The Green, Hartley Wintney, RG27 8QB
The Cricketers is an historic building in Hartley Witney, dating back to the 18th century. The name is no coincidence; this traditional pub faces the village cricket green, which is home to the oldest pitch and cricket club in the country. If the summer sunshine has you yearning to watch a game of cricket, this is just the place to do it – with a glass of Pimm’s to really get you in the mood. The pub may have a great history, but it is still a classic pub with real heart and soul. The owners are well versed in the restaurant business having already run a number of other successful establishments in the area. Quality food made using seasonal, fresh produce and friendly service are top of the list of priorities at The Cricketers. The à la carte menu offers plenty of choice while still being a carefully constructed journey through the season’s freshest produce. If you want to begin with flavours of the sea, perhaps plump for pan-fried scallops wrapped in pancetta served in creamy leek sauce, or a punchy dish of king prawns with chorizo, cooked in garlic and white wine. Alternatively, the likes of duck liver pâté with fig jam or beef kofte with a spicy hit of chilli might tempt. Main courses feature classic surf and turf, homemade beef and mushroom pie, lamb shank and beer-battered fish of the day, and the selection of cakes and desserts will have you lingering a little longer. The Sunday roast is a real event here and well worth booking a spot for. For lighter bites and snacks, look to the range of tapas on offer alongside baguettes, wraps and sandwiches.