This weekend just gone it was my birthday, and my husband’s too. As luck would have it, my parents offered to babysit so that we could go away and have a nice meal to celebrate.
We were invited along to The George Inn at Barford St Michael (about six miles from Banbury, Oxfordshire) to try out their autumn menu.
(NB. This isn’t to be confused with The George Inn at Brailes, about 20 minutes away, where our sat nav kindly took us first. Let’s not talk about that).
The George Inn is situated on a quiet main road and has a good sized car park at the rear, with views across the hills (and some alpacas).
There is seating outside, but even during a lovely sunny October weekend it was a bit chilly for that.
The buildings to the rear will soon be available for people to stay in; currently the inn has three rooms inside the main building with an additional six outside.
The George Inn was fully renovated before it opened in December of 2017.
The bar area has exposed beams and brickwork, in keeping with the age of the building.
At the back, there is a second room for dining. This has a much more modern look to it with bright red walls and banquette running along one edge, and a pair of monkeys!
In the summer I imagine that it is a lovely place to sit outside with a drink or some food, however even during the winter there is room to seat 65 diners inside.
Food at The George Inn, Barford St Michael
Lunch is served from 12pm – 2.30pm and dinner from 7pm – 9pm.
Our table was booked for 7.30pm, at which point there were about 4 other tables and several groups of locals in the pub for drinks. It had a nice buzzy atmosphere and all the charm you would expect of a traditional pub.
The locally-sourced menu is not too extensive, which I prefer if I’m honest. The George Inn offers some good pub favourites, steaks and one vegetarian option.
Doug went for the charcuterie board and I went for the smoked mackerel with toast and pickled cucumber to start.
The charcuterie platter came with meats, rustic bread and butter, chutney and olives. It was a starter for one (there is a board for two available) but there was a lot there!
The smoked mackerel pate was a nice coarse pate, with mini gherkins and dill pickled cucumber which went perfectly alongside it. I think personally I would have gone for bread over toast as it was quite dry, but the pate itself was lovely and flavourful and the dill went with it very nicely.
We both went for steaks for our main; not something we have unless we go out and a real treat. Locally sourced from a family butchers, I went for the rib eye, and he went for a bavette steak which is a bit rarer.
The steaks both came served with chips which were really lovely; chunky, crispy and cooked to perfection.
They also came with watercress and a good portion of garlic butter which meant the steak didn’t need any more seasoning.
The steak itself was cooked just how I like it, pink on the inside, and it was very tender and juicy. The watercress complemented it well and the whole meal was just lovely; we both really enjoyed it and finished the lot!
For pudding, neither of us could face anything too heavy so I had a lemon tart, and Doug went for a chocolate mousse.
Our meal at The George Inn in Barford St Michael was delicious and we both thoroughly enjoyed it.
We would definitely recommend the food here for a special occasion or celebration.
Price-wise it is similar to what I’d expect to pay in most gastro-pubs, with the steaks around the £20 mark and other meals around £10-£15, and it was all clearly fresh; nothing frozen or mass produced.
The pub itself has a nice atmosphere and a good wine list, as well as a good selection of gins and local Hook Norton beer on tap.
Breakfast at The George Inn
The full English breakfast at The George Inn which was included in a hotel stay is deserving of a special mention. I was still full from the night before so went with poached eggs, but Doug decided to tackle it,
Again with locally-sourced meat and veg, including an interesting variety of mushrooms (which I can’t stand but he loves!) he was full of praise for his breakfast and couldn’t eat anything else until late in the afternoon.
We did stay in the hotel, in a lovely, clean and well renovated room, however the room is not yet soundproofed and therefore not ready for the general public.
For more information on The George Inn, the menu and updates on the hotel, check out their website.
We were offered this meal and stay at The George Inn in Barford St Michael for free for the purposes of this review, however I have retained full editorial control and all pictures and words are mine.