The King's Arms in Woodstock

Okay, so once again we found ourselves with family visiting and the need for a local pub to venture to for lunch. We'd decided on going to Woodstock and after an unsuccessful trip into Hampers, who were, as always full to the rafters, we decided on The King's Arms just down the road.

Having worked in Woodstock a few years back it had been a while since I'd been in the pub. In that time it's enjoyed a modern overhaul with the place now showcasing an open, fresh and relaxed atmosphere. From the outside it looks pretty dinky but it's deceivingly big - the over-sized mirror gracing the rear wall certainly helps to enhance its deceptive size.

Anyway, enough about the decor - we went for the food.

Eating out recently has been somewhat of a challenge. I've been suffering from gallstones for the last few months and finding places that can accommodate my ridiculously-boringly low fat diet hasn't been easy. To be honest, I wasn't expecting anything to be different here. But, I was very pleasantly surprised. On first glance at the menu I felt pretty restricted to only being able to have one dish that I could fairly guarantee hadn't been bathed in lashing of butter during it's cooking process; the Seared Scallops with a Tomato and Caper Dressing. 

Now if you too have had gallstones you'll understand the immense pain an attack brings, so I've been nervous to say the least about what I eat and how it's been cooked. Our charming waiter, I'm afraid we didn't get his name to give him a name-check, was so immensely accommodating to ALL my questions - "how are the scallops cooked", "what's in the dressing" and so on, that nothing was too much bother or annoying. Having assumed I could only have one dish from the menu, I'm pretty sure that given their 'will-help' attitude I could have chosen most of the dishes and where possible they would have adapted them to fit my diet.

The scallops were delicious. Three beautifully plump and juicy scallops adorned the plate alongside the tomato and caper dressing and green salad which provided a refreshing accompaniment to the star of the plate. All-in-all the dish was a winner - perhaps not the most complex dish on the menu but so often the simplest of dishes are the hardest to get right.  

Believe it or not, it wasn't just me eating - in fact there were six of us dining that lunch time and other courses on the table included the Kings Beef Burger to a Pan-fried Pork Chop. Rich had opted for the Kings Beef Burger and he seemed happy as Larry with his bap full of meaty goodness. He almost opted for the pork belly dish on the menu but I think the blue cheese and bacon enticed him into making his decision. He also harped on about how good it was that they didn't try and rip him off by charging for the bacon and cheese when they are the key ingredients that can make a burger stand out from the rest.

The initial plan was to skip dessert and head to Blenheim Palace to enjoy a winter's walk before the light disappeared. However, upon inspection of the dessert menu - it's rude not to even look, five of us ordered from the tempting selection.

The English Rhubarb Sundae was a huge hit with Rich. I'm afraid the photo doesn't really do it justice but judging by the huge Cheshire Cat grin on his face during consumption it was every inch as tasty as it looked.

I was really impressed with the Kings Arms, not just for the delicious food but for the entire experience - the service in particular. Woodstock has a great choice of good eateries to choose from; Brothertons, The Bear Hotel to name a couple, but honestly, next time your in this quintessentially English village go check out the Kings Arms. You'll be pleasantly surprised.

17 February 2014