As a roving writer on the country fine dining scene in and around Oxford, The Killingworth Castle in Wootton near Woodstock has been a consistent favourite of mine for the last two years.
Finally “The Killy” has been rightly recognised on the biggest stage of all for the UK gastropub world. The Killingworth Castle has this week just been named the top pub in Oxfordshire …. and 45th best in UK …. in the highly respected and iconic Estrella Damm UK’s ‘Top 50 Gastropubs’ list. That’s 45th out of a possible 30,000 UK pubs!
Featured in the annual industry awards back in 2012 when it won ‘Best Newcomer’, The Killingworth Castle now deservedly sits in the 2024 Top 50 Gastropubs, alongside the likes of Nathan Outlaw’s Mariners in Rock and Tom Kerridge’s Hand + Flowers in Marlow.
Further, the pub surpasses all other Oxfordshire pubs with The Bull in Charlbury at 50 and the Double Red Duke in Clanfield at 47. IMHO, The Killy rightly exceeds these two very fine establishments, out-delivering in terms of refinement, atmosphere, meal presentation, innovative dishes and experienced, seasoned service.
Owner, Claire Alexander commented; “This is the holy grail of hospitality industry awards ceremonies so we’re thrilled not just to bag best in Oxfordshire but also one of the best in the whole country. We took on the pub back in 2012 when it was derelict. It’s been wonderful to be recognised and rewarded like this after its transformation, despite the challenges that recent economic history has been throwing at us!”
The Killy has fixed-priced midweek lunch menus, a Thursday night Supper Club, a legendary Sunday lunch and a tasting menu to beat all tasting menus that I wrote about last year.
On top of their recently awarded three AA rosettes, it’s such a joy to have such a classy establishment close to Woodstock to make the perfect Oxfordshire day out at Blenheim Palace. Hats off to Claire, Jim, Chef Adam Brown the team, and front of house Raj for absolutely “knocking it out of the park” yet again!
The Killingworth Castle
Glympton Rd, Wootton, Woodstock OX20 1EJ