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BITE user comments - DrBunsen

Comments by DrBunsen

The Chequers, Chipping Norton

I've always like Fuller's pubs and this is a little gem. I particularly like slipping off for a swifty here while the kids are off doing their stuff in Chippy. The Times crossword and a couple of ales in a decent pub - heaven!

17 Jun 2009 10:56

The White Horse, Duns Tew

The White Horse benefits from being a beautiful building in a very attractive village. Slightly off the beaten track (or at least the dual carriageway from Deddington) it is worth a visit.

A new landlord and a new menu have spruced things up and on the glorious Sunday afternoon of our visit we enjoyed a straightforward and most enjoyable roast lunch. We haven't had the opportunity to try any of the rest of the menu yet but we will sometime in the not too distant future. The menu changes regularly. At the time of our visit it was Polish Week, which is not a cuisine I would normally seek out. However, judging from the noises of approval from a number of nearby tables it can't have been bad.

The usual range of keg beers are available as are some unusual real ales. Given the weather I would have liked to see a decent cider on offer but that is a quibble rather than a major issue (for me anyway). I wouldn't recommend making a special journey for the White Horse but, if you're in the area, you could do a lot worse.

17 Jun 2009 10:45

The Oxford Arms, Kirtlington

My last visit was on Rememberance Sunday, which proved a very busy day for The Oxford Arms; service was consequently a trifle slow (but not unforgivably so). The food however was of the usual high standard at this excellent country pub. Several well-kept ales were available. Worth a journey.

23 Apr 2009 17:12

The Fox Inn, Middle Barton

At last! Enterprise Inns has finally spent some money to allow The Fox to fulfil its potential as an excellent local that can also draw visitors from miles around. The refurb has been tastefully done and none of the essential character of this traditional building has been lost. The Fox has a pleasant garden and its own car-parking.

The new landlords are experienced pub managers and their attention to detail is bringing its own reward. After years of being under-loved and under-used there is a real buzz about The Fox now and the customers are coming back. It is particularly good to see that the crowd comprises a wide spectrum of people - young and old, locals and visitors - from an equally wide variety of backgrounds. The bar area can get a little crowded at busy times as it is not huge but a quiet area to sit down with family and friends should be available.

The beers include up to 4 real ales alongside keg bitter and lager, as well as Guinness. There is also usually a reasonably decent cider on tap (Thatcher's at the time of my last visit). The wine list has been thoughtfully put together with a sensible range that has options for red, white, rose and fizz. Many wines are available by the glass.

Good food is served in the bar and the separate restaurant area. The menu ranges from pizzas and fish and chips (that are also offered as takeaways) to the usual suspects for quality pub food. There are frequent specials and there is a good chance of fresh fish on Fridays and at the weekends. The food appears to be cooked from fresh ingredients on the premises and quality is thus generally high. The menu is gradually broadening as demand increases.

Prices are sensible rather than cheap and this reflects the landlords' approach of attracting people on the basis of quality rather than rock-bottom prices. So far this approach seems to be working.

16 Apr 2009 10:49

The Carpenters Arms, Middle Barton

Although the new landlords have significantly improved the decor I can't help feeling that decoratively this pub now feels uncomfortably like a wine bar inside a traditional thatched pub. Food is now on offer - the hot rocks are a good idea but I think they are mainly of novelty value and there needs to be a lot more to the menu than these.

A good local in lots of ways but there are better options for those from outside Middle Barton.

16 Apr 2009 10:20

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