£20 to

£26

The restaurant boasts sleek, contemporary decor that really allows you to relax and focus your attention on the outstanding cuisine. Ask a friendly member of staff about the menu and you’ll be glad to learn that the focus is on fresh, local ingredients to craft creative and healthy twists on authentic recipes. The Open: Mon-Thurs noon-2pm, menu is exciting, diverse and bursting with flavour, and staff will be glad to 6pm-10pm; Fri 6pm-10pm; offer personal recommendations if you’re struggling to decide. Choose from Sat & Sun noon-2pm, a tempting range of chicken, lamb, 6pm-10pm fish or prawn dishes, with tandoori and classic curries available alongside a range of unique dishes. Vegetarians are well-looked after with a wealth of choice. This year, the team’s hard work and passion for what they do earned them an award for the Best Restaurant in the South Central region at the Asian Restaurant and Takeaway Awards. A visit is an absolute must. 44

Oxfordshire Guide 2019-2020


Zheng

Chinese

 Location 82 Walton Street, Oxford, OX2 6EA t: 0844 502 6818 w: www.zhengoxford.co.uk

OC

Walton Street in Oxford has undergone a dramatic transformation in recent years. What was once a rarely frequented part of the city now boasts more restaurants than you can shake a stick at. Indian, French, Spanish, Lebanese and Italian eateries are all here, but it’s the Chinese restaurant Zheng, found at number 82, that I headed for.

£18 to

£30

My curiosity had been piqued after Zheng was described by The Times’ critic Giles Coren as ‘possibly the best authentic Chinese-Malaysian in the country’. For an establishment that has been open for just a few years, this is high praise indeed. The staff are rightfully proud of this write-up, and display their glowing review outside the restaurant. As we headed in, we were looking forward to something quite exceptional. It was instantly apparent how popular this unique and vibrant restaurant is both with locals and visitors to Oxford. But then, proprietor Adam Tan Abdullah and his delightful and helpful team are so welcoming that it would be impossible to contemplate missing out on a meal here. The comprehensive and exciting menu offers Eastern cuisine to suit all tastes, with Malaysian, Singaporean, Szechuan, Cantonese and Shanghai dishes all included, and halal meat available. A very reasonably priced set menu is also a possibility, as is a popular takeaway menu if you’re just stopping by. We sampled an array of recommended dishes that ably demonstrated the skill of the chefs. We began with succulent and delicious Malaysian chicken satay skewers, before enjoying the sen chai bau: crunchy lettuce-wrapped vegetables with hoisin sauce. Yet more wonderful flavours came courtesy of the tasty rendang chicken, which had been slow-cooked in coconut milk, and hot and spicy peppercorn king prawns that were rich with garlic. These were accompanied by a generous portion of boiled rice. As we had also been informed that the chefs at Zheng make fresh tofu every day to satisfy diner demand, we simply had to try some of this clearly very popular ingredient, and were blown away by the chai pu tofu. Served with Chinese dried radish, chilli and spring onions, this was far and away the best tofu dish I had ever tasted. The post-meal vote was unanimous – when we find ourselves near Walton Street again, we’ll be heading straight for Zheng and another wonderful dining experience.

Open: Mon noon-2.30pm, 5.30pm-10.45pm; Tues 5.30pm-10.45pm; Weds-Fri noon-2.30pm, 5.30pm-10.45pm; Sat noon-10.45pm; Sun noon-10.15pm

Oxfordshire Guide 2019-2020

45


Chef Profile

Mike North – The Nut Tree – Pg 3 Mike North grew up in Oxford in a foodie family, always having good meat to eat as his father was a butcher. One of eight children, Mike was inspired by his mother who always made the most out of ingredients to save money. Being brought up around food no doubt sparked his passion and respect for food. After leaving school, Mike had a couple of jobs in kitchens where he began to learn his craft, but it was under former royal chef Chris Barber that Mike truly began to appreciate ingredients, seasonality and delicate cooking. Whilst under the tutelage of Chris, Mike undertook sabbaticals at Le Manoir, Gidleigh Park and Mirabelle. Mike has been the chef-owner of the award-winning Nut Tree for the past 13 years, where he lives with his wife Imogen and three children. The team is proud to have retained their Michelin star for over ten years.

