I do love a good Inn. Something about them gets me all excited and while most people simply see inn’s as a place to rest their head for a night because of visiting locally, I don’t leave its sight – exploring surrounding areas on foot and soaking up that village atmosphere which so many of them have to offer. The White Horse Inn was no exception to that rule, nestled away on the outskirts of Oxford in a tiny quaint village called Duns Tew – which is home to no more than 600 people. Full of character, this 17th-century pub features a gorgeous bar, terrific food, comfy rooms and located very conveniently for those needing to get into the centre of Oxford or shopping outlet, Bicester Village. I take note of almost everything when visiting places and can still even recall the smell when we got out of the car – a slightly smoky aroma which poured out of the chimney from the roaring fire and a faint whiff of roast potatoes from the kitchen – it was very inviting.
The Grounds/What To Do
The grounds here at the pub aren’t particularly sparse, featuring a small beer garden and large on-site car park, but what it lacks in own space, it makes up for as this pub is surrounded by the lush Cotswolds countryside. Miles upon miles of fields turn into walking routes full of plenty of wildlife and livestock. If walking isn’t your thing then you can take the car and explore through the windy tree-lined roads. The centre of Oxford is only a 20 minute drive from The White Horse Inn and is just a short journey from the famous shopping outlet, Bicester Village. If like me you simply just don’t want to leave at all then head inside and drink your afternoon away. If you’re lucky enough to catch some good weather then enjoy the outdoor seating over a pint of ale and local read.
We stayed in one of the Inn’s more simple rooms upstairs at the front of the pub and while it was nice, The White Horse Inn offers more luxurious rooms downstairs separate to the main building. Our room was simply equipped, but had everything we needed for a good nights stay with all the usual amenities such as tea & coffee-making facilities, bath products, hair dryer and view of the local village. I will say however that our bed was incredibly comfy, so much so we even nodded off back to sleep the following morning and completely missed breakfast, which I’ve no doubt was delicious.
The Food & Drink
The White Horse Inn’s biggest asset is its food and kitchen team. I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting, perhaps some simple pub grub but instead our meal ended up being a showcase of quality produce, precise cooking and lots of flavour. For starters we devoured a pint of very fresh shell-on prawns with quality bread and aioli, alongside a bowl of probably the best Korean chicken wings I’ve encountered – juicy on the inside, very crispy on the outside and smothered in a finger licking sweet and spicy sauce. Mains were excellent too. A simple, but perfectly cooked rib eye steak with a rich smokey flavour and a plate full of chunks of pork belly doused in a thick and fragrant Asian sauce. It was all very well priced too and the wine list here is excellent.
The White Horse Inn really is the perfect country stay. It’s got charm, personality, great food and fantastic owners behind it all who know exactly what they’re doing. The room perhaps upstairs could be injected with a little more personality but that comfy mattress more than makes up for it. If you’re looking for a place to stay, drink and eat while visiting Oxford or its surrounding areas then I highly recommend The White Horse Inn, but please – make time for the food because it’s all absolutely delicious.
The White Horse Inn
Tel: 01869 340272