Sulgrave is a popular conservation village in South Northamptonshire only 7.9 miles from Banbury.
Whilst doing this review of the Star Inn I became acquainted with three connections which it has with America.
Firstly, the village is best known for Sulgrave Manor, the ancestral home of George Washington the first president of the United States.
Secondly, the Star Inn, a Hook Norton pub, is famous for having been frequented by the actor John Wayne.
Thirdly, on the day of my visit the proprietors, Steve and Niki Kendall had been married only three days earlier in a helicopter hovering over the Grand Canyon.
This is a traditional village pub at the heart of the Sulgrave community.
Steve and Niki only took over this pub last June and have nurtured and built on the community spirit, so much so that it is now undoubtedly at the hub of the village.
We drove to the pub on a lovely sunny evening admiring the wonderful undulating countryside on the short 14 minute drive from Banbury.
My partner commented that she felt at home immediately as we walked over the threshold, a flagstone floor, of this stone built 300 year old hostelry.
Our feelings were enhanced as we discovered a delightful snug, historical photos of the village on the wall, a wood burner for those colder evenings and a piano for much musical merriment.
We were served pints of very well kept Old Hooky by Bee the barmaid who has been at the pub for 15 years, knows everyone and is very friendly.
A glance at the menu indicated that this was very hearty fare at very reasonable prices.
For starters I chose the Smoked Haddock, Crab & Crayfish Croquette followed by Ox Liver with Mustard Mash, Shallot Puree and Red wine Sauce and for Dessert Orange and Chocolate Torte with Ice Cream, Coulis and Berries.
I was in London two weeks later and chose Ox Liver again at a restaurant in the now very trendy area behind Kings Cross. The Star Inn won hands down for quality, taste and tenderness; their Ox Liver melted in the mouth.
My partner had the Ham Hock Terrine, Pickled Shallots, Sweet Peas & Pea Puree followed by a delicious and filling Smoked Haddock, Bacon, King Prawns & Horse Radish Risotto and to finish Crème Caramel, Ice Cream, Coulis & Berries.
We were very impressed with the food which was locally sourced quality ingredients.
The wines are good quality and reasonably priced and of course the Hook Norton beer is outstanding.
Once a month there is live music and a very popular quiz night.
Steve and Niki are doing a great job at this pub and producing high quality, delicious home cooked meals at very reasonable prices.
I recommend that you visit soon, they will give you a warm welcome.
The Star Inn
Manor Road, Sulgrave
Tel 01295 760389