Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in Oxfordshire
Hardens guides have spent 15 years compiling reviews of the best Oxfordshire restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 221 restaurants in Oxfordshire and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing Oxfordshire restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured Oxfordshire Restaurants
. Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons
French restaurant in Great Milton
Church Road - OX44
“Any visit must include a walk through the gardens” when you visit Raymond Blanc’s “enchanting” converted Elizabethan manor, and “from the moment you arrive you are hit by the peace and tranquility of the whole enterprise”. “From beginning to end, the attention to detail is exceptional”: “nothing is left out, nothing is too much trouble” and staff “make you feel very, very special; not in a cloying way but through sheer politesse” (“exceptional service that includes attention to young children”). On the vast majority of accounts, it’s “a breathtaking, out-of-this-world gastronomic extravaganza” too, with “exquisite food (with no hint of overambitious ideas or overloading of ingredients), whose preparation is exact and whose plating is very graceful”. Where reservations are expressed, the issue is usually either the absence of a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ (“the food was beautiful and delicious, courses flowed perfectly, but they didn’t wow”); or “the need to chat with your friendly bank manager before you open the wine list”. On most accounts, though, the equation stacks up beautifully: “this was a one-off bucket-list visit, but worth it despite the vast expense”.
. The Crooked Billet
British, Modern restaurant in Stoke Row
Newlands Ln - RG9
“Wonderful out-of-the-way” gastropub “down the end of a winding lane” and with “an amazing indoors with a dining room plastered with intriguing old photos”, which still “sets standards others struggle to meet” (listen up pop pickers, it’s owned by ex-Sweet and John Otway rock guitarist Paul Clerehugh, who set up here in 1989). “Never had a bad meal, course or service: it always delivers with taste, charm and pizzazz”. “A handwritten daily changing menu is always a joy to hold – other pretenders take note”.
. The Feathered Nest Inn
British, Modern restaurant in Nether Westcote
“Sublime food” in the “breathtaking surroundings” of an “exceptional inn in idyllic Cotswold countryside”. Polish-born Kuba Winkowski, the Craft Guild of Chefs 2018 ‘chef of the year’, wins universal praise for his “wonderful” repertoire of dishes, which includes sturgeon with caviar and fennel. It is, though, “eye-wateringly pricey” – “perhaps even more expensive than London, but worth it if you’re feeling flush”.
. Oli's Thai
Thai restaurant in Oxford
38 Magdalen Rd - OX4
“A taste sensation! – every dish is a masterpiece” at this cult Thai café. Despite being permanently crammed, “they maintain phenomenal standards, with beautiful, exotic flavours” – and “the best of the best” is still “exceptional value for money”. There’s just one complaint: “you have to book three months in advance!”
Spanish restaurant in Oxford
74 Cowley Rd - OX4
“Fabulous” tapas has made an instant hit of this small, year-old bar in an old chemist’s shop (from Rufus Thurston, owner of Oxford legend Oli’s Thai, and Ben Whyles of east Oxford’s Door 74): “yet another independent to liven up the Oxford food scene”. “Enthusiastic, knowledgeable and friendly staff” add to the “brilliant experience”.
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