The White Hart in Wytham has launched Wit & Words, a week long, boutique literary festival with a fabulous line-up of author dinners and entertainment.

Guests can enjoy big names, music, comedy and lively discussions about food, politics and life, all accompanied by a sumptuous two course dinner from a special a la carte menu.

Clover Stroud ©Paul+Clarke copy

Author Clover Stroud will talk about the loss of her sister Nell Gifford, foodie Jay Rayner imagines his last supper, join news correspondent John Simpson at Friday’s literary dinner, or tap away to satirical cabaret duo Kit and McConnel from March 21-26.

White Hart landlord Baz Butcher says: “The idea grew from the realisation, post-pandemic and in the light of our lovely Out Of The Box award last week, that when customers choose to dine out, they sometimes want more than just an enjoyable meal and are looking for an experience.

Baz of White Hart Wytham receiving his Out Of The Box Award from Clinton Pugh at the Ox In A Box Food Awards 2022

“We have a discerning and educated customer base, who enjoy our events alongside our food and drink. So we hope this will be the first of many.”

Wit & Words begins on Monday March 21 with local journalist and author Clover Stroud being interviewed about her latest book, The Red of My Blood.

Nell Gifford and her sister Clover Stroud

It’s a raw and lyrical memoir about surviving the loss of her sister – Nell Gifford, founder of Gifford’s Circus – and embracing death as an essential and enriching part of life. (READ OUR INTERVIEW WITH CLOVER HERE:

Jay Rayner by Jonathan Stewart

Jay Rayner has performed in Wytham twice before as the jazz pianist in The Jay Rayner Quartet, but this time he’s returning on March 23 in his capacity as an author with his recent book My Last Supper (which subsequently developed it into a funny one-man show) examining our fascination with the idea of ‘last suppers’, and the stories behind the ingredients on his own final plate. NEARLY SOLD OUT

Oxford resident, John Simpson, BBC’s World Affair Editor, and host of BBC2’s new global affairs programme Unspun World, needs no introduction. Join him at this literary dinner on Friday March 25 to talk about his latest and rather prescient novel, Our Friends in Beijing, with a Q&A after dinner, when John will be signing copies of his books.


As if that wasn’t enough, the satirical cabaret duo and White Hart regulars Kit and McConnel, will provide the week’s finale on Saturday March 25. Described as ‘comic geniuses’ they aim their satire at everything from politics to celebrity and it will be a cry-laughing evening of wit and song.

 Tickets start at £40. The White Hart, Wytham