The Star Inn in Sparsholt has won The Good Pub Guide's Oxfordshire Dining Pub of the Year it was announced today. And having reviewed it myself last month, and applauded head chef Matt William's food, I cannot agree more. The Starr Inn, Watery Lane, Sparsholt, Wantage. OX12 9PL. 01235 751 873 or

Cowley Road’s fabulous restaurant Door 74 has shut up shop after 12 years in the business, having kept us all happy with its fresh, seasonal, ambitious and innovative food. But for those already mourning its demise, fear not because new restaurant Arbequina will rise from the ashes instead mid-September. Watch this space.

A new venture between the White Horse Brewery in Faringdon and the Titanic Brewery in Staffordshire, is set to create the Universe’s best brews with the public. The public can use their knowledge and taste buds to create their own Luna Brew “Mashtronauts” and will have the opportunity to spend the day learning about brewing before putting it into practice. If creating your own beer to bottle wasn’t enough, all “Mastronauts” will have their name inscribed on a brand new honours board in the Royal Blenheim, the pub of the White Horse Brewery in Oxford.

Rumour has it that Pizza Pilgrims is opening up in the new Westgate Centre when it opens next autumn. We caught up with the London pizza franchise at The Big Feastival. Set up by the Elliot brothers who hail from Oxfordshire, they spent their time travelling around Italy to find out how to make the perfect pizza, before opening up several branches in London, and are now expanding to Oxford. Judging by the pizza I ate, we are in for a treat.

Oxfordshire restaurant Orwells has been voted Restaurant of the Year in The Good Food Guide's 2017 awards.

Ryan Simpson and Liam Trotman are joint Head Chefs at Orwells which has been praised as being a “village venue which has gradually emerged from the pub chrysalis into one of the Home Counties’ most strikingly individual enterprises.” One of the standout dishes is their beef rump with baby onions and sticky short ribs, with the guide noting “every ingredient impeccable”.

Speaking about Orwells, TGFG's Elizabeth Carter said: “In 2010, we gave the award for up-and-coming chef of the year to Ryan Simpson for the confidence and clarity he showed at The Goose in Britwell Salome. Now, after several years of running his own restaurant alongside Liam Trotman, I am firmly of the opinion that Ryan, Liam and Orwell’s have come of age – and we couldn’t be more delighted. The promise Ryan showed six years ago has come to fruition with a distinctive cooking style supported by warm and informed service, a sensible number of covers, and a superb wine list. As a concept it is perfect, and Orwells is now taking a credible part in pushing modern British dining forward.”

Ryan Simpson from Orwells says, “Both Liam Trotman and I are overwhelmed with being recognised as the Good Food Guide Editors’ Restaurant of The Year. It’s a great achievement that highlights all our hard work and how we continue to naturally progress and evolve within the industry that we adore.”

The exceptional dessert menu at Orwells in Oxfordshire may also be why it won Restaurant of the Year in the guide's Editors' Awards. Its take on caramel apples, "a cylinder of chopped, braised apple encased in a wafer of pastry, itself wrapped in a thin layer of apple jelly" with "salted-caramel and a milk ice cream" was described by one inspector as "extraordinary."

The Good Food Guide’s annual Top 50 restaurant ranking also included Oxfordshire's Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons

The Pointer in Brill was included by the guide in the Best New Entries for 2017.

Embrace the last of the summer with a spot of outdoor dining at Malmaison. At just £24.95, the summer prix fixe menu means you can sit and enjoy all three courses, and a freshly shaken summer cocktail, without breaking the bank.