Chef Profile

Mark Chandler – The White Hart – Pg 5 This is self-taught chef Mark Chandler’s 14th year at The White Hart, where he thrives on creating stunning dishes, like his signature slow-roasted local pork belly with foot-long crackling. After buying The White Hart and being propelled into the kitchen when he couldn’t find a suitable chef, cooking has become a real passion for this creative all-rounder, who has earned multiple awards, including two AA rosettes, as well as the coveted title of Restaurant of the Year at the Oxfordshire Restaurant Awards. Cooking for Prince Harry has been another highlight. Mark’s own cooking style primarily showcases modern British cuisine. He finds that his food is at its best during the autumn months, when his kitchen gardens are in full swing and he can fill the restaurant menu with his own produce, picked mere minutes before cooking.

Chef Profile

Liam Whittle – The Greyhound – Pg 6 Liam Whittle has been head chef at The Greyhound since early 2019 and has quickly made his mark in the kitchen. He creates imaginative dishes from seasonal British ingredients, showcasing his classical training combined with contemporary techniques. Early on in his career he worked for esteemed chefs such as Pierre Gagnaire at Sketch and Pascal Aussignac at Club Gascon. Since then, Liam has won numerous accolades and hopes to continue delighting diners at The Greyhound. He encourages his team to collaborate in the development of the menu and always strives to deliver delicious dishes to be enjoyed in a convivial setting with family and friends. A man ofChef manyProfile talents, Liam also boasts a degree in physics and is an experienced musician, but the kitchen is where his real passion lies.

Chef Profile

Matt Williams – The Star Inn – Pg 7 During his career, Matt Williams has worked in various high-end restaurants, including Auberge du Lac, Whatley Manor and Claridge’s, where he honed his cooking skills under the watchful eye of accomplished chefs including Phil Thompson and Gordon Ramsay. Matt was part of the team at Auberge du Lac when the restaurant was awarded a Michelin star, and in 2014 he took on the role of head chef at The Star Inn, which has since been awarded The Good Pub Guide’s County Dining Pub of the Year for 2017, features in The Good Food Guide and has two AA rosettes. Here, he creates classic British and Asian-inspired dishes. His signature dish is sticky toffee soufflé with salted caramel parfait, a delicate take on the classic sticky toffee pudding. Matt particularly enjoys showcasing his talent for preparing and cooking fish and shellfish, and he is dedicated to using only the highest-quality produce.

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Oxfordshire Guide 2019-2020


Paul Bell – Cherwell Boathouse – Pg 8

Chef Profile

On his first day working in a professional kitchen, Paul Bell knew he had chosen the right career. A passion for good food led him to travel, train and gather knowledge in the culinary capitals of America, France and Australia, but for Paul, the most inspirational cooking can be found in the United Kingdom. Since his first head chef roles at award-winning Charlotte’s Bistro in Chiswick and the Macdonald Bear Hotel at Woodstock, which has two AA rosettes, Paul has gained a wealth of experience. He was delighted to be invited to take the reins at Cherwell Boathouse, where he showcases his contemporary takes on classic flavour combinations and techniques. Paul’s style is rooted in tradition, but he elevates his dishes by paying great attention to the detail and presentation of each dish.

