Welcome to the Ox In A Box Food Awards 2023 and here is our first category Best Newcomer 2022/2023, listed in alphabetical order: What a brave time to open up in hospitality. So support them by voting for your favourite! VOTE HERE https://surveyhero.com/c/csgrfkeh

The awards will be held on April 17 at the North Wall, sponsored by Goldstar Recruitment and Four Seasons Fruiterers and attended by Gary Jones of Le Manoir fame. READ ABOUT IT HERE

The Oxinabox Food Awards are back at The North Wall in 2023 Picture by Ed Nix

There are 10 categories and we will be announcing one every day for the next 10 days. These include BEST NEWCOMER, BEST PUB/BAR, BEST CAFE, BEST RESTAURANT, BEST VEGGIE/VEGAN, BEST CHEF, BEST GASTROPUB, BEST EUROPEAN, BEST GLOBAL, BEST COMMUNITY FOOD PROJECT

The top three nominations from each category will be invited to the glittering ceremony where the winners will be announced, so get voting and pick your favourite. You can only vote once in each category so keep voting every day for all 10 categories!

 In alphabetical order, the nominations for Best Newcomer 2022/2023 are: VOTE HERE https://surveyhero.com/c/csgrfkeh

  1. The Bear, North Moreton – Taken over but the team behind Five Little Pigs in Wallingford around Christmas time, this historic pub is already a firm favourite, with locals and visitors alike. Great to rescue another village pub from dereliction plus the food is great without being pompous or pretentious. Log fire anyone? Vote here https://surveyhero.com/c/csgrfkeh
The Bear in North Moreton

2) Chickpea, Oxford – You can smell the paint still drying this is so new, but the sister cafe to The Vaults and Garden Cafe and The Alpha Bar in the Covered Market is already heaving with youngsters, students and locals all vying for the freshly made, vegan/veggie/plantbased menu featuring pitta and falafel specials which are fantastic value for money. Sit in or takeaway. Vote here https://surveyhero.com/c/csgrfkeh


3) Crown, Church Enstone – refurbished and reopened by Kate and Matt Beamish of the Kingham Plough, this is a proper Cotswold gastropub in an area rather lacking in good places to eat. Think classic with an upmarket twist. Vote here https://surveyhero.com/c/csgrfkeh

The Crown in Church Enstone credit Ben Nicholson,

4) Crown, Faringdon – not just a restaurant but a whole blooming hotel, this is a real labour of love for father and son team Nick and Seb Evans who already have the Waggon and Horses in Southmoor and the Black Horse in Standlake. Putting ambitious young chef Samuel Squires in the kitchen was a moment of genius. But more than anything it has really helped put Faringdon on the culinary and tourist map. Vote here https://surveyhero.com/c/csgrfkeh

The pumpkin and pearl barley at The Old Crown in Faringdon

5) Damascus Rose Kitchen, OFS – The food here in this social enterprise cafe is cooked by female Syrian refugees. Middle-eastern, authentic and so addictive, plus brilliantly priced. What was a pop up in lockdown is now a permanent and fantastic new addition to Oxford’s culinary scene. https://surveyhero.com/c/csgrfkeh

Damascus Rose Kitchen

6) Djangos Smokehouse, Didcot has certainly livened up the eating options in the Oxfordshire town. Think cocktails, ribs, pulled rook, burgers. hotdogs, BBQ chicken, brisket and loaded sides. Vote at https://surveyhero.com/c/csgrfkeh

Andy Lai in Django’s Smokehouse

7) Dosa Park, Botley West Way. The gleaming new restaurant is quite stunning with food to match. Dosa Park’s fans will be stunned by the contemporary new space, and delighted to find all their favourite South Indian dishes, from dosas to thalis on the menu with lots of new dishes to try alongside more traditional ones to ensure the new owners cater for everyone. Vote at https://surveyhero.com/c/csgrfkeh

The new Dosa Park

8) Duck on The Pond, South Newington – a really impressive start for husband and wife team chef Hendrik Dutson-Steinfeld and his wife Julie formerly of The White Horse in Kings Sutton. The onus is definitely on the food where it is treated with almost reverential awe by its already loyal clientele. Vote at https://surveyhero.com/c/csgrfkeh

