Top 50 Gastropubs

45

The Killingworth Castle

Wootton

Set in the picturesque Oxfordshire village of Wootton, near Woodstock and Blenheim Palace, this historic pub has eight luxury en-suite rooms with three AA Rosettes for food.

Set in the picturesque Oxfordshire village of Wootton, near Woodstock and Blenheim Palace, this historic pub has eight luxury en-suite rooms with three AA Rosettes for food.

Jim and Claire Alexander, who ran The Ebrington Arms near Chipping Campden for 15 years, managed to acquire freehold of The Killingworth Castle in 2012, which, at the time, was completely derelict.

They said they had witnessed the sad decline of the pub over many years, which was built in 1637 (by Thomas Killingworth) and was rumoured to be once frequented by Winston Churchill. But a refurbishment put it back on the map.  Since selling the Ebrington in 2021, the couple has focused running ‘The Killy’ to great success through its company Yubby Inns.

They are involved with every aspect of the business from interior design to meeting suppliers and work hard to make the business sustainable.

The head chef is Adam Brown, who previously worked at the Ebrington Arms, when it was awarded the UK’s No 1 Pub for Food in The Telegraph and Sawdays.

Brown learned his craft in the best Michelin restaurants, including Gordon Ramsay and Le Champignon Sauvage.

The menu features starters such as Orkney scallop, maple smoked bacon, pumpkin and Jerusalem artichoke, orange, candied pine kernels. Mains include dishes such as pork belly, cheek, mashed potatoes, apple, cider sauce and Guinea fowl, malted pearl barley, chicory, chestnut velouté. There is also a tasting menu including a vegetarian version as well as a stunning Sunday lunch.

The pub has also been featured in the Michelin Guide for nine years. 

The operators are also focused on their sustainability credentials and have 3 stars from the Soil Association for a commitment to organic food.

But sustainability extends beyond the food and drink with a commitment to cut building energy and water use, waste generation and travel.

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