"Staff are refreshingly natural and the deal is sealed by Richard Craven's ambitious and ingenious cooking, in which foraged ingredients and game feature heavily."

    Good Food Guide 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:

    Wild Beer Co. Maison No. 3 | Magic Rock Brewing 'Saucery' Session IPA

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

    Wye Valley Butty Bach | Loose Cannon Brewery's Gunners Gold


    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 both a set and a la carte menu Wednesday through to Saturday. On a Sunday, our menu includes roast venison with traditional trimmings)




    wholemeal bread - butter & pork dripping £4 (included when having starters & mains)



    smoked eel, new potato and dill £9

    pheasant raviolo, wild plum and Tewkesbury mustard £9

    crisp cotswold legbar, celeriac, cured hogget and black truffle £10

    pigs head & black pudding lasagna, toasted hazelnuts and cider reduction £9½

    pig trotter and veal sweetbread roulade, braised lentils and rosemary £9



    pollock, cauliflower, smoked roe, monks beard and curried dressing £22

    pheasant wellington, buttermilk mashed potato, purple sprouting and quince £24

    mushroom risotto, slow cooked hen’s egg, chanterelles, pickled pumpkin and toasted pumpkin seeds £20

    roast red hind, farmhouse cabbage, parsnip, pickled walnut and steamed venison suet pudding £26

    wood pigeon roasted on the crown, confit carrot, fennel, pigeon cassoulet and black pudding crumble £25



    Little Rollright, honeycomb and sourdough crackers £10

    Brillat Savarin cheesecake, blood orange sorbet £8½

    prune and Armagnac soufflé, Earl Grey ice cream £8½

    Yorkshire rhubarb, caramelised white chocolate and fennel £8½

    warm bitter chocolate tart, crème frâiche ice cream £8½


    set menu - £55

    (to be taken by the whole table)


    crisp cotswold legbar

    celeriac, cured hogged and black truffle


    pig trotter and veal sweetbread roulade

    braised lentils and rosemary


    red hind

    farmhouse cabbage, parsnip and pickled walnut


    Little Rollright

    honeycomb and sourdough crackers


    Yorkshire rhubarb

    caramelised white chocolate and fennel




    sample bar snack menu

    pork pie and pickle £4 | rarebit on toast, honey £9 | | British cheese board £12 | meat and cheese board £18





    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 - 1:30 (last orders) & 6:30 - 9pm (last orders)

    Sunday: 12pm - 2:00 (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).


  • 'Ten of the best pubs for winter dining'

    Town and Country | November 2017























  • book a table


    We take online bookings for parties up to 6, which is the maximum number of guests we can accommodate on a single table.



    01295 688100




















  • FAQs


    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.


    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)


    holidays 2017

    christmas and boxing day


    Photo credits @Nanna Dis