“ Shrewley Common, Warwickshire CV35 7AY. Tel: 01926 842283 „
My partner and I were very much looking forward to an enjoyable evening at well renowned Durham Ox at Shrewley. It was our first time as last year when we were in the area it was closed for a private function.
The first disappointment was that on a hot summer's night when a cool glass of lager was needed, the only choice they had was Carling (Extra Cold). Now I've nothing against Carling but it is at the bottom of the beer spectrum and for such a "classy" place, I would have expected at least a Peroni or Staropramen, but none, not even out of a bottle. If you go to The Durham Ox and want a premium lager, you're out of luck.
My partner had booked a table so suggested we open a tab. The barman took her credit card and went to serve the next customer. She then asked for her credit card back and was replied it was their policy to keep hold of credit cards until the customers were ready to leave. I have been to many places in my time and a lot worse than The Durham Ox but I have never been expected to leave my credit card behind the bar. She said she'll pay with cash and got her credit card back.
We hoped the food experience would be better. It wasn't. I ordered a starter of scallops (£8.50) and a main of spicy sea food stew (about £18). The 3 tiny scallops were over-cooked and the spicy sea food stew was more bland than spicy. My partner left more than half of her cannelloni complaining that it looked and tasted more like a cheap pub lasagne.
I'm not trying to be particularly unfair with this review. Unlike the other reviews, we didn't have any kids in tow and we weren't equipped with any vouchers. We were just looking forward to a good experience in a place that we've been keen to visit for a long time.
Looking around the place as we left, it seems like many others before us, we won't be returning.
Reading the reviews, it makes me wonder if the others were talking abou the same place or if their expectations were too high, and I believe the latter to be true. Yes, it's a little pricey, but anyone walking into the Durham Ox is unlikely to mistake it for a Harverter or McDonalds. It is child friendly for well-behaved children, and bravo for them telling parents to keep their brats under control at a nice restaurant, not allowing them to scream and run riot, disturbing ever other considerate diner paying good money for a nice experience. If you can't keep your brats under control and sitting down to eat properly, take them to Pizza Hut. Better yet, stay home until your kids learn some manners and make all of us happy to go out.
We've been to the Durham Ox on at least a dozen occasions and always had excellent food, good and friendly service, and a nice atmosphere. Recommended for adults on the own and their well-behaved children, as we experienced today. Veggies perfectly cooked, great meat, lovely puddings. Go!
Staff very unhelpful and very abrupt.Waiting time 1 hour and that was just for starters and there were only four other parties dining,Main meal steak minute was not even edible .. dinner untouched, when plates were collected by waitress I informed her of this, she said she would tell the chef, that was the last I heard no apology, no complimentary drink nothing, Cutlery was dirty.Didn't bother to complain again as staff were just not Interested so I waited til I came home and sent them an email. I STILL AWAIT THEIR REPLY TWO WEEKS LATER ........... not even an acknowledgement.
Having frequented this establishmend several times over a few years, I can say without doubt that the food is very good and you can't beat the cheese board. However why is it they can't provide such a good booking service. TWICE (once last Thursday now I have arrived and they had no record of our booking. Very embarrasing if you are taking guests. Yes they sorted it out, but it does spoil the evening regardless.
I went to the Durham Ox on Saturday using a Groupon promotion shown above.
We were shown to our seats and I asked if we could move to a better table. "No problem Sir" was the reply. Big, posh menus were duly issued.
When the waiter returned I said "I did mention when I booked the reservation that we have a Groupon Deal - do I have to let you know before ordering?" "Oh" he replied, "you can't have these menus". He returned with a 'Groupon special' menu which was an A4 sheet of paper. He also asked us to move to another table as they had strict seating policy (presumably for Groupon customers).
The food was very tasty, but TINY portions. My chicken (the size of a computer mouse) sat on a bed of lettuce and when the waiter popped back to see if 'everything was alright with our meals' I said that I was waiting for the accompaniment - potato, greens etc. "Oh no Sir, that is all you get from this menu".
I left the restaurant with a bad taste in my mouth - this was not due to the food but a feeling of being slightly ripped off by the Durham Ox. I was under the allusion that this offer allowed me to experience food from their 'normal' menu. Not have a special 'cheap skates' menu or be herded into a Groupon section of the restaurant. Nowhere on the Groupon advert did it mention that the menu would differ from the one shown on their website, they even stated "Sample delicious dishes such as sea bass fillet" on the advert - that wasn't on the menu we were given.
The wording on the advert implied that you could choose from the items mentioned, NOT that they were on a separate, higher priced menu. It read: "There is something for everyone to choose from though, with other options including: Wild Mushroom Ravioli, Tiger Prawn a al Plancha, Dolcelatte Tart, Sea Bass Fillet, Butterflied Leg of lamb, Chip Shop Fish & Chips, Roasted sucking Pig".
I also didn't notice the tiny writing at the bottom of the menu that said that a gratuity would be automatically included in the bill - that amount was much more than the usual 10% - it was £5 - so every Groupon customer really paid £20 for this offer. No one's fault except my own for not noticing that this, but still it adds to the feeling of being ripped off.
I feel as though the Durham Ox have not entered into the spirit of the Groupon deal fairly and rather than attracting new customers by allowing you to sample the real flavour of the Durham Ox, they have made every effort to not lose money by offering a set menu, smaller portions and an automatic £5 gratuity.
