Sunday Lunch at The Ben Jonson, Weston on the Green

October 19, 2020

I’m very lucky to live in Weston on the Green. It’s located approximately 5 miles from Bicester (10 minute drive) and for a small village, it boasts a fantastic selection of places to eat, drink and shop.

From the brunch hotspot, The Milk Shed and the antique labyrinth, The Flight House, to two cute village pubs, The Chequers and The Ben Jonson, there’s a lot of places to keep you entertained in Weston on the Green.

Last weekend, I decided it was about time I went for a meal at The Ben Jonson. I’d visited a couple of times prior for drinks and had swooned over their tasteful interiors and welcoming service, but had never actually eaten there.

A friend suggested going for Sunday lunch somewhere and I told her I knew just the place!

Décor 

The Ben Jonson was taken over by Lee and Kayleigh towards the end of last year and was lovingly refurbished to an exceptional standard! The first thing I noticed when I stepped into the pub was the contrast of the deep navy bar against the black and white tiled flooring wrapped around it – it’s fresh and trendy but with a cosy pub feel – and the warm herringbone flooring used throughout the rest of the bar area adds bouts of character.

Lee and Kayleigh have tastefully decorated the pub with a fusion of bohemian and traditional pub furnishings. It’s very subtly done meaning you don’t feel like you’ve stepped into an ultra trendy café in London but adds a flare of personality that makes it stand out from other pubs and restaurants in the area. The cacti above the fireplace, the fairy lights strewn across the restaurant and the Aztec scatter cushions in the window seats all beautifully incorporate both of the owners’ taste and character.

There is seating in both the pub and the restaurant, which is located behind the bar area. The pub area boasts rugged exposed brick walls, two fireplaces and low beams, making it extremely charismatic and snug whilst the restaurant is slightly more modern, light and airy. I love how they’ve dotted photos of the pub and its locals from years ago around the restaurant. It adds a wonderful backstory for guests visiting The Ben Jonson as it is today.

If you have a preference on whether you’d rather sit in the pub or restaurant area, I’d recommend specifying when you book your table.

Food and Drink

When we arrived we signed in for track and trace (their Covid protocols were good) and were shown straight to our table in the restaurant area.

Our waitress gave us the food and drink menu and explained what the roasts of the day were – lamb, pork and veggie wellington.

We ordered drinks – a glass of Shiraz for me and an elderflower fizz for Sam – and had a gander at the a la carte menu before fully committing to a roast. Top tip: one of my friends said the ‘Mirror Lakes’ Sav is one of the best she’s ever had!

The menu offers a great combo of pub classics and a la carte dishes and if it hadn’t of been a Sunday, I would have been all over that goat’s cheese, wild mushroom and sun dried tomato tagliatelle…

Our food came out very swiftly after we’d received our drinks and we were excited to get stuck in!

I went for the veggie wellington (£18), which was packed full of flavour and came with roast potatoes, parsnips, sweet potato mash, cabbage, gravy and a delicious puree (although I was unsure what it was!)

Sam went for the roast pork (£18) that was served with the same garnish and an obligatory piece of crackling.

They were both really tasty and were the perfect quantity (not too much but definitely not too little). Sam said the meat was tender and we both agreed that the potatoes were crispy, the mash was smooth and the gravy was deep and rich – all essentials to a great roast!

The price was definitely reasonable for the pork however, I would usually expect the veggie option to be a tad cheaper than the meat options.

Service

Every time I’ve visited The Ben Jonson the staff have been so warm, welcoming and friendly. It’s the kind of pub that makes you feel like you’ve popped round to your friends for a glass of vino and a natter rather than to a pub restaurant. You can tell the owners really want to get to know their guests and build a rapport with the locals, which I think is so important in a small village like Weston on the Green!

However, I was a little disappointed by the service during our lunch as a whole. Unfortunately our drinks were forgotten when we first arrived and after around 15/20 minutes we had to call someone over to remind them. They were very apologetic and I don’t think this is something that happens here very often (people rave about their excellent customer service and hospitality) but it did fracture the dining experience a little.

Nonetheless, as I said above, I have experienced The Ben Jonson’s outstanding hospitality first hand during previous visits and know that this would have been a one off due to a busy Sunday service. It will by no means deter me from returning again and supporting this wonderful country pub… and to try their red wine baked pears with stilton starter…

The Verdict

The Ben Jonson is a gorgeous homely pub that has been lathered in love from start to finish. Their new menu is drool-worthy and although the service wasn’t at its best on my visit, the staff were smiley, friendly and helpful – just a tad rushed off their feet. The Ben Jonson is the sort of pub that you can tell will peak at Christmas, so I’m excited to check it out over the festive months for a mulled wine by the fire. Feel free to join!

To view their menu or to book a table, head over to http://thebenjonson.co.uk/ or follow them on Facebook.

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