M40, Junction 4; 10 mins
Mon-Fri 12pm-3pm, 6pm-9pm
Free WiFi for visitors
Vegetarian or vegan options
Parking available onsite
A cracking country pub, the Royal Oak stands at the edge of the Chilterns, not far from the Thames-washed town of Marlow. It’s informal yet stylish with rugs flung over tiled floors, scrubbed pew seats and dogs asleep by the wood burner. The garden is beautiful, big enough to lose your kids in and perfect for slothful lunches in summer. Keep a lookout for red kites overhead.
There’s a wonderful sense of a local economy here: bees bob about in the garden to make the pub’s honey and ingredients are foraged from the hedgerows or swapped with local allotment holders. Food is uniformly excellent and moves with the seasons – try the bubble and squeak with bacon and hollandaise or pan-roast Devon hake fillet with creamed spinach and salt fish fritters. And there are dedicated menus for vegan, dairy- and gluten-free diets.
Before you depart take a stroll through the beech trees of Marlow Common, where you’ll find trenches used for practice during the First World War.
•Please note, the Royal Oak is under new management since we last visited, please check online for updates.•
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The Extra Mile: Delicious Alternatives to Motorway Services is your essential glovebox guide to good food on the move. The guidebook is a great gift for motorists and foodies who prefer to avoid motorway services and boring, big-brand food. Find independent cafes, pubs, local coffee and tea shops and lovely farm shops near motorway junctions and main roads. To improve your journey, support small businesses and discover real local flavours, order your copy today (edition 4 published March 2023 and available now).