Civilised old inn with beamed and panelled rooms, imaginative food and seats in pretty garden; bedrooms.
The good pub guide review
This handsome red-brick inn is only ten minutes from Newbury Racecourse, so it can get busy on race days. It's also a popular place to stay, with ten smart bedrooms in the main house or a separate cottage, overlooking the garden or the village square. But the main reason customers visit is for the excellent food from head chef Nick MacGregor. New this year is the lovely Orangery dining room, with a central skylight above a maple tree and an open kitchen (complete with three-tiered rotisserie, Argentine parilla grill and pizza oven). It's a stylish space, with olive green paintwork, contemporary light wood and upholstered seating around matching tables, and colourful insect prints; bi-fold doors open out to the charming walled garden. Newly re-landscaped, this has wicker seats and wooden tables on a terrace, under a pergola and elsewhere; boules. There are also picnic-sets with parasols at the front of the pub. The bar rooms have beams and panelling, an appealing mix of wooden dining chairs and tables, some half-panelled wall seating, rugs on quarry tiles or wooden floorboards, plenty of prints on brick, cream or red walls, lovely flower arrangements and four log fires; background music and TV. Well kept ales from the local area include the likes of Ramsbury Gold, Ringwood Razorback and a changing guest on handpump, and around 20 wines by the glass.
The good pub guide food review
Imaginative food with international influences includes crispy bang-bang chicken with ponzu mayo, sweetcorn and coriander fritters with smashed avocado and pico de gallo, a choice of pizzas, beer-battered fish and chips, cauliflower, black dhal and spinach butter masala, seafood laksa (salmon, prawn, mussels) with glass noodles and pak choi, steaks with peppercorn sauce or garlic butter, roast shoulder of lamb with garlic and rosemary potatoes, and desserts such as treacle and chocolate tart with clotted cream and sticky date pudding with butterscotch sauce.
Royal Oak, The Square, Yattendon, Thatcham, Berkshire, RG18 0UG
Weekdays: 12-2.30, 6-9
Saturday: 12.30-3, 6.30-9.30
Sunday: 12.30-3, 6.30-9.30