Recently visited the Durham Ox as Shrewley. Overall the food was pretty good, but disappointed with the small portions - especially the Lobster & Crab ravioli starter, which contained just 3 pieces of ravioli (and you have to pay a £1.60 supplement for this dish)
The worst place I have ever been. The staff are very rude and unchild friendly. We wnt for our mother 60th Birthday party. The waitress asked us to keep the children quiet. This from a pub that states child friendly. Dont make me lugh. Parents be warned. Very rude staff
Although I live in Lincolnshire I am originally from Warwickshire and I was fortunate enough to have quite a few wonderful pubs within a close proximity. Every time I return home I tend to go for a meal at one of these pubs as I always have great meals here and it's a lovely way of seeing a lot of my family. One of my favourite pubs has to be The Durham Ox at Shrewley located around 4 miles outside of Warwick town centre. It was a regular pub of mine just to go for a drink with friends but it serves great food!
*** The Pub ***
The Durham Ox is referenced as a gastro pub which I can completely agree with. It is set in a wonderful period property which has been very tastefully decorated and refurbished. It has a lovely garden area at the front and the garden to the rear is very well kept and has a very large patio area where you can eat out during the summer months. The tables outside in the patio area are nicely spread out so you don't feel too crowded. This does however get incredibly busy in the summer months so if you wanted to eat here then book or go early to avoid disappointment.
The pub has a lovely bar area which is situated by the entrance and is made up of large leather sofas and chairs which is a nice mix of old and new. There is also a function room located off the bar area which is available for hire for weddings, parties etc. The main restaurant is spread out nicely at the one end of the pub. Again, the tables are nicely spread out so you don't feel like sardines in a can. The décor is rustic but modern. As I said above the owners have made a real effort in keeping the décor in keeping with the period property but giving it a modern twist which I think has been very tastefully done. The lighting isn't too bright and is quite a dim lighting which is actually quite nice as it makes you feel that the huge building is nice and cosy.
The car park is quite large and is at the left hand side of the building. But it does get busy especially during dinner time and there is not any alternative parking so this should be kept in mind if arriving for a 8pm dinner, especially on the weekend evenings.
*** Food & Drink ***
I have had many a meal here and I have never been left disappointed. So much so, I've had a Christmas party held here which was absolutely fantastic as the staff were friendly and helpful and the food was just gorgeous! As I said the pub is known as a gastro pub so it has a nice varied menu instead of the typical pie and chips you can get in some pubs.
Grilled Sardines Nicoise - £5.90
Carpaccio Toscana al Porcini - £6.20
Crudités Mezze & Dips - £5.90 v
Cidered Suckling Pig - £15.50
Stuffed Aubergine Parmigiana £9.40 v
Salmon Fillet & Paella Croquette £12.95
Old School Classics:
Bangers & Mash with onion gravy
Grilled Gammon Ham served with egg & chips
Cod & Salmon Fishcake, tartare sauce
All the old school classics are served at £8.80
As for desserts these are always listed on blackboards dotted around the pub and these can change on a daily basis. The vegetarian selection is limited but they do offer a variety of dishes. Should there be any other dietry requirements they do assist, if you pre-warn the restaurant.
The Durham Ox also has a meal deal where you can have three courses for £10.00 per person which is great value and is only served Monday to Friday at specific times. The menu has fewer options than the main menu and is generally different again to that of the main. But the food on this meal deal menu is still wonderful and cooked with as much care as the other dishes.
The food may be a bit on the pricey side but for me I don't mind parting with the money when the food is great. I'd rather pay more and have a great meal than have a poor meal and come away dissatisfied. I have been visiting The Durham Ox for over 5 years and I have never once had a bad meal and neither has anyone I know. The pub has a great reputation for their food within Warwickshire. All the food is served piping hot which for me is incredibly important. Because the menu is quite small in comparison to other places all the food is cooked fresh and they do ask you to wait 25 minutes for the main course because they are cooking it from fresh. The taste of the food is wonderful as you know it hasn't been sitting around and is cooked from scratch, it really makes a difference.
Drinks are pretty standard and they have all the usual lagers, spirits and soft drinks. They also have a wide selection of draught ales. They have an extensive wine list which has plenty of choice and for all budgets.
*** Staff ***
The pub has a lot of students (from abroad as well) for their staff as a lot of the pubs do in that area and all of them are incredibly helpful and friendly. I hate walking into a place where the staff simply don't care and would rather be somewhere else. But in The Durham Ox I can't fault them. They are incredibly attentive and should you need anything they are more than happy to help you.
*** Useful Information ***
Shrewley Common, Warwickshire CV35 7AY
Tel: 01926 842283
It is best to book for large parties and for the busier days such as Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays as the pub gets full quickly. The Durham Ox if coming from Solihull on the Old Warwick Road is right at crossroads and is on the left just after the bridge and if coming from Warwick the pub is on the right just before you enter Shrewley but from this direction you can easily see the pub when you approach it.
*** Overall ***
A great pub with great food I can't praise it highly enough. I have never had a bad meal nor has anyone I know. It constantly changes the menu which is great as there always seems to be something new available. The food is always high quality and served incredibly hot and fresh which is important. The staff are faultless as they are always friendly and helpful. I would definitely recommend this place to anyone who is in the Warwickshire area as I'm sure they wouldn't be disappointed.