An unpretentious village pub serving food that is of exceptional freshness and quality – but at moderate prices.
Chapel Lane Blewbury Didcot Oxfordshire OX11 9PQ 01235 850 403
Situated in the cute Oxfordshire village of Blewbury, up to about a year ago The Red Lion was a pub that was in need of a spot of loving care and attention. Lucky for us then that chef Phil Wild saw an opportunity to set up on his own, and it's now not only a cosy village boozer once again, welcoming of drinkers and their dogs in what is by any standards a beautiful location, but it's also one of the best places to eat for miles around, with a two-room restaurant serving food of the highest quality at pub grub prices. It has 3 comfy rooms upstairs if you want to make a night of it, after enjoying a meal from an eclectic menu whose only problem is how hard it makes it to choose. Phil cooks big-flavoured, well-seasoned food in hearty portions that are worthy of the pubby surroundings, and keeps the friendly waiting staff on their toes with a regularly changing menu and choice of specials. In short, it would hard not to find something to tempt you. They do pub classics pretty well – a decent burger, liver and bacon, local sausage and mash, gorgeous devilled whitebait – but for somewhere that's about as far from the coast as anywhere in Britain they are surprisingly good at fish and seafood too, supplied daily by the same guys who travel to the swanky eateries of nearby Bray. There's always something for kids, and there's a garden outside with a climbing frame if they get bored. Above all it's high quality cooking, nicely presented in friendly, down-to-earth surroundings - our kind of place. Former regulars like the late novelist Dick Francis perhaps wouldn't recognise it, but we have Phil to thank for shifting it into the 21st century - at prices most people can afford.
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Small appetisers go for about £5, starters £5.95–£7.95, main courses average around £15.95 or so. Express Lunch Menu £15.95 for 2 courses, £19.95 for 3 courses. House wines start at £15.95.
Blewbury is on the A417, 4 miles south of Didcot, whose busy station is on the Great Western mainline and is just 45 minutes from London. There are plenty of taxis to make the 10-minute journey to the pub from outside the station available from outside the station so it's a good option for leaving the car behind. If you'd rather drive, the pub is around an hour's drive from west London and has parking for 20 cars.
Monday 11:30am–11pm, Tuesday closed, Wednesday & Thursday 11:30am–11pmFriday & Saturday 11:30am–midnight, Sunday noon–6pm.