Eat out to help out in Bucks and Oxon
Sick of cooking? Good news - from 3 Aug, you can get a 50% discount on your dinner and drinks when you eat in. Here are the pubs and restaurants to make your reservation at.
Finally, you can now pay for someone else to feed you and do the dishes. Thanks to the new government ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme – which kicks off on Mon 3 Aug and runs to Mon 31 Aug, FYI – you can get a whopping 50% off food and non-alcoholic drinks up to the value of £10 per head when you eat at participating pubs, cafes and restaurants. There are more details here, but as the offer is only valid on Mon to Wed reservations, we’d start booking date nights in, stat!
Here’s where Team Muddy will be eating…
Farmshop Restaurant & Cafe, Bicester
Soho House-style food with a discount? Er, yes please! Soho House & Co’s Bicester Village offering, Farmshop Restaurant & Cafe, serves a classic breakfast menu and seasonal dishes (and incredible burgers) for lunch and dinner – which is all the more reason to go three times a day, no?
The Bear and Ragged Staff, Cumnor
This fab pub a few miles out from Oxford city centre has a brand new summer menu to sink your teeth into, featuring small plates and gastropub classics such as Cornish rack of lamb and pan-fried seabass, all of which showcase the talents of local producers. That artisan cheese board is calling our name…
The James Figg, Thame
Been missing nights out at a good old-fashioned cosy pub? Get thee to The James Figg. You won’t be able to get 50% off the excellent range of gins (boo), but you can treat yourself to the satisfying pub grub, which includes fish finger sandwiches, stilton burgers and loaded fries.
Pierre Victoire, Oxford
Fancy a little Gallic magic for that first night out? Mais oui! This teeny French bistro in the heart of Oxford has an excellent prix fixe menu featuring all the greats, and is reopening Tuesday 4 August, but we recommend booking ASAP as this city centre hangout will fill up fast.
The Fleece, Witney
Fun fact: this sleek gastropub has been voted one of the UK’s Top 20 Pubs not once, but twice! That should be all the reason you need to make your reservation and go check out their new summer menu.
The Greyhound, Letcombe Regis
A previous winner of our Muddy Awards’ Best Destination Pub, The Greyhound is a true hidden gem squirrelled away in the pretty village of Letcombe Regis. Pay a visit to enjoy the cosy vibes and modern British menu (think Cheddar souffles and slow-roast pork belly) with a seasonal bent.
The Fox Inn, Denchworth
This pretty county pub in South Oxon has some super-cute new garden pods installed for those who want their socially distanced dining al fresco. The menu here ranges from a ham, egg and chip butty to pheasant stroganoff, with a reassuringly large dessert menu.
Mamma Mia Pizzeria, Jericho
Hello, award-winning pizza with a discount! Your bog-standard takeaway pizza this is not – they’re made fresh every day using imported Neapolitan ‘00’ flour and homemade tomato sauce, which explains why they’re so fantastically moreish.
The Bull on Bell St, Henley
From drinks with the girls to lunch out with the kids, this chic gastropub ticks all the boxes – all the more reason to book multiple times, we say. Don’t forget to try the delicious wood-fired pizza, and spend the money you save with the discount on the cask ales brewed on-site.
Jacob’s Inn, Wolvercote
Jacob’s Inn is one of Muddy’s favourite spots to grab a bite (don’t mind if I do crispy mackerel tacos) and a G&T after a bracing walk around Port Meadow, and it’s pooch-friendly too, so very popular with dog walkers. Try to grab an outdoor table if it’s not tipping it down, as the terrace is beautiful.
Jacob’s Plough, Bicester
This quirky Bicester pub is a worthy alternative to the chains of Pioneer Square and the eateries in Bicester Village – especially as Jacob’s Plough has a very enticing pub garden. Plus, they’ve just launched a brand new light bites menu with 15 new dishes to sample. Beef sliders and dirty fries, please.
Plenty of Westgate favourites are taking part in the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, but several members of the Muddy team are over the moon to hear that Sticks’n’Sushi are included in that number. If you haven’t sampled their mouth-watering sushi rolls, now is the time to book – trust us.
