I spent many years living in Banbury and am very familiar with the road connecting it to Stratford-upon-Avon, it’s a road I’ve driven along countless times. It’s a picturesque drive through Oxfordshire and Warwickshire countryside and one I’ve always enjoyed. But I guess like a lot of people, I rarely veer off the main road, and explore the surrounding villages. It’s something that clearly I should make an effort to do, as yesterday I discovered a lovely little village and its local pub, when I visited The Peacock at Oxhill.
The 15th century pub The Peacock at Oxhill is set on a quiet lane with a generously sized car park and garden to the rear.
We were tempted to sit in the pub garden to enjoy our lunch, but on the hottest day of the year, we opted to enjoy the coolness of the pub itself. Everywhere was spotless but totally welcoming and the The Peacock at Oxhill offers a dining room or slightly less formal bar seating areas. I spotted a number of high chairs in the restaurant area, so families are well catered for too. Dogs are also welcome.
The peacock theme is carried on throughout the pub with the furnishings and artwork, and the whole place felt fresh and clean whilst still maintaining its rustic charm.
The menu offers a varied selection of appetisers, starters and mains, along with a specials board. My friend and I really were spoilt for choice and took some time making our decision. In the end my friend opted for the Chicken Liver Pate with warm toast and red onion marmalade to start,
whilst I couldn’t resist the sound of the Quail Scotch Egg served with piccalilli, aioli, pork scratching and Granny Smith apple.
We were both in for a treat, with these homemade starters. They really were devine. I tried my friend’s pate and the red onion marmalade, wow! The pate was so smooth and went perfectly with the marmalade, it was a real hit. I was thrilled with my choice, again, full of flavour, but nothing too overpowering, the scotch egg itself was perfectly cooked and it’s a starter I will be dreaming about for some time to come.
For our main meal my friend decided on the Real Ale Battered Cod Fillet with chips, pea puree and tartare sauce.
I rarely have lamb at home as my menfolk aren’t keen so I opted for the Cotswold Spring Lamb Rump with gratin dauphinoise potatoes, provencale veg and rosemary jus from the Specials menu.
Portion sizes are generous at The Peacock at Oxhill, which always goes down well with me, I’m not one for servings of tiny morsels of food. The fish was moist and perfectly cooked, my friend isn’t a fan of tartare sauce, but this was quickly swapped for something she preferred with no issues. I’m not sure I actually spoke much to my friend as I was eating my meal, I was totally absorbed in the moment. My lamb was perfectly cooked to my medium rare request, the jus was full of flavour and everything worked so well together. It was quite simply delicious.
The question was, could we manage a dessert as well? One look on the menu and I knew I would have to try out the Sticky Toffee Pudding with Ice Cream. It’s my favourite pudding and I can never see past it on a menu! If that hadn’t been on the menu I would have been tempted by the Raspberry Cheesecake or Black Forest Mess I think.
My friend was rather full after her starter and main course selection, so she opted for the Homemade Ice Cream, with a three scoop option of Vanilla, Strawberry and Chocolate. Honeycomb is also available.
We both felt that the vanilla ice cream could have done with a bit more flavour, but otherwise our desserts were another hit.
All in all a flavoursome, good quality meal which we both enjoyed. The staff were attentive without crowding us and we both left saying we’d return with other friends and family. It’s definitely worth deviating off the A422 and heading to The Peacock at Oxhill if you get the chance.
disclosure: we were given a complimentary meal in exchange for an honest review