MIDDLETON STONEY, Bicester, OX25 4AD
Until 1951, when a family called Ansell bought it, this 13th-century country inn belonged to the Jersey Estate. In 1985 the Ansells sold it to Donald and Helen Livingston, making them only its third set of owners since 1243. It is just three minutes from Bicester Village shopping outlet if you want to call in for refreshments after grabbing a few bargains. Food can be taken in the Bar & Grill where the British menu is supplemented by daily specials. Start with king-size prawns in hot garlic oil, then move onto confit of duck with caramelised orange, parsnip mash and orange sauce; classic spaghetti bolognaise; or red Thai curry.