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The Boot Inn. Tel 881231.


Under new managment as of 2004.

English Restaurants still exist - about 5 miles out on the A40 towards Witney there's a signpost to the right - Barnard's Gate. Half a mile down that road brings you to the Boot Inn (Tel: 881231), traditional and friendly. No music, pleasant manners, efficient, cosy - in a word, civilised. I'm assuming you like your food fairly rich; crisp on the outside and juicy in the middle. For the hungry, both the half roast shoulder of lamb with honey and rosemary ( £8.95), or the steak and mushroom pie ( £7.95) will sink you deliciously. For those who are getting on a bit, king prawns with garlic bread and mayonnaise ( £3.95) followed by salad and stir-fried mushrooms with smoked bacon, garlic and rosemary ( £6.95) is inexpensive and filling enough to preclude your wanting anything more. Old-fashioned schoolboy sweets include toffee pudding and death by chocolate at  £2.75. Vegetarians are catered for - how about a brace of large mushrooms, shot that morning, filled with spinach, pine nuts and grilled goat's cheese? 'Oxford Landing' wine is a good, rich red at a reasonable price. I must go again!

John Rose