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The Harcourt Arms, Witney, and The Plough, Kelmscott, are pleased to announce the appointment of Will and Olly Oakley, as General Manager and Head Chef respectively. Helping to shape an offering of thoughtfully executed food and drink and welcoming, bespoke rooms, the brothers take the helm of the 17th century Oxfordshire pubs, each conveniently situated at the edge of the Cotswolds and just an hour away from London.

Overseeing the food offering at both sites, Head Chef Olly has created individual menus, served within the pubs’ dining rooms and each with its own distinct aim; to provide imaginative and quality food for those eating or staying. At The Harcourt Arms, this is realised through a menu of small and larger plates with Spanish inflections threaded throughout. Within the Pub Grub, classic British fare is reimagined in dishes like the standout Deep fried rabbit chops and herb butter, using riblets from meaty farmed rabbits breaded in a herbed crumb, and Ashcombe and truffle gougeres, a using a British Morbier-style cheese to add depth of flavour to the snack.

On to the Dining Room Menu, where the Josper charcoal oven plays a central part in delivering flavour throughout. Starters such as Smoked eel, potato and egg salad and Celeriac and apple soup with truffle butter croutons mix traditional flavours with modern technique, whilst larger dishes, including Wild mushroom coal fired rice feel the influence of Olly’s Catalonian culinary training. A specials board of beef chops, chalked up daily, make for a sharing centrepiece, with lighter options of Gnocchi, pumpkin and smoked leek or Chalk stream trout and chard.

A similar ethos is reflected at The Plough, but with a focus on pub classics cooked to perfection; Double Gloucester soufflé and Short rib ragu on toast to begin, with dishes such as a 700g Porterhouse to share and Mushroom, chestnut and thyme pithivier as mains. Both The Harcourt and The Plough encourage stop-ins for a casual drink, with nooks and crannies to discover in each pub. Service from General Manager Will and team encompasses every warmth and comfort expected from a village pub - in short, every visitor will be treated like a local.

Following a recent refurbishment, the rooms at The Plough are subtle nods to quintessential British textile designer, William Morris, who lived in nearby Kelmscott Manor from 1871 until his death in 1896 - a stone’s throw away from the pub. Going much farther than just ‘The Strawberry Thief’, design elements include rarer and lesser known prints, created by Morris whilst living in the surrounding area. Each room is named after some of Morris’ most beloved patterns; from Larkspur, accented with the delicate floral pattern, to Meadow Sweet, featuring the whimsical and more symmetrical print across the wallpaper and soft furnishings.

Meanwhile, the ten rooms at The Harcourt Arms are designed as individual spaces that form a collectively homely place to stay. Rooms are named after Cotswold and Oxfordshire villages; from Bladon and Bidbury, double rooms with natural interiors, to the Blenheim Suite, housing a four-poster bed within the grade-II-listed part of the property. Both The Plough and The Harcourt Arms forge an ideal base for guests wishing to explore the Cotswolds AONB from a cosy and convenient location.

Olly and Will will work alongside Group Managing Director Rupert Bagnall, an industry veteran with over 20 years’ experience with some of the country’s most esteemed pub companies. Overseeing both pubs, plus the group’s third, The Ebrington Arms, Rupert aims to ensure that each drinker, diner, and overnight guest from the local area and further afield experience standout food and warm welcome with every visit.

The Harcourt Arms
is located in the Oxfordshire village of Witney, close to both Oxford and Hanborough station. The Plough can be found in the Cotswold village of Kelmscott, close to Swindon train station. Both pubs welcome guests and non-guests for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. Reservations for both rooms and dining room can be made via their respective websites.

For more information please contact

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