• Book a table


    We take online bookings for parties up to 6, for larger tables please call.


    01295 688100





    The Royal Oak at Whatcote is a cut above the norm. It is a masterclass in

    simplicity and restraint...every element is precisely crafted,

    yet the cooking is never prissy.

    Tom Parker Bowles| The Mail on Sunday | April 2019





  • our pub


    Welcome to The Royal Oak, a site that started life in 1168 when "a small shelter was built to provide drinks for the workmen labouring to build the church. This grew in time to become the Royal Oak inn, which must be one of the oldest pubs in the country still in use." (Britain Express)

    After an extensive refurbishment undertaken between 2016 and 2017 by local builder, Henry Jervis, Richard and Solanche Craven (formerly of The Chef's Dozen) became custodians. Our pub offers a traditional drinking space as well as a beautiful, light dining room. We offer traditional ales alongside a modern wine list and our bar is the essence of The Royal Oak. We carefully source our beers and ales from around the British Isles and our current on tap are:

    Clouded Minds Brewery 'Take My Adweisse' | Magic Rock Brewing 'Saucery'

    Freedom Four British Lager | Sandford Orchard's Devon Mist Cider | Guinness

    Wye Valley Butty Bach | North Cotswold Brewery 'Windrush'


    We are extremely proud to offer a personal distinctive menu that changes as the seasons and our producers dictate. Using high quality local (when possible), organic and importantly to us as a rural country pub, wild ingredients.


    We work closely with a small core of quality producers who are dedicated to their amazing produce, the hills surrounding the pub and the fantastic produce found within them, inform what we cook. Game is often 'shot to order' by local gamekeeper friends from the surrounding hills and estates, as well as from the exceptional David Moore game butchers in Mickleton. We also source directly from Scotland to ensure we can make the most of our wild larder. At the excellent Paddock Farm, brothers Nick and Jon rear rare breed Tamworth pigs, producing incredible pork that is extremely well thought of both locally and nationally, they also source excellent beef from farms around the pub which they then dry age for us. We also source beautifully tasty English Quail from the renowned Norfolk Quail when our hunting friends can't get into the wild for us.


    Sustainable fresh fish is sent from day boats in Cornwall from Flying Fish of Cornwall as well as New Wave Seafood based in Gloucestershire. Vegetables are also carefully sourced, our favourites often coming from small scale growers. We use the excellent and locally based Daylesford Organic Farm and Vegetable Matters in Ebrington, we change our menu as often as their crops dictate, we supplement our own foraging with professionals from different regions to help us find interesting wild ingredients. For cheese we use Neal's Yard in London who have fantastic contacts with small scale producers from across the UK.

    'a sublime starter of pig’s head “lasagne”: sheets of homemade dough sandwiching a squelch of ripe, fatty pork and discs of black pudding that crumble like fudge, the whole thing given a limpid cider glaze and crunch from toasted hazelnut — satisfying, giddily hedonistic, stopping just the right side of death by richness.​'


    Marina O'Loughlin | The Sunday Times | March 2018














  • our food


    sample menus

    we offer an a la carte menu and a tasting menu Wednesday through to Saturday.

    We also have a set menu available Wednesday, Thursday evenings and Friday and Saturday lunch (2 courses £24 3 courses £29)

    On a Sunday, we offer 2 courses for £29 or three courses for £35 the menu includes roast venison with traditional trimmings or our tasting menu.




