The South Warwickshire village of Oxhill is steeped in history. Mentioned in the Doomsday book when the name was spelled Octeselve, today it is a picturesque quiet village. One where you’d definitely like to live, far from the description written in Shakespeare’s time:
Idlicote on the Hill, Whatcote Downderry,
Beggarly Oxhill, Lousy Fulready,
Yawning Yettington, (Ettington)
Peeping Pillarton, (Pillerton)
And One-eyed Marston.
The Peacock in Oxhill, dates back to the 15th century. Beautifully decorated with hanging baskets along its frontage and in the garden, it is very welcoming.
Inside, there’s a huge fireplace and beams aplenty. Unexpected touches include piles of comfy cushions and a very fetching peacock wallpaper. Since 2015, it has been managed by Mark Farrell and his team.
We sat in the restaurant for lunch. The menu is clever. It actually includes many pub menu staples including steaks, battered fish and burgers, but here they are given the Peacock twist.
The specials menu caught our eye. My husband loves Gentleman’s relish, that anchovy based paste so immediately decided on the Scotch Woodcock. This dish is mentioned in Mrs Beeton’s Household Management but is neither Scotch nor Woodcock, earlier mentions date back to the 1600s. This proved to be a tasty dish on good bread toasted, topped with anchovy paste, then scrambled eggs.
I do love a duck dish so plumped for the wild duck salad. The wild duck was very flavoursome paired with asian flavours and textures. A great start!
We’d quizzed the waitress as to what chef might suggest we eat for mains. She firmly said,”You must try the pie of the day – it’s a speciality of the house”. My husband dug eagerly into his steak and wine pie. The pastry was especially crisp and flaky – no easy thing to make – the meat inside tender and tasty.
Here I must have a quick aside, the portions are very,, very generous. I’d suggest going with a very empty stomach indeed!
I chose to have the bavette steak from the specials menu. When I have eaten that cut in France, it’s always been a thin steak. Here it was a large chunk of meat. Having thought I’d manage it cooked rare as the kitchen suggested, I had to admit it was too bloody for me. This was rectified within a few minutes. I particularly liked the caramelised shallots that came with it and my own pot of peppery sauce. The chips could have been a little crisper.
We really didn’t have room for dessert, but in the interest of research we felt we should. Tempted by the home made ice cream, we eventually decided to share a vanilla panacotta which was definitely the prettiest dish of the day with a fine wobble!
We must mention the very friendly staff. We were instantly made very welcome and comfortable.
The Peacock at Oxhill is what a good pub should be: great food, welcoming atmosphere and excellent ale. It’s definitely worth a visit. The menu is varied and I think every one would find something to their fancy – the burgers looked extraordinary heaped with onion rings.
Find out more
The Peacock is located within easy reach of the Cotswolds and towns such a Moreton-in-Marsh, Chipping Norton and Chipping Campden which are less than 30 minutes away. We spent a very happy afternoon at Hidcote garden which is just 20 minutes away.
The Peacock Oxhill
01295 688 060
Monday to Saturday 12noon to 2pm and 6pm to 9pm, Sunday Noon to 8 pm
We dined at the invitation of the Oxhill. Many thanks to the Oxhill villagers for their fascinating website on the history of Oxhill.