Our lunch at The Lamb in Shipton-Under-Wychwood was a moot point on how to adapt to the current challenging climate.
Because here we were hurtling down Cotswold country roads to try The Lamb‘s new £14 set weekday lunch menu which has to be seen and eaten to be believed. And what a lunch it was from the very first mouthful!
The latest in Peter Creed and Tom Noest‘s stable, and a huge labour of love for the duo, The Lamb Inn was brought back from dereliction and lovingly restored in 2021, (Peter having grown up in Shipton-Under-Wychwood) read about it here
“the £14 set menu was music to our ears, an absolute bargain in one of the most feted gastropubs in Oxfordshire”
Which is why news of the £14 set menu was music to our ears, an absolute bargain for two courses by anyone’s standards, regardless of the fact that this is one of the most feted gastropubs in Oxfordshire.
“As for the bread-and-butter pudding, it was like something out of an Enid Blyton novel, the spoon almost sucked as you lifted it out. Nursery food at its best”
It is also sister pub to The Bell in Langford (which has won numerous national plaudits) and The Little Bell at Soho Farmhouse and yet its clientele were reassuringly eclectic, an old couple sat holding hands and sipping their pints by the bar, a young couple enjoying a long lunch in tracksuits, while a group of female friends caught up in walking gear next to us. We were in good company.
The set menu was however non-negotiable; venison pie with hispi cabbage and bread-and-butter pudding or nothing, no veggie alternative, just what it says on the tin.
“The venison pie stole the show; the gravy and soft rich meat inside was lavish, luxurious, seasonal and local, the suet crust flaky and golden”
The venison pie stole the show. Individually shaped, more pasty than pie, the gravy and soft rich meat inside was lavish, luxurious, seasonal, local and bang on, the suet crust flaky and golden.
We also ordered the French onion soup (£10) from the main menu, because a bit of Alpine warmth is just what was needed. It was absolutely magnificent. Piping hot, complete with gruyere croutons circling it like sharks, it had that silky, shiny finish and a cavernous depth of flavour that nearly had me yodelling in delight.
“the French onion soup was absolutely magnificent with that silky, shiny finish and a cavernous depth of flavour that nearly had me yodelling in delight”
The soup was also massively filling which didn’t bode well for the pizza we’d ordered next. But we liked the lack of snobbery the pizza menu proved . Not everyone wants a beef wellington at lunchtime and The Lamb caters for all people at all times, which, when landlords can’t afford to leave anyone out, is a canny move.
And besides, the anchovy, capers, Kalamatas, tomato and mozzarella pizza was mighty fine, even if, at £16, if cost more than the set menu itself.
As for the bread-and-butter pudding, it was like something out of an Enid Blyton novel, the spoon almost sucked as you lifted it out. Nursery food at its best.
What a gem of a pub! And as we exited replete with a bill of under £50 for two with drinks, reluctantly leaving the hearty fire in the wood panelled bar and dining room, and the wonderful staff who made you feel hugely welcome, we determined to return.
The Lamb is a proper village pub that serves excellent food without any pomp and circumstance. Shipton-Under-Wychwood must be delighted!
The £14 weekday set lunch runs at The Lamb Inn in Shipton-Under-Wychwood Monday-Friday, 12noon – 2.30pm. http://thelambshipton.com/menu.html