It’s looking highly likely that this year is going to be a very busy one for staff at The King’s Arms in Bicester if recent bookings are anything to go by. The arrival of new Chef Sean Brennan has proved a good move for the 17th century pub in Market Square, with a new menu and some very satisfied customers-so far so good.
When we visited last Thursday the restaurant was busy, surprisingly so for a weeknight in early spring, and we were pleasantly surprised by the range of menu choices. Starving after a long day, my dining companion and best friend Mrs T went for cruidites and hummus (£3.95) and I had a very generous jar of olives (£3.95) to munch through while we enjoyed a glass of wine.
Then we made a HUGE mistake and ordered a whole baked camembert to share complete with warm bread and a delicious red onion chutney (£10.95).This was only a mistake because we then became very full very quickly! It was baked to perfection and devoured quickly.
Then onto the mains. This was to be the homemade pie (£13.95) for Mrs T which was a triumph and came with creamy mash, seasonal vegetables and a red wine gravy.
My only gripe would be that vegetarian options were limited but that was partly my fault for the fact that the homemade ravioli of the day (£6.25/11.95) which was a vegetarian option, totally passed me by. The other option was roasted aubergine steaks (£10.95) or the halloumi and pimento burger (£10.95) which I went for and this was pretty good-the star of the show though were the courgette fries-divine! You can almost convince yourself that you are having a healthy option (if you ignore the delightfully light batter they come covered in!)
Sean assures me that he will be thinking up additional vegetarian options over the coming months and going by the high standards he has already set, I have no doubt whatever he comes up with will be hugely popular.
We were, of course far too full to even attempt a pudding but the options included bread and butter pudding, sticky toffee pudding, creme brûlée and a good selection of ice creams and sorbets.
Sean is doing a great job at attracting couples, families and groups to The King’s Arms. The keenly-priced menu is varied-there really is something for everyone-the atmosphere is relaxed and welcoming. The staff are excellent-attentive, friendly and super helpful. We will be back soon!
The King’s Arms, Market Square, Bicester