Three Oxfordshire gastropubs have made The Sunday Times list of 100 Best Places to Stay in Britain for 2023.

The Royal Oak in the picturesque West Oxfordshire village of Ramsden has served as a coaching inn and public house for almost 250 years and was given a sympathetic facelift when it was bought by locals 'Notting Hill' film producer Tim Bevan and artist Amy Gadney, two years ago.

The Sunday Times reviewers said: "Their refurbishment has produced interiors as effortlessly alluring as Julia Roberts and as pretty as the pictures in their revolving art exhibitions.

"The kitchen’s elevated pub grub includes bavette steak and rooms come with four poster beds and roll-top baths."

Bicester Advertiser:

The 17th century George Inn at Barford St Michael, a village outside Banbury, is praised for its 'fabulous' food and 'boutique' bedrooms.

"The only thing that raises alarm bells is the price — it’s suspiciously cheap. So what’s the catch? Don’t worry, there isn’t one," reads the review.

But, it says, owners wine merchant Louis Holtzhausen and his wife Laura "have carefully restored the place to create a convivial space for a tipple or two with their neighbours and bon viveur visitors".

Meanwhile The Lamb Inn in Shipton-under-Wychwood, which was named Best Pub in the GQ Food & Drink Awards 2022, is described as having "a touch of Withnail & I" about it by reviewer Susan d'Arcy.

She said: "The racing-green tongue and groove walls, topped by a mishmash of quirky monochrome photography and mounted butterflies and flying insects, lend it an air of dashing respectability — but a frisson of dissolute intention hangs over the bar.

"It’s a proper boozer, so beer is served in dimpled glasses and the dining is fun, with refined and retro dishes such as venison bourguignon. The ten rooms are briskly boutique.

Bicester Advertiser:

Co-owners Tom  Noest and Peter Creed, who are both Cotswolds born and bred, also operate The Bell at Langford and The Little Bell within Soho Farmhouse.

The Fox at Oddington, owned by Daylesford Organic founder Carole Bamford also makes the list with praise for its "ye-olde-worlde charm thanks to its forest green tongue-and-groove walls, conker-brown wainscot armchairs and blackened inglenook fireplace.

"Add superior pub grub plus six restful bedrooms with exposed beams and four-poster beds and this country boozer has bags of boutique cachet."

The Retreat at Elcot Park in Berkshire was named The Times and Sunday Times hotel of the year, topping the annual list of 100 of Britain’s best hotels.

To read the full reviews, go to


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This story was written by Miranda Norris, she joined the team in 2021 and covers news across Oxfordshire as well as news from Witney.

Get in touch with her by emailing: Or find her on Twitter: @Mirandajnorris

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