Antony Worrall Thompson – The Greyhound – Pg 9

Chef Profile

With a lifetime of knowledge and an unrelenting passion for good food, Antony Worrall Thompson is still producing delicious dishes, and is often found behind the stoves. His career began at Westminster College, where he studied Hotel and Catering Management, before moving on to work at a small hotel in Essex. Now cooking at The Greyhound, which he runs with his wife Jay, Antony enjoys creating his own interpretations of timeless classics. When not cooking, Antony also takes pleasure in passing on his knowledge to aspiring chefs. His culinary influences include Wolfgang Puck, a fellow chef who frequented one of Antony’s first restaurants, Ménage à Trois. His career is peppered with accolades, including winning the Meilleur Ouvrier de Grande Bretagne; an achievement only a handful of British chefs have attained.

David Jones – The Swan Foodhouse & Bar – Pg 21

Chef Profile

Head chef of The Swan Foodhouse & Bar, David Jones is passionate, creative, and innovative in equal measure. He started running a café at the age of just 14 and went on to work at two award-winning venues, each of which had two AA rosettes to its name. He’s particularly inspired by chefs such as Marco Pierre White, Raymond Blanc, and Keith Floyd, but some of David’s most memorable culinary experiences come from working with Garry Hollihead at The Sugar Reef. David prides himself on creating dishes that people love, and is proud that his work brings such enjoyment to people on a daily basis. Supporting local farmers and producers, David’s menus showcase the best of Oxfordshire’s market-fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients. A crowd-pleasing mix of honest, classic fare and modern British cuisine keeps customers returning to The Swan.

Tegaday Quesada-Fuentes – Skogen Kitchen – Pg 21

Chef Profile

Born in Lanzarote, Tegaday’s fascination with cooking was ignited at a young age when his family would often get together for barbecues. He became hooked on cooking while helping his grandmothers, before starting his first industry job as a waiter. When one of the chefs became ill, Tegaday stepped in and has never looked back. Today, he heads up the kitchen at the contemporary Skogen Kitchen in Oxford where he creates beautiful Scandinavian dishes and cakes. Tegaday loves working in Oxford due to the excellent range of local suppliers, as well as the covered market where he purchases fresh salmon daily. He especially loves cooking warming wintry dishes, and his favourite flavour to work with is cinnamon. To be a good chef, he believes you need to be focused, organised and able to take advice from other chefs. Oxfordshire Guide 2019-2020

47


Steven Sanderson – The Chequers at Burcot – Pg 23

Chef Profile

Growing up in a vibrant London suburb, Steven Sanderson was exposed to many different cuisines from a young age. With neighbours hailing from Italy and the West Indies, he was always surrounded by exciting flavours and aromas and became fascinated by the various styles of cooking he came across. Having trained in hotels around the world as well as top establishments up and down the country, Steven continues to adapt his menus and develop his dishes, working with the best local and regional suppliers. The Chequers at Burcot is renowned for its stunningly presented food and fine wine, and Steven’s dishes are a feast for all the senses. With an emphasis on sustainability, he ensures that everything is sourced ethically. Creating modern dishes using traditional techniques, Steven’s cooking can be described as intelligent and elegant, while retaining a comforting sense of nostalgia.

Maria Jaremchuk – The Eyston Arms – Pg 23

Chef Profile

Predominantly self-taught, Maria Jaremchuk is the innovative head chef at The Eyston Arms. Her seamless blend of classic British cooking and Asian influences makes her regularly changing menus impressively unique and keeps happy customers returning. It’s no wonder the pub is Michelin recommended. Building great relationships with local suppliers, Maria sources her produce from as nearby as possible, and much of it is even grown on The Eyston Arms’ doorstep. From vegetables cultivated in the village’s allotments, to game from Vicars in Ashampstead, top-quality produce is at the top of Maria’s agenda. Maria invests a great deal of time in her team and its training, and her two apprentices came second and third in Oxfordshire’s Apprenticeship of the Year awards in 2016. With such a great mentor we’re sure to see great things from them in the future.