    wholemeal bread - farmhouse butter & pork dripping £4

    (included when having starters & mains)



    rainbow trout, fresh peas, elderflower and apple £9

    muntjac tartare, Roscoff onion, pear and wild horseradish £9

    crisp hen’s egg, Wye valley asparagus, cured venison and black truffle £10

    pig’s head and black pudding lasagna, toasted hazelnuts and cider reduction £9½



    wood pigeon, salt baked beetroot, chicory and elderberry £24

    red hind, carrot, venison suet pudding and pickled walnut £26

    halibut, courgette and basil, artichoke, sea beet and anchovy £25

    Cornish cod, borlotti beans, redcurrant, monks beard and mussel sauce £23

    braised leek, ramson gnocchi, Evenlode cream and girolles £20



    strawberries, elderflower and hay custard £8½

    cherry soufflé, meadowsweet ice cream £8½

    dark chocolate, shortbread and caramel, peanut ice cream £9

    Little Rollright, honeycomb and sourdough crackers £10




    set menu

    2 course - £24 | 3 course - £29

    (Wednesday & Thursday dinner | Friday and Saturday lunch)


    mussel veloutè,

    crisp shallots and parsley oil


    crisp lamb sweetbreads

    peas and mint


    duck leg

    beetroot, cavolo nero and pickled walnut


    rainbow trout

    Jersey Royals, monksbeard and warm tartare



    Kirkham’s Lancashire

    farmhouse chutney, sourdough crackers



    caramelised white chocolate and fennel




    5 course tasting - £55pp

    (to be taken by the whole table)


    wholemeal bread

    farmhouse butter & pork dripping

    rainbow trout

    fresh peas, elderflower and apple

    pig’s head and black pudding lasagna

    toasted hazelnuts and cider reduction

    red hind

    carrot, venison suet pudding and pickled walnut

    Little Rollright

    honeycomb and sourdough crackers

    strawberries, elderflower and hay custard





    The Cravens are committed to retaining the local pub ethos in the bar....while the menu might be posher than your average pub, this is expert classical cooking of fine flavours. A real treat for their new neighbours'


    Laura Rowe | Olive magazine | 26/30 | January 2018















  • opening times


    dining room opening hours

    Wednesday and Thursday : 6pm - 9pm (last orders)

    Friday and Saturday: 12pm - 1:30pm (last orders) & 6:30 - 9pm (last orders)

    Sunday: 12pm - 2:00pm (last orders)


    bar opening hours

    Wednesday & Thursday 4.30pm - 11pm

    Friday 12pm - 3pm & 4.30pm - 11pm

    Saturday 12pm - 11pm

    Sunday 12pm - 4pm


    The Royal Oak at Whatcote is closed all day on Mondays and Tuesdays (including bank holidays).

















  • Very much a local pub, albeit a rather smart one. But chef owner Richard Craven is one hell of a chef. Expect game in season, from roe deer tartare to pheasant with snails. Home-made bread comes with dripping butter, and there’s excellent fish too.


    Tom Parker Bowles

    The 100 cosiest pubs in Britain

    December 2018




    The Royal Oak is an independent husband and wife run dining pub with a limited number of covers available and our continued success relies on reservations being honoured by our guests or sufficient notice being given of any change. If you do not arrive within 30 minutes of your booking time and we have not been informed of any delay the table will have to be released, so please do give us a call if you're running late.



    We are 20 minutes from Stratford upon Avon.

    We are 25 minutes from junction 12 on the M40, Chipping Campden and Banbury.

    We are 30 minutes from Chipping Norton, Stow on the Wold and Warwick.



    the old kiln house, shipston on stour 07850 435408

    the old manor house, halford 01789 740264

    robbie's barn, fulready (airbnb - pet friendly - 1 night minimum)

    honeysuckle cottage, middle tysoe (airbnb - 1 night minimum)

    peach cottage, whatcote (airbnb - 3 night minimum)

    as well as a few more in the surrounding villages of Oxhill, Brailles and Shipston on Stour


    train stations

    Banbury Station: 25 minutes

    Stratford upon Avon: 25 minutes

    Moreton in Marsh: 20 minutes


    dietary restrictions

    Due to the size of our kitchen team and the style of our food, we do not accommodate the following dietary restrictions:

    vegan, severe nut allergies and egg. Please let us know of any other allergies and please do double-check with your guests.


    dress code

    don't be daft.


    Corkage: £25 (for one 750ml only) | Cake-age £15 (waived when having desserts)



    christmas and boxing day


    Photo credits @Nanna Dis