The Fishes, North Hinksey
A previous Muddy Awards finalist, this pub just outside of central Oxford serves up well-made classics such as braised beef and ale pie and boasts a glorious three acres to spread out in. There’s also a great gluten-free menu if that’s your bag.
The Woodstock Arms, Woodstock
Cotswolds cosy with a picturesque terrace garden, The Woodstock Arms is back with their excellent specials and fresh British lunches and dinners. The rooms here are also very comfortable if you’re looking to make a weekend of your city break.
Fego, Marlow and Beaconsfield
A proper Muddy favourite (we’ve reviewed both the Marlow and Beaconsfield branches), Fego serves a truly finger-licking brunch, as well as good lunch and dinner options (and incredible milkshakes for the minis). One for the whole family at any time of day.
The Crown, Cuddington
This country pub is a community hub for the teeny Aylesbury village of Cuddington, so you’ll have to beat away locals to nab your table this August. It’s worth it for the trad pub grub – all locally sourced where possible – and laid-back vibe though. Make ours a sausage and mash.
Seasons Cafe, Old Amersham
This friendly indie café in the heart of Old Amersham serves fair trade coffee, freshly prepared breakfast and locally made cakes (we’ll take a slice of lemon cake, please!).
The Dinton Hermit, Aylesbury
The Dinton Hermit have just revamped their outdoor terrace for al fresco dining, and are opening up on Mondays so midweek diners can take full advantage of the new scheme. Head over to indulge in seasonal fare, a fired-up grill and stone-baked pizzas galore.
“Hang on,” I hear you say, “isn’t Clayton’s a bar?” You’d be right (the cocktails here are exemplary), but what you might not know is that Clayton’s also serves delicious food, including a great tapas menu. Come for the chorizo, stay for the Cosmopolitans.
The Polecat Inn, Great Missenden
After its total revamp last year, The Polecat is now a go-to destination hangout in Prestwood, Great Missenden, offering a very impressive menu with an Italian edge. Wood-fired pizzas, of course, but also a grill and a serious breakfast options (served until 11am). Vegans and vegetarians are also very well-catered for here, so everyone will be happy.
The Black Boy, Oving
The weather may be a little tricksy at the moment (*does sundance*), but if it’s sunny head to The Black Boy to grab an outdoor table pronto – the views are fab. The menu changes often – with seasonal starters and mains – but it’s pub classics done well.
The Akeman Inn, Kingswood
Wood-fired pizza, Josper-grilled meats and an impressive breakfast and brunch menu – you can’t go far wrong with The Akeman Inn, especially as there’s a kids’ menu and it’s dog-friendly too.
The Eight Bells, Long Crendon
This village inn and restaurant in the heart of Long Crendon has a small but perfectly formed pub grub menu – who wouldn’t stop for a butternut squash, sage and Gorgonzola tart? There are good options for littlies too if you’re after a family lunch out.
Out of Office Coffee, Olney
Ditch the chains and head for this cool coffee shop on the market place for a half-price artisan cuppa and a slice of freshly-made cake (how can you resist?). No sweet tooth? Grab a sandwich with a choice of homemade breads instead.
The Hundred of Ashendon, Aylesbury
Fifty per cent off fine dining? Total no-brainer, especially when it comes to The Hundred of Ashendon. This charming, unpretentious pub serves up Bib Gourmand-recommended food courtesy of top chef Matt Gill – this one will book up quickly.
Fratelli Italian, Woburn
There’s something special about authentic Italian food, and this Sicilian family-owned restaurant in North Bucks is as authentic as it comes. The simple but mouth-watering menu is worth heading out on a school night for.
Lata Lata, High Wycombe
There’s something so satisfying about a small plates menu (maybe because you can gobble far more without feeling naughty – or is that just me?). One of our favourite menus here at Muddy is the Mediterranean-inspired fare at Lata Lata, a stylish eatery in a High Wycombe underpass (yes, really).
Still hungry? Search for restaurants near you participating in the Eat Out to Help Out scheme here.