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48


Index Al-Andalus Tapas Bar – Oxford ........................................ 26

Greyhound, The – Bessels Leigh........................................ 32

Angel at Burford, The – Burford....................................... 22

Greyhound, The – Rotherfield Peppard ................................ 9

Bampton Coffee House – Bampton.................................... 43

Half Moon, The – Cuxham................................................ 20

Baskerville, The – Lower Shiplake...................................... 7

Holt Hotel, The – Steeple Aston........................................ 17

Beetle & Wedge Boathouse, The – Moulsford..................... 17

King’s Arms, The – Woodstock.......................................... 34

Bicycle Shed, The – Oxford............................................... 38

La Cucina – Oxford........................................................... 19

Black Horse, The – Gozzards Ford.................................... 43

Lion at Wendlebury, The – Wendlebury............................. 15

Boat Inn, The – Thrupp..................................................... 32

Maltsters Arms, The – Rotherfield Greys .......................... 41

Bull & Butcher, The – Turville .......................................... 40

Maytime Inn, The – Asthall................................................. 8

Carpenters Arms – Fulbrook............................................. 14

Merry Miller, The – Cothill............................................... 30

Chequers at Burcot, The – Burcot..................................... 23

Mole Inn, The – Toot Baldon ............................................ 10

Chequers Inn, The – Charney Bassett................................. 35

Nut Tree, The – Murcott..................................................... 3

Chequers Smokehouse – Witney........................................ 26

One, The – Oxford............................................................. 31

Chequers, The – Chipping Norton...................................... 10

Oxen Bar & Grill, The – Milton......................................... 28

Cherwell Boathouse – Oxford.............................................. 8

Oxford Castle Quarter – Oxford......................................... 24

Cotswold Arms, The – Burford.......................................... 33

Pierre Victoire – Oxford................................................... 19

Cotswold Lodge Hotel – Oxford......................................... 29

Plough Inn, The – Long Wittenham................................... 37

Crooked Billet, The – Stoke Row....................................... 36

Queens Head, The – Crowmarsh Gifford ............................ 16

Crown Inn, The – Pishill................................................... 12

R&R – Abingdon.............................................................. 44

Cuttlefish Seafood Bar & Grill – Oxford............................ 16

Red Lion, The – Chalgrove.................................................. 4

Dorindo’s – Abingdon....................................................... 27

Shilton Rose & Crown, The – Shilton................................. 10

Duke of Marlborough – Woodleys...................................... 34

Shoulder of Mutton – Playhatch........................................ 11

Extraordinary Hare, The – West Hendred.......................... 39

Skogen Kitchen – Oxford.................................................. 21

Eyston Arms, The – East Hendred..................................... 23

Spice Lounge – Burford.................................................... 44

Falcon, The – Warmington................................................ 42

St Aldates Tavern – Oxford .............................................. 36

Fish, The – Sutton Courtenay............................................ 18

Star Inn, The – Sparsholt................................................... 7

Fox & Hounds, The – Watlington...................................... 38

Swan Foodhouse & Bar, The – Abingdon............................ 21

Fox Inn, The – Souldern................................................... 12

Tite Inn, The – Chadlington............................................... 43

Gardeners Arms, The – Oxford.......................................... 34

Trout, The – Faringdon..................................................... 11

George Hotel, The – Dorchester-on-Thames.......................... 6

Unicorn Inn, The – Deddington......................................... 22

George Street Social – Oxford .......................................... 28

White Hart, The – Fyfield .................................................. 5

Gonjoo Café & Restaurant – Witney.................................. 21

White Hart, The – Nettlebed............................................. 40

Grapes, The – Oxford........................................................ 30

White Horse Inn – Duns Tew............................................. 13

Grays Restaurant – Chesterton............................................ 4

Wychwood Inn, The – Shipton-under-Wychwood................ 14

Greyhound, The – Letcombe Regis ...................................... 6

Zheng – Oxford................................................................ 45 Oxfordshire Guide 2019-2020

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Oxfordshire Food & Drink Guide 2020  

A comprehensive guide to eating out in Oxfordshire

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A comprehensive guide to eating out in Oxfordshire

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