The Oxfordshire Yeoman is much more than a pub, it’s the hub of its community. Situated opposite a free library in a red telephone box, the pub sits in the heart of Freeland. Now run by Anna Munday from Independent Oxford and her partner Paul Hughes, the pub changed hands during lockdown. Initially looking for a B&B, the pair saw the ‘for sale’ sign and were tempted enough to take a look. The rest is history – they stepped into the pub and immediately fell in love.
The relaxed home-from-home vibe is a real tonic for the soul, no sense of COVID isolation here. Everyone seems on first name terms and it’s not long before the couple opposite engage us in conversation. The ceiling was covered in fairy lights and friendly service gives this place a lovely relaxed atmosphere.
Really good pub grub is rare to find, but not at the Yeoman. Expect to find all your favourites – fish and chips, ham and egg, chips and burgers, cooked with local produce to exceptionally high quality. There’s an unusually high amount of options for people who are gluten intolerant here too.
The pub has lots to offer, from aunt sally to gin nights! They’ll also soon be hosting street food pop-up’s, with their kitchen taken over by some of the best in the foodie scene, from Indian street food to steak.
Rachel chose her all-time favourite, halloumi fries (£4.50), with sweet chilli dip; whilst Holly opted for breaded whitebait (gf £5.95) with tartare sauce
The halloumi fries were absolutely delicious, perfectly cooked – crispy on the outside but still soft on the inside. No squeaky cheese here! The ramekin they were served in kept them hot whilst we took a multitude of photos! It was a great serving size.
The whitebait were super plump in a delicious gluten-free coating, crispy, meaty and full of flavour. A lovely squeeze of fresh lemon and dunking of tartar sauce set it off a treat.
Rachel went for the ‘Yeoman Huzzah! Burger’ (£11.50) – two 4oz locally sourced beef patties with onion rings and chips, you can also add extras and choose your own relish (Rachel chose cheddar, bacon and onion relish). When the table next to us heard we’d chosen the Huzzah! they made an audible sound of approval. Every ingredient could be tasted in this stack, the patty’s incredibly flavoursome with a lovely texture and thickness.
Holly had a craving for the ham, egg and chips – a generous portion of thick-cut, locally sourced ham with fried Mayfield Farm Egg and Chunky Chips (£10.95). The ham was a perfect thickness and lightly breaded, incredibly succulent and flavoursome; and the Mayfield Farm Eggs the perfect rich colour we’ve come to expect from them, great for dunking the fluffy yet crispy chunky chips in.
Both main courses were on the large size, so much so, we debated pudding. But… after noticing a homemade brownie (£5.75) we couldn’t pass up the opportunity, so ordered one with two spoons! The brownie was a bit cakier in texture, but delicious and not too rich. It came served with your choice of cream, ice cream or custard and a drizzle of chocolate sauce, with chunks of white chocolate in the brownie itself. It ticked all the right boxes – a perfect way to end a lovely meal out.
The community of Freeland are well and truly spoilt, this is a community pub through and through. As much as we’d return for the food, a meal is as much about the ambience. This place left a real impression – the type of place you’d go “for just one drink” and end up staying all night. A real testament to the owners, we look forward to sampling the street food later this month.
In a nutshell
A pub with plenty of heart, plating up pub classics that are hard to beat. A local gem. The pub is dog friendly and has a lovely outdoor patio area with a selection of benches.
The Oxfordshire Yeoman
172 Wroslyn Rd, Freeland, Witney OX29 8AQ
We dined as guests of The Oxfordshire Yeoman, all views remain our own.