The Horse and Groom
Lower Heyford Road
Mon-Sat 11-3, 6-11, Sun 12-3; 7-10.30
The Horse and Groom
The pub lies on its own on the road between Middleton Stoney and Lower Heyford. The landlord and landlady have worked hard to provide excellent service with good real ales and a wide range of food.
This traditional pub is well worth a visit. This Groom is a charming, thatched, 16th century freehouse, in a peaceful, rural setting, offers a wide selection of real ales (over 200 different ales annually) with locally brewed Hook Norton Best Bitter ever present. A guest on this occasion was the Bazen Flatbac. The beers were well kept with or without sparkler and served to perfection.
You enter the pub at the front, though rear entrance is possible - there is a small conservatory at the front for sitting in the summer and autumn nights. Please bend to enter the pub if you are tall, as I found out to my cost. The single bar is to the right of entrance and can get busy especially when people sit on the tall stools at it. Getting served is not a problem though as staff are attentive as possible. There is also some seating here near the bar - square table and chairs, but there is also the door to the toilets which on constant opening in the winter can make sitting here cold. A seating area to the left of entrance is right by the real fireplace - quite large and covered with pump clips testifying to the guest ale choices of old.
To you right when facing the fireplace is a seating area set aside mainly for meals which are served lunch and evening - I would recommend booking in the evening as it can get busy.
An interesting and wide ranging menu is available seven days a week, served in the restaurant, bar or garden. You have a choice from a la carte, daily specials (on the board by the fireplace) or the speciality sausage menu offering 12 varieties of O'Hagan's sausages. The choice for vegetarians is limited, but made up for by the quality of what is on offer. The food was well presented and filling and at a reasonable price for Oxfordshire.
The Horse and Groom was voted ' Pub of the Year' 2000 & 2001 by North Oxfordshire CAMRA.
An excellent pub well worth a short detour off the M40 motorway.
None as yet.
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Hook Norton Best
Two Turnpike Cottages
Kirtlington, Oxford, OX5 3HB
From S: £42, D: £35-45pp