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The Royal Oak Owner Shares His Definitive Guide to Warwickshire's Best Restaurants, Pubs and Cafes
Chef Richard Craven

Chef Richard Craven and his wife Solanche bagged a Michelin star for their Warwickshire pub, The Royal Oak, just two years after opening, thanks to their terroir-driven country food, focusing on wild meats and foraged ingredients.

The pretty pub in the rural village of Whatcote is one of the country’s oldest public houses, dating back to 1150. And Chef Craven’s passion for the countryside and all things rural and foraged is at the centre of its success.

The Royal Oak

Richard’s larder is a treasure trove of ingredients, which tell the stories of their producers, community and surroundings. 

Sometimes a dish will be on the menu for a six week period, celebrating the early or late season. Some dishes are micro-seasonal snapshots, lasting just a week, a service or even just for a single table of regulars.

So there is nobody better placed to forage around Warwickshire and bring us its best places to eat and drink, from morning to night.

The Royal Oak, Whatcote, Shipston-on-Stour CV36 5EF



Otis & Belle

Otis & Belle

Otis & Belle in Moreton-in-Marsh is the perfect spot for a pre-train caffeine boost and pastry, on my way to London.

Otis & Belle, 2, Old Market Way, Moreton-in-Marsh GL56 0AJ


MOR Bakery
mor bakery

The bacon sourdough sandwich at Mor bakery in Stratford Upon Avon is a thing of beauty and always sets me up for the day.

MOR Bakery, Unit 22 Bell Ct, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6EX


The Bower House
the bower house

The Bower House in Shipston has a great value set lunch menu - two courses with a glass of wine for £28. The Head Chef Leo cut his teeth at Michelin starred Simpsons in Edgbaston, so it's great quality as well.

The Bower House, 2-4 Market Pl, Shipston-on-Stour CV36 4AG


Restaurant Oxheart
Restaurant Oxheart

Restaurant Oxheart is a micro restaurant offering a seasonal tasting menu that serves a maximum of eleven diners, with four seats at the Chef's counter. It's open on a Friday and Saturday night, which means I don't get to go as often as I would like, but it's a fun dining experience and not far from home.

Restaurant Oxheart, 50 Main Street, Long Compton, Shipston-on-Stour CV36 5JJ


The Black Horse Inn
the Blackhorse inn

The Black Horse in Shipston is my favourite local place for a drink. A friendly welcome, well-kept beers and great locals make this a regular haunt.

The Black Horse, Station Rd, Shipston-on-Stour CV36 4BT


Sheldon's Wine Cellars
Sheldon's wine cellars

My insider tip is Sheldon's Wine Cellars. It's our local Vintner in Shipston-on-Stour, which was started in 1842. The shop has a great range of bottles to suit all budgets, but if you venture downstairs to the cellars that stretch underneath the town, you can find some amazing special occasion bottles, while admiring the old architecture. They offer cellar tours with a few glasses of wine included on the first Saturday of every month.

Sheldon's Wine Cellars, 6 New St, Shipston-on-Stour CV36 4EN

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