(Starters: £5.95-£7.50; Main Courses: £10.95-£24.95; Desserts £5.95-£8.50)
Chef Conal Boyle offers seasonal modern British menus to suit the informal atmosphere of The Lion, the lunch and dinner menus being served throughout the bar and conservatory dining room, and on the summer terrace. Using local Cherwell Valley produce, it successfully combines comforting pub classics (beer battered haddock, triple-cooked chips, mushy peas; steak and ale pie), quality rare breed Yorkshire steaks, served with triple-cooked chips, watercress and garlic and truffle butter, alongside more innovative dishes. Perhaps choose local chargrilled asparagus with smoked tomato, olives, basil red onion and herb salad, or scallops with pancetta and pea puree to start, then follow with roast guinea fowl, sautéed potatoes, chorizo, spinach and saffron aioli, or lamb rump, parmesan polenta, pea fricassee, pea puree, and rosemary jus. Round off with rhubarb, rosehip and pistachio pavlova or a platter of farmhouse British cheeses. There are also lunchtime sandwiches, a great value weekday set lunch, and roasts on Sundays. Behind the bar you’ll find tip-top Brakspear ales, a raft of boutique gins and a short list of wines (15 by the glass), which includes a few special and great value bottles of Bordeaux.