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The best Ox in Warwickshire
The Durham Ox (Shrewley Common)
Member Name: PerfectPeaches
The Durham Ox (Shrewley Common)
Advantages: Great food and atmosphere
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.
Summary: A perfect Warwickshire retreat
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