A trip to The Royal Oak, tucked away in pretty Paley Street, is a treat for the senses. The monochrome exterior typifies the simple elegance and understated good taste of the interior; think leather furniture, wooden floorboards and exposed brickwork. With all this and a welcoming atmosphere, this is the perfect setting for an unforgettable dining experience.
Under the guidance of owner Nick Parkinson this venue has gone from strength to strength, earning a Bib Gourmand in 2008, which led to a Michelin star in 2010 that has been held, along with three AA rosettes, ever since. An unpretentious menu showcases the very best of local, seasonal produce, with each dish perfectly executed.
Expect the likes of lobster raviolo with samphire, fennel, leeks and lobster bisque to start, and Iberico pork chop with caramelised Bramley apple, fennel and celeriac purée to follow. Desserts are equally impressive – the popular caramel Snicker with chocolate cremeux and peanut ice cream is a masterpiece in presentation and flavour. A thoughtfully chosen, varied wine list is available; with over 500 choices, choosing may prove a feat. Thankfully knowledgeable staff are on-hand to suggest a vintage to accompany your meal. Rest assured though, the team at The Royal Oak still know how to pull a cracking pint.
You’d expect such quality and excellence to come at a hefty premium, but The Royal Oak is delightfully purse-friendly, with two courses available for just £25 and three courses available for only £30 at lunch from Monday to Saturday.