Five for the food lovers: fabulous pub with rooms in Oxfordshire

Carmen McCormack Profile Image

Carmen McCormack

Guest Expert

5 min read

Oxfordshire’s foodie scene is alive and kicking. Scattered with bistros, restaurants, farm shops and cafés, it also plays host to lovely inns with exciting menus downstairs and gorgeous bedrooms upstairs. Come to feast on sublime dishes at lunch and supper, slope off to bed after a nightcap, and start again the next morning with a generous and hearty breakfast. We’ve picked out five of our favourite inns in Oxfordshire that take their food seriously. Expect delicious delights made with seasonal and locally sourced ingredients, much organic, some homegrown and a well-stocked bar whether you’re after a G&T or a real ale.

Tagged with:

The Lamb Inn

You’ll find this place on Sheep Street, of course. The Lamb started life in the 15th century as a simple weaver’s cottage. Now the feel is altogether more luxurious. Cosy in winter, lovely in summer thanks to the sunny, sheltered garden. After browsing the handsome High Street with its medieval, Tudor and Georgian facades, an aperitif or a pint by the magnificent fireplace is a fine way to start the evening. You dine, in a light, elegant and slightly funky restaurant overlooking the garden, on great quality, locally sourced food like trout from Bibury, lamb from Barnsley and Wye Valley asparagus. Breakfast bacon and eggs are from a neighbouring farm. Come with your dog (there’s a room with a private garden that is ideal) and delightful walking in the Windrush River Valley. 

Inspector Gwen: An ideal base for exploring the Cotswolds, once back at the Lamb enjoy a pint by the fire or in the garden, then retire to your quiet bedroom.

View The Lamb Inn >

The Maytime Inn

This 17th-century coaching inn has a delightful setting in the heart of an historic Cotswold village, with the babbling Windrush River just a stone’s throw away. A cool young team run this rather posh pub. Good food is sourced locally and freshly cooked in a modern British style, and drinks are taken seriously, with an ever-growing choice of gins, a beer menu with craft and world beers, an excellent choice of whiskies and wines by the glass. Continental breakfast, full English, smashed avocado on toast, eggs Benedict, or any way you want, awaits after a sleep in a handsome room. Several walks from the door take in the peaceful countryside. Burford, Stow-on-the-Wold and Bourton-on-the Water are all close.

Guest Diane: We really enjoyed our stay. Dining in the garden (in the sunshine) was a pleasure and the food was lovely (we shared a fish board).

View The Maytime Inn >

The Swan

The sort of inn we all love, with open fires, original beams, ancient flags, tasty food and lovely bedrooms thrown in for good measure. This old pub sits on the river Windrush with the village cricket pitch waiting beyond. Outside, wisteria wanders across golden stone and creepers blush red in the autumn sun. Interiors hit the spot, with low ceilings, open fires, beautiful windows, stone walls. As for the food, seasonal menus brim with local produce, offering delicious delights, perhaps game terrine with pear chutney, roast partridge with a red wine jus, rhubarb and apple crumble. Bedrooms in the old forge are smart. Those in the cottage across the lane are yards from the river. Expect crisp linen, comfy beds, warm colours and good art. Several have claw-foot baths, one has a pink chaise longue.

Guest Adrian: We stayed in the beautifully refurbished cottage overlooking the river and we ate in the pub – excellent dinner both nights. Also very good breakfast, joined by chickens from the garden! 

View The Swan >

The Killingworth Castle

Renovated to its former glory, this 17th-century inn, around the corner from Blenheim Palace, has beautifully restored bedrooms, organic ales and scrumptious food. Wood floors sweep throughout, burners in brick fireplaces belt out heat and the set menu is a steal. Smiling staff ferry own-brewed ale to locals, dog walkers and drinkers, but many travel for the food. Roast venison and faggot croquette with beetroot dauphinoise, kale and juniper; blackberry and frangipane tart. And the best chips in Oxfordshire! The pub won three stars from the Soil Association for its commitment to organic food but you’ll also find organic wine. Charming bedrooms are upstairs and down. You’re a sprint from London.

Inspector Mike: The Killy was a delightful experience and the food was sublime. The head chef, Adam, has created a superb menu, full of organic ingredients. 

View the Killingworth Castle >

The Greyhound Inn

This is a proper village pub set on a quiet road with award-winning food and cosy rooms upstairs. Pick up a map from the bar for walks from the door, or try some fantastic horse-riding and mountain biking routes. Return for a pint in the back garden or inside next to the fire and a delicious meal. Leading Oxfordshire chef, Martin Sherriff, produces locally-sourced menus that change with the seasons – whether you go for duck breast, duck fat hash brown, Shropshire Blue custard, blueberry ketchup, red cabbage or Twice-baked Leonard Stanley Gloucestershire cheddar soufflé with smoked haddock chowder, this is cooking of a high order. Two-course ‘Midweek Fix’ menus on Wednesdays are a steal as is the weekday Lunch for Less.

Guest Nick: Lovely place to stay with excellent food and great selection at dinner and breakfast. Vegan options too, and nothing was too much to ask.

View The Greyhound Inn >

Browse all our places to stay in Oxfordshire >

Want more travel inspiration? Get our email updates direct to your inbox >

Sign up >

Carmen McCormack

Guest Expert

Carmen is a freelance writer specialising in travel. She once lived in a bus in north Wales, skipped off to study in Barcelona, and now calls Bristol home. When she’s not tapping away on her laptop, she can be found reading (a lot), lake swimming (a little), and pottering on the allotment with husband and two kiddos. She’s currently dreaming about cold cerveza and torta in Mexico.

View more articles by this author

You might also like

Quick tips – Oxfordshire

Christopher Wilson-Elmes

Sawday's Expert

3 min read

  • Oxfordshire

Town vs Country: our favourite towns and villages in Oxfordshire

Carmen McCormack

Guest Expert

5 min read

  • Oxfordshire