Heaps of character in well run and friendly rural pub with seasonal bar food and real ales
The good pub guide review
This is a pretty village in the heart of rural Shropshire, surrounded by great walking country: you can go straight from the pub to the summit of Caer Caradoc, a couple of miles to the west, and beyond that lies the moorland plateau of the Long Mynd. The front courtyard here takes full advantage of its beautiful position. Supposedly the county's oldest pub, the Royal Oak was first licensed in the 15th c and little has changed here over the centuries ' it's much loved by locals and visitors. The rambling, low-beamed traditional bar has a roaring winter log fire, a cauldron, black kettle and pewter jugs in a vast inglenook fireplace, aged standing timbers from a knocked-through wall, and red and green tapestry seats solidly capped in elm; board games and dominoes (they have a pub team). Friendly staff serve Ludlow Best and Sharps Doom Bar with regularly changing local guests such as Sarah Hughes Dark Ruby and Woods Shropshire Lass on handpump, a cask cider, eight wines by the glass from a good list, ten gins and several malt whiskies. A comfortable dining area has exposed old beams and studwork.
The good pub guide food review
Proper home cooking using local produce from a seasonal menu includes sandwiches, ploughman's, salt and pepper calamari, wild mushroom arancini, venison liver and chilli pâté, smoked trout salad with beetroot, beef or panko-breaded halloumi burger with coleslaw and chips, chicken curry, game pie in red wine gravy, chilli (classic con carne or sweet potato and white bean), butternut squash and roasted red pepper lasagne, and puddings such as churros with chocolate sauce and ginger and black pepper pudding with toffee sauce.
Royal Oak, Cardington, Church Stretton, Shropshire, SY6 7JZ
Weekdays: 12-2.30, 6-11; closed Mon
Sunday: 12-9 (12-4 in winter)
Winter: 12-4 in winter