Eating at the Shaven Crown

shavencrownThe Shaven Crown in Shipton under Wychwood was founded in 1365 but the new management has only been in place for seven months, long enough for them to make their mark, so I took two friends there for lunch just before Christmas. The courtyard is attractive and the two staff were welcoming. The interior is a complicated rabbit warren of rooms as one might expect from such an old building.

We chose to eat in the bar as there were only two other guests in the pub. The menu is the same as the one in the dining room. There is enough choice to satisfy meat eaters, fish eaters and vegetarians. We each started with a pint of Hooky which was delicious and the right temperature. My guests both chose gin-cured Scottish salmon to start and I tried the ham hock terrine. The salmon really was delicious but the terrine needed more tang. For the main course I chose sea bass with salsa verde which was a bit dry but just about all right. Stephen chose the pork chop which he said was excellent and Andrew, who was feeling adventurous, chose the vegetarian dish which read as follows: grilled curried cauliflower, falafel, Scotch egg, pomegranate and tea-soaked raisins. There was too much for him to finish and it has not converted him to vegetarianism but he was pleased with his selection.

As for the wine list – hurrah! – at last I have found a pub which not only gives the year but also the alcohol strength of each wine. We chose a bottle of Californian Pinot called Crusher Wilson which cost £32 – fair value. We did not have room for desserts but we each had excellent coffee. The cost without alcohol was £25 a head which is significantly less expensive than many local pubs. The Shaven Crown has seven en-suite bedrooms and it has a capacious car park off the main road.

The jury is out so I shall give them until the spring and then go back for another try.

D.A.

February – March 2020