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“Don't bother with the Angel - come here instead!!!”

The Royal Oak at Burford
Ranked #1 of 38 Restaurants in Burford
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: British
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Description: We are a family run pub, just off the high street in Burford. We offer home cooked pub food served by friendly staff and you will always receive a warm welcome.
Reviewed 19 May 2014

My wife and I recently visited Burford for the first time, for a long weekend. We decided to try the local restaurants and booked two meals in the village during our stay, the first at the Royal Oak (fantastic!!!) and the second at the Angel (very disappointing!!!).

For those of you who have not visited the area, the two pubs are located on the same street and are mere feet apart geographically, but the two are hundreds of miles apart in terms of quality!!

SERVICE:

Hats off to the Oak here – lovely landlord, polite, friendly and with a good sense of humour. Far more welcoming than the Angel, who seemed much more reserved in comparison. A couple of young waiting staff working hard in the Angel but could have done with more staff on and some better leadership it would seem?!

FOOD:

No comparison – the Angel seem to have put too much emphasis on how the dishes look, rather than portion size and satisfying the appetite of the customer (and I am only a slight man for my age!) My wife and I left the meal at the Angel feeling hungry and short changed for the price we paid, but we couldn't have asked for more at the Oak - fantastic food. The portions at the Royal Oak are generous and have a real wholesome, ‘home-cooked food’ feel to them but whilst somehow (impressively) delivering cracking presentation too, to give the overall dish that ‘modern cuisine’ feel.

DRINKS:

The beer at the Angel was well kept – but just the one ale on hand pull?! What’s that all about? Contrast that with the Oak where there were 3-4 well kept (cheaper!) beers that were just as nice, with a range of beers to suit all tastes.

ATMOSPHERE:

The Angel was trying to be up market we feel, but without the solid foundations to required! It had a nice fireplace and exposed woodwork/beams but the place was quiet (no music?!), dimly lit and the staff were not too welcoming. It felt quite cliquey too? Contrast that with the Oak (better lighting for a start, my wife and I could see one other in the bar area!) which had more people (always a good sign!) and welcoming bar staff (we believe we were served by the owner and his wife) who both had a good sense of humour. Then to top the night off, it ended with live, local music (fantastic and much better than the lack of music down the road at the Angel!!).

VALUE:

The Angel is not good value for money – the food may be locally sourced, but you just don’t get enough on your plate for what you pay!! Our views above re. quality of food say everything we need to say about the Oak in comparison!!!

OUR VERDICT:

The Angel just haven’t got it right when it comes to British country pub/restaurant dining – The Oak on the other hand are doing a very good job of what they do, go to the Royal Oak instead!!

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    • Atmosphere
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1  Thank Clarkey_on_tour
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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415 - 419 of 447 reviews

Reviewed 10 May 2014

The Royal Oak I knew had a bar with lots of mugs on the ceiling, friendly bar staff and was a place to eat or drink.

Now it reminds me of a mess hall. An eating establishment just like the other ' inns' on Burford High Street. Tables with chairs designed to make sure you do not stay long after you have eaten your meal. Having knocked out a fireplace to make extra room would probably be a good idea if the woodwork was not battleship grey and the chairs and tables and chairs obtained from a long closed 1970's café.

The bar area is no longer represents a true pub, just another eating area.

It requires the bar area to be returned to a place where people can come and enjoy excellent pints of 6X, a game of cards or dominoes or just a chat and not a place where you have to order meal in order to get service.

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3  Thank kfp49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JAWILKO, Owner at The Royal Oak at Burford, responded to this reviewResponded 10 July 2014

Thank you for your comments relating to The Royal Oak. The Royal Oak is now under new ownership, the mugs on the ceilings were removed by the previous tenants and even though we do offer a good selection of food, you will find it is very much a 'Pub' where the locals like to come along and enjoy a good pint. Hopefully we will see you soon. Jeanette

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 May 2014

My wife and I make several day trips to Burford during the year and on the latest visit we decided to have lunch at The Royal Oak based on comments from Tripadvisor. Situated in a side street half way up the main High Street, it is conveniently positioned. I am teetotal and therefore did not sample any of the range of real ales on offer but many people who came in after us did and appeared to enjoy their pint! However, it was the food that I looked forward to and I was not disappointed. There were a few Specials on the blackboard but I chose the home made Steak and Ale pie from the speciality dishes on the main menu; my wife chose the whole tail scampi. We both had chips (for the pie there is also the option of mashed potato) and they were proper chips! Stacked on the plate like a game of Jenga! A very fresh salad accompanied the scampi and my pie came with a medley of beautifully cooked vegetables - carrot, leek, green beans and broccoli. My wife enjoyed the scampi saying that it was of good quality. I have left the best for last - the pie. Encased in a wonderful shortcrust pastry, the pie was filled with tender steak and the sauce/gravy inside was rich in flavour. Our empty plates at the end said all there was to be said about the meal. I had hoped there would be room for a desert but sadly there was none! The landlady was very friendly and welcoming, and the pub itself is an old traditional pub (I have not seen a bar billiards table in a very long while) that gave off a good vibe. The pub also has a beer garden which looked excellent for those sunny days. For the quality of the food, £10 for the scampi and £12 for the pie was, in my opinion, very good value. I can see The Royal Oak becoming my new 'local' in future visits to Burford.

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2  Thank Robert T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 May 2014

My son had paid for my wife and I to stay in Burford for a few days and not knowing the area we have obviously looked at trip advisor and the "Food Standards Agency" (For the hygiene rating).
Royal Oak came up so we gave it a wirl ......
What a great place - food was spot on; service was great and the place was really nice!
To top it all the price was very good to - compared with the high street, 200 yards away!
All in all it shows not only is it good to look on Trip Adviror, but also good to look off the beaten racks!

Thank Tony S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 April 2014

I and three friends visited this pub at lunchtime. Two of us had baguettes with salad. They were excellent; full of ham and goats cheese. Two others had meat pie and salmon hot dishes, they too were top class. The meat pie had been made on the premises and was full with meat, not the sludge you can sometimes get. The salmon was served with samphire, a nice touch.
I recommend this pub/restaurant.

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Thank PeterMLC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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