The Royal Oak

Location Ramsden

Postcode OX7 3AU

Telephone 01993 868213


Why we love it...

Impressive, sophisticated menu

The Place

There are just five bedrooms – nothing wrong with that – but it suggests that the focus is on the food and for sure the menu here is impressive not for its range of dishes but for unusual, sophisticated add-ons. For instance, the wild boar burger comes with autumn fruit aioli; the butternut squash and pumpkin tarka dhal is served with coconut yogurt; and the rump steak gets gorgonzola and bone marrow butter. Some of the offerings are nicely unusual in their own right, for example among the small plates are toasted chilli cheese cornbread and roasted chestnuts with rosemary and sage sea salt. We detected a welcome effort to keep the prices friendly: four out of the seven mains cost £19 as went to press, a good sign considering similar places mostly succumb to inflation by struggling to offer more than one or two under the £20 watershed. The wine list, with 25 reds and 20 whites, also shows experimental flair, going off piste with wines made in Uruguay, Georgia and Japan.

However, the jewel in the crown is the characterful, light dining area at the rear (The Barn) with pale wooden floor boards. Throughout the public area, tables, chairs and other genuine country furnishings come in eclectic shapes and sizes. The smallest bedroom, Wilcot, is reasonably priced for the space provided. In an unspoiled village, sitting opposite the church and war memorial, the location feels peaceful.

A London couple who have a house here give the place glowing reports, describing it as a welcoming home from home. Two managers, Luke and Iesha, and young head chef Luke Boobyer are well supported by owner Tim Bevan, co-founder of  the celebrated film production company Working Title, responsible for Four Weddings and a Funeral and Notting Hill.

 A happy example of a Cotswold pub facing off competition from Bamford money poured into the likes of The Wild Rabbit and The Fox, succeeding because it’s true to itself.


The Essentials

Price Band ££
Rooms 5; 4 doubles plus The Stable which sleeps up to 6 people
Food Breakfast for guests, lunch served 12 to 2.30 during the week, dinner served 6 - 9 (until 9.30 on Friday and Saturday), Sunday lunch served 12-8
Facilities On-site bar and restaurant, outdoor dining area, free parking
Children Welcome
Accessibility Restaurant and bar wheelchair accessible, but rooms can only be accessed by a staircase
Pets Welcome in pub, in rooms by arrangement

To Book

Contact Reception
Call 01993 868213

Good To Know

Address The Royal Oak, High Street, Ramsden, Oxfordshire OX7 3AU

The Location

Find this place: Drive through the village of Ramsden until you see the War Memorial in the middle of the road

What's nearby: Blenheim Palace, North Leigh Roman Villa, Cotswold Wildlife Park, Oxford

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