I’ll get straight to the point, what I really like in a little country pub, is when the owner is a very experienced chef and is hands on in running the kitchen and doing the cooking.
Well that’s what you get at the The Bell Inn at Shenington and boy does it work well!
It shows in everything which comes out of the kitchen and the customers are loving it. Comments included “since he took over it has totally changed; the pub is now a real community hub and the food is truly fantastic”. Others added “we come back time and time again”
Shenington is a picturesque village in rural North Oxfordshire only 5.9 miles from Banbury, just off the A422 and Mike Hendry took over The Bell Inn there 4 years ago.
He is an extremely talented chef who is now able to bring his experience and passion for food to his own place and showcase his wide culinary skills. The ingredients are local, veg is often from gardens in nearby villages and fish is directly from Brixham. The front of house is run by Lauren who is friendly and welcoming.
We had a drink in the bar first, I sampled a well kept Hookey Gold and my companion had a glass of the White Zinfandel Rose and both were excellent.
For starters we chose the Caesar Salad with Crispy Bacon which was a lovely combination of a fresh, crisp salad, tasty bacon, wonderful croutons and a great dressing. We also chose to have the Mussels with Garlic and Herbs which was in a white wine sauce and served in a large pot. These were very large starters but we made short work of them as we were just getting in the mood and looking forward to a great meal.
Looking through the main courses, the Roast Lamb Rump, Feta and Tomato Salad, Garden Herb Gremolata stood out for me whilst my companion chose the Beer Battered Haddock & Hand Cut Chips, Pea Puree, Tartare Sauce. One look told me that the lamb was cooked to perfection and it tasted even better and was complemented by the Greek style salad whilst the Haddock portion was huge and the chips were fresh, chunky and of superb quality. We thoroughly enjoyed both meals and wondered how we could cope with dessert after such ample portions.
However after a short break enjoying another glass of Rose and one of Argentinian Malbec we decided to try the Honey Pannacotta, Summer Berries and also the Poached Pear, Vanilla and Chocolate, both of which were delightful and very good choices to round off what was a fantastic meal. It is not often that you experience exquisite taste, fine ingredients and ample portions all at the same sitting.
Try it soon but book up in advance.
The Bell Inn at Shenington, Kenhill Rd., Shenington, nr Banbury, OX15 6NQ
Tel: 01295 670274
Closed Monday & Tuesday