CONSIDERING the size of Steventon, it is amazing that three pubs and a social club still manage to hold their own.

The North Star, The Cherry Tree and The Fox Inn are all within half a mile of each other, with the latter two right next door on the High Street.

As a result, owners have to try to do something different in order for their establishment to stand out.

I drive through the village a number of times each week and have eaten there on a few occasions in the past.

But it was a banner saying ‘under new ownership’ outside the Fox that made me think I should revisit.

‘Gastro pub with a warm welcome and great service’ it boasts, before tempting you with a 2-4-1 offer on main meals between 12 and 5 during the week.

I ignored the bottom line saying that Christmas bookings were also being taken; maybe this part could be folded up and then unveiled in another six months or so.

I ate on a Sunday, so am unable to comment on their midweek offers, but I certainly can confirm they give you a warm welcome and great service.

I was shown to my table, with both the landlord (I presume) and member of bar staff chatting away to me while they efficiently took my food and drink orders.

Several regulars came in to assume their usual positions at the bar with their regular drinks, although one was slightly miffed – albeit he did a good job of covering it up – that all cask ales were off.

I opted for prawn cocktail (£6.50) for my starter, and was pleasantly surprised at how filling it was.

My big complaint with this particular dish is that often you are not served iceberg lettuce and the amount of prawns are sparse, to say the least.

But neither was the case here, and I was very satisfied with my selection.

I chose roast beef (£10.95) as my main course, which was probably best described as pleasant rather than spectacular.

However, I will certainly return and next time plan to take advantage of the midweek offer.

I might just refrain from making that Christmas booking in March, however.

l The Fox Inn, Steventon, OX13 6RZ. Tel: 01235 821228