My mum is a brilliant woman. She’s a hard working nurse, a great mother and friend, and one nicest human beings on the planet. She’s also prone to accidents.
Our girly lunch at The Peacock in Oxhill started with a slightly bizarre ‘incident’ in the almost empty country pub carpark. I won’t go into full details (because I know she’ll read this at some point and bollock me for outing her) but let’s just say it involved a pedal mishap, a car twice the size of her little white box on wheels, and a large amount of (now flat) foliage. Before we even walked through the doors of the 15th century tavern, I knew it would be a memorable lunch – and thankfully, on the whole, the food sealed the deal.
Set in the middle of absolutely nowhere down a Warwickshire country lane that’s got more twists and turns than Theresa May’s time as PM, this gorgeous pub is a fairly small but perfectly formed pile of bricks. As a family we’ve been here several times before, having brought my late Gran, Hazel, here on occasion for lunch after breaking her out of the care home she resided in a mile or so away in the village of Kineton. This Saturday visit – complete with my cousin and auntie – was the first time we’d returned to the pub since Hazel passed away, choosing the place partly for our shared memories there and partly because it sits almost bang central between us all. Through the slightly too-low door frames and past the nicknacks that adorn any spare surface, we took a window seat in the bar area, questioning the staff as to the whereabouts of the pub’s live-in dog. Seems my Gran wasn’t the only one to ‘pass on’ in recent years, and we quickly grabbed drinks to avoid traumatising the owner further. Only my family…
The mums started with frothy coffees from a machine; I started with a characteristically large glass of grape juice from France. The menu covers your usual pub lunch favourites with the likes of doorstop sandwiches, fish and chips, and pies. Starters of Thai Crab Cakes made an impression, with a sturdy centre lurking below a crisp crust that gave excellent crunch upon the touch of a knife. The accompanying tzatziki dip was unmemorable, but the hit of lemongrass with the crab was spot on. My mum faired less well with her Goats Cheese and Beetroot Salad, that was uninspiring, bland and a bit of a mess – again, a lot Theresa May, really.
After an almost-too-long-but-manageable break the mains arrived and the hefty portions continued. My Moules Marinere was easily enough for two people (I ate all of it – obviously) with plenty of plump mussels to dig into and a heady white wine sauce. If I’m being picky I’d have liked shallots instead of chunks of firm white onion but overall the flavours were as you’d hope and I got a portion of steak cut chips to mop up some of the juices.
You can’t really beat Ham, Egg and Chips when it comes to basic pub grub and this plate of joy made my cousin very happy. Excellent quality carved roasted ham, two ready-to-pop fried eggs and a more than generous portion of chips. She enjoyed this but berated the ‘utterly pointless’ use of watercress stem as garnish, which she promptly cast aside on the table. Girl likes her food beige, god love her. My auntie’s Halloumi Burger looked a bit of a mess (again, Hi Theresa) but went down well. She didn’t touch the side of ‘slaw, but looking at it now I don’t blame her. I didn’t get a snap of my mum’s saucy salmon but she snaffled the lot and praised it to the server upon our plates being cleared, so I’d assume the car park assassin was pleased.
There wasn’t any need for desserts but we decided to gobble them anyway, choosing to share an Apple and Rhubarb Crumble with my mum. With a tart, fruity base and a nice buttery topping, we drenched this in the entire contents of the custard jug you can see here and threw on some additional vanilla ice cream for good measure. It looked like baby food but nailed our sweet cravings. My cousin’s Warm Chocolate Brownie was a step too far for her but was hoovered up by the rest of us who can’t seem to leave food uneaten.
We left full and content, stopping for some photos in the garden before going off in our different directions on the M40. It’s always a pleasure to spend time with your family, enjoying food at a leisurely pace. The Peacock’s laid back weekend style was perfect for our foursome, and the service and food was, mostly, spot on. The menu isn’t particularly imaginative and I wish they’d cut their own chips (this is a constant bugbear of mine) but it does the job and offers plenty of choice. If you’re in Oxhill you could do much worse than lunch at this quaint old boozer – just don’t park your car in the adjoining field..
P.S I love you really Mum x
The Peacock, Main Street, Oxhill, Warwick, CV35 0QU
Disclosure: we paid for all food and drink at this country pub. Words and photos are, as always, mine. If you liked this you may like this post.