If you like a traditional pub with cosy rooms, a good atmosphere, decent grub and just enough frills to make you feel a little bit special, then The White Horse at Duns Tew fits the bill. A mere half-hour drive (or less) from the lovely Oxford and 20 minutes’ drive from Bicester, Blenheim Palace is within reach as well as lots of National Trust properties and the Cotswold Wildlife Park.
This 17th-century pub has lots of character, open fireplaces, a relaxed atmosphere, friendly staff and plenty of food and drink!
They have eight newly-refurbished rooms and our double was very traditional and cosy, clean and simply furnished, with a large comfy bed with crisp linen, upgraded bathroom with bath and shower, toiletries, Wifi, tea and coffee etc. It featured a quirky walk-in wardrobe, and was decorated with muted colours and complementary prints and lamps with thick drapes and views out over the village.
Dinner was a low-key affair, ideal for us as we were tired from a day’s sightseeing, and we were able to sit and chat in the informal restaurant area while eating a lovely meal. We plumped for the chicken liver parfait onion marmalade and grilled cuttlefish and chorizo starters, then fillet of sea bream baked with tomatoes, courgettes, basil and olives with olive mash for main course, finished off with chocolate salted caramel pud and a nice glass of wine. They have an extensive wine list and more beer than you can shake a stick at!
The food was of good quality, reasonably priced and the menu varied, so it’s more than just your average pub grub. There was a good atmosphere, too, and it was popular –with people and dogs alike! The restaurant was also quite busy with, I assume, local clientele as well as those staying in the rooms.
Apart from the delicious food, we were served at the table by one of the business owners, who told us the other business owner was the chef! The White Horse is situated right next door to private housing so very much has a feeling of a local, community pub.
The menu at the White Horse changes daily and they say they use – ‘…incredible British produce; whole animals and fish are butchered and prepared on site every day, and paired with ingredients so good they really speak for themselves. This allows us to use produce local to the area and representational of their season.’ Now that’s what you call keeping it local!
Outside, there’s a large patio area for warmer evenings as well as a roof-top patio with lighting. I just wish it had been warmer as it would have been good to sit with a drink after dinner, but that’s April for you!
- The White Horse Inn
Call: 01869 340272
Open10am-11pm Monday to Saturday, 10am-10.30pm Sunday