The Bull and Butcher (Gourmet Chick in Oxfordshire)

One vintage bus, one gastro pub, twenty two girls and too many bottles of champagne to count. That was my hen’s day. I am getting married shortly so my lovely friends Alice, Prue and Georgie organised a day out. They promised no strippers or penis straws and delivered. After a champagne breakfast we headed off in our bus through the countryside to The Bull and Butcher in the charming village of Turville near Henley-on-Thames.


Fish and chips

This beautiful Tudor style pub is packed to the gills with character and characters. It serves simple pub food and has a wide range of real ales on taps although to be honest we mainly stuck to the wine list. They offer a three course menu for 22. A good starting point is the French onion soup, a simmering bowl of dark liquid made from onions caramalised to the point of sweetness. The soup was so rich that I couldn’t finish it which is a real rarity. Another option was a slice of pale pink chicken liver parfait which was served with slices of toast and onion jam. This was a gutsy parfait bursting with robust flavour.

Fish and chips are raised a notch above the usual pub fare thanks to a light beer batter, decent crispy yet fluffy chips and some creamy mushy peas. It was a little bit of fried food heaven. Alternatively, thick and juicy pork and leek sausages served on a fluffy cloud of mash also delivered the goods. It couldn’t all be brilliant of course and my chocolate fondant pudding for dessert was overcooked so the chocolate sauce was still mainly solid rather than liquid. Let’s just say that minor quibble did not stop me eating the whole thing.

This was not affected pub grub, it was the real deal. The service was outright friendly and I think the Bull and Butcher is worth a trip whether you are with 22 of your dearest friends or not.


Details: Turville, Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire, England R696QU (Ph 01491 638 283)Damage: Reasonable


If you liked reading this you might be interested in some of my other reviews of country pubs in England like the Miller of Mansfield and The Queen’s Head.


  1. Congratulations!! Champagne and fish & chips – I think that’s a brilliant combination for a hen night 😉

  2. Wow, great idea. I hate hen parties and refuse to have one but this has made me think that with a different slant it may just be a good thing to do.

    Looks delicicious!

  3. I enjoyed the image of 22 women emerging from a routemaster to invade a small country pub. What a perfect idea for a b’lette party, and congrats on your (imminent) big day!

  4. hey – congratulations!! And that sounds like my idea of a hen party. Penis straws are highly overrated 😉 Hope your big day goes well… Will it be over here or back home?

  5. Congratulations Gourmet Chick and MTV boyfriend/fiance!
    Hope there will be a detailed report of what is surely going to be a very foodie wedding :–)

  6. Skirmishofwit – I agree – just about perfect

    Graphic Foodie – I was the same but my friends took it upon themselves to organise and it was actually such a lovely day

    American in London -Thanks very much

    Jeanne – back home in Australia, I am there at the moment getting everything ready so it is quite exciting

    Katarina B – Thanks very much, we are choosing the menu at the moment so that is exciting.

  7. Congrats – what a great way to celebrate your upcoming wedding. So that explains the eyelash extensions (per Twitter)!

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