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Overview

The Royal Oak is a prosperous-looking 17th-century coaching inn, built of Cotswold stone in the heart of the picture-book Ramsden deep in rolling Oxfordshire countryside.

Having been a local favourite for good food and wine for years, two Ramsden residents bought this much-loved community pub when the long-serving owners decided to retire in 2019. Sympathetic to its history and to its story, the Grade II listed building has been restored and refreshed throughout whilst retaining the essence of a traditional, local village pub. Step inside the classic bar to find hop-adorned beams, stone walls, rustic wooden floors, two blazing winter log fires, old built-in settles, and candles on scrubbed tables in cosy corners. Dozing dogs and dominoes enhance the traditional vibe of the fabulous front bar.

Intimate snugs, perfect of small gatherings, link the bar to the bright, spacious and welcoming oak-framed dining extension, a newly-created space featuring plenty of natural light, rich fabrics, colourful local artwork, painted dressers, old dining tables, and impressive flower arrangements. Glazed doors lead out to a pretty dining terrace, where you'll find a cosy covered snug area with wood-burning stove.

Five beautifully designed bedrooms, inventive pub food, supper clubs, talks, art events and live music complete the very pleasing picture - new life has certainly been breathed into this cracking village inn.

Rooms from:

4 doubles & 1 family room: £150

Good to know

Major credit cards accepted (not Amex)

Disabled access (not rooms)

Alfresco & private dining

Parking available

Dogs welcome overnight

Modern Art

The pub is an outpost for M+P | Art in Delly End and their gallery programme, acting as a space for a changing series of interesting works by local, national and international artists.

North Leigh Roman Villa

The English Heritage site at North Leigh consists of a large, well-constructed Roman courtyard villa with a historically important, near complete mosaic floor, which can be seen through a viewing window.

Rooms

The eye-catching refurbishment has seen the welcome addition of five stunning bedrooms - four bespoke upstairs rooms and an imagivatively reworked outbuilding accessible from the terrace.

Each room is very different, with subtle interior design touches showcasing original period features, and meticulous attention to detail enhancing the overall comfort of the rooms. Think, decanter of port, jugs of flresh flowers, rich fabrics, antique furnishings, carefully selected books, eclectic artwork. Roberts radio, quirky objets d'art, and spacious bathrooms, most with roll-top tubs and walk-in showers.

Hidden up in the eaves of the is 'The Attic', a wonderful secluded and romantic room with low beams, old latch doors, super king sized bed and roll-top bath. 'Akeman' is a large room with four-poster bed and serene views of the church. Spacious 'Wychwood' looks out across the War Memorial and old stone cottages, while 'Wilcote' is a secluded bolthole for two overlooking the garden. The cleverly designed 'Stable' is perfect for families with oodles of space and big wooden bunk beds (with ladder & curtains) tucked away in a separate room. Just an hour from London and close to all the Costwolds attractions.

Restaurant & bar

The interesting monthly menu evolves seasonally and focuses on delivering contemporary pub classics, alongside well-chosen wines, in the most charming of pub settings.

Bag one of the cosy corners by the warming fire in the rustic-comfortable bar, or book a table in the airy new dining room - the menu is same throughout the pub. From a typical winter menu, kick off a memorable meal with hand-dived scallop, roast cauliflower, tumeric and lemongrass sauce, and scallop roe puree, or carrot and cumin soup with coriander.

For main course, perhaps try rack of lamb, tarragon mash, red wine jus and cavalo nero, or the chuck, brisket and short rib burger with smoked bacon, Oxford blue cheese, red pepper and sriracha mayonnaise, and French fries, or a refreshing and delicious ginger and chilli flaked salmon salad with herb oil dressing. Round off with saffron & thyme poached pear, clotted cream and caramel fig, best accompanied by a glass of sticky Chateau Dosiy-Vendrines Sauterne 2016. To quaff, there's craft beer and cider, Cotswold lager, tip-top ales from local micro-breweries, and a raft of boutique spirits.

Private dining

The beautiful and atmospheric Quercus Room is fabulous private dining space seating 10, replete with a log burning stove, plus it looks onto the secret garden.

Things to do

Explore the spires of one of the oldest, most famously beautiful English cities in the world - Oxford. Visit the University Colleges, have a picnic and go punting down the River Cherwell and enjoy the arts of the theatres, galleries and Ashmolean Museum.

One of Britain's largest and most famous stately homes, Blenheim Palace offers a host of treasures to discover. There are guided tours of the staterooms and a chance to explore the estate's sumptuous parkland. The Winston Churchill Memorial Garden and Footsteps Trail takes you on a journey through the key achievements in the great statesman's extraordinary life and his early years in this area. Churchill's grave can be seen in the churchyard at nearby Bladon.

Known locally as 'Fortnams in the field' Daylesford Organic is so much more than an award-winning farm shop, with a cookery school, cafe, clothes shop and spa. The farm shop offers the best in organic and food produced with the best environmental and livestock husbandry credentials. They have their own bakery and serve up vegetables from their own market garden.

Getting here

Directions

Nearest railway station: Charlbury

Taxi from station: 9 min

Drive: Witney 10min; Oxford 35min; Cheltenham 52min

Address

High Street, Ramsden, Witney, Oxfordshire OX7 3AU

Prices & availability