The Royal Oak
Ecchinswell, Newbury, RG20 4UH
Ideally located in Ecchinswell, The Royal Oak is a country pub par excellence. Situated just a stone’s throw from the well-traversed Watership Down and taking advantage of the area’s charming, picture-postcard scenery, this countryside inn boasts a warm welcome and stellar pub fare. The pub has a reputation as the go-to haunt for unpretentious, exceptional-quality food and drink. The bill of fare changes regularly, keeping pace with the seasons and taking advantage of the best produce available. Think starters of slow-roasted pork belly with cider and honey reduction, crab and risotto cakes, and whitebait in light and crispy batter. Taking daily deliveries of freshly landed fish from Brixham Market, the talented kitchen team has earned a reputation for their stand-out signature fish and chips, usually made with haddock in crisp, golden lager batter, and served with triple-cooked chips, petits pois and homemade tartare sauce. You could instead opt for the homemade Stilton and caramelised onion burger, prepared with mince from local family butcher Wyatts and served on a brioche bun with gourmet chips. The Royal Oak’s bar is stocked with an expertly chosen range of wine, cider and premium spirits, and a selection of real ale fit to impress even the most ardent aficionado. Additionally, there are always at least two craft ales on tap at any given time, sourced from the region’s local brewers.