Hendrik Dutson-Steinfeld at The Duck On The Pond

8) Feathers, Woodstock – has been closed for most of 2023 for a huge dining room refurb and just reopened boasting a chic new look and the installation of new chef couple Luke Rawicki and Shannon Mulholland who aim to put this historic hotel back on the culinary map with their fine dining ethos. Vote at https://surveyhero.com/c/csgrfkeh

New head chefs Luke Rawicki and his partner and sous chef Shannon Mulholland, at The Feathers

9) Fox, Oddington – just on the borders this is Lady Bamford’s newest pub venture and is already packed to the rafters with the well suited and booted all clamouring to try Alan Beeson’s comforting, laid back food and the effortlessly tasteful glass fronted restaurant vibe. Think long lunches and weekends away. https://surveyhero.com/c/csgrfkeh

The Fox at Oddington. Martin Morell_ The Saddle Room

10) Gloria’s, Thame – An ode to Biagio Patalano‘s late wife, who always wanted her own restaurant, this is a classic Italian not afraid to celebrate life in all its colour. Liberace eat your heart out. https://surveyhero.com/c/csgrfkeh

Gloria’s in Thame

11) Gusto, Oxford – Has taken over the old Mitre pub in central Oxford remarkably successfully. A full refurb and unashamed pizza/pasta cocktail type menu, it’s packed with people looking for good Italian food at High Street prices. Yes it’s a chain but it has certainly livened the High Street up again. The make your own pizza parties are also hugely popular. https://surveyhero.com/c/csgrfkeh


12) Lamb, Little Milton – This was a lifelong dream for husband and wife team Charmaine and Ben Tavassoly-Moss who have already made a big impression in the village. The great kitchen team is headed up by head chef Justyna Nowogrodzka, sous chef Anthony Junior Ford where local, seasonal produce is of primary importance. https://surveyhero.com/c/csgrfkeh

Charmaine and Ben Tavassoly-Moss at The Lamb Inn in Little Milton

13) Lynrace, Jericho – Oxford’s sexiest new bar is hugely enticing not just because it’s cocktails are literally to die for but the aesthetic is also seriously cool. https://surveyhero.com/c/csgrfkeh

Paul Southouse at Lynrace

14) Mamma Mia, Summertown – As if the original wasn’t good enough, owner Jon Ellse has only gone and opened a much larger, swankier but still unmistakably ‘Mamma Mia’ restaurant next door. Purists will be glad to hear it has the same traditional and familiar menu but a lot more room. https://surveyhero.com/c/csgrfkeh

Owner Jon Else and manager Gabrijel Jozic on the new look Mamma Mia in Summertown

15) Muddy Duck, Hethe – is like nowhere else on earth. Spaceships for loos and a forest glade for a bar and restaurant, The Hollow has to be seen to be believed. Once seated the food is deadly serious and absolutely wonderful, all served up under Pierre Koffman’s famous mantle. Sadly The Hollow is being ‘snoozed’ due to staffing issues except for Sunday lunches, but that doesn’t detract from Nigel and Gemma Harris’ enormous effort to bring something new to Oxfordshire. The Lodge, the pub side of The Muddy Duck, remains as popular as ever. https://surveyhero.com/c/csgrfkeh

The Hollow at The Muddy Duck

16) Plough, Alvescot – A total new entry, this is already the name on everyone’s lips and the new place to go. If the early signs are anything to go by, it’s a goodie. https://surveyhero.com/c/csgrfkeh

17) Plough, West Hanney – The community pub is once again the heart and soul of the village, locals flocking from far and wide to book in and eat Luke Mayor’s superb food, enjoy the numerous fun events or bask in GM Owain Llwyd-Jones’ fantastically welcoming ambiance. Definitely worth moving villages for! https://surveyhero.com/c/csgrfkeh

Landlord Owain Llywd-Jones and head chef Luke Mayor outside The Plough in West Hanney

18) Sartorelli’s – Oxford’s Covered Market – You can watch the pizzas being made in front of you at this new branch of the brewers/pizza makers in central Oxford. Sit and eat at the little tables outside, washed down from a beer from the bar next door or take out these great pizzas out into Oaford’s parks, colleges or student digs and enjoy. https://surveyhero.com/c/csgrfkeh

Magnus Joye of Sartorelli’s

19) Star Sparsholt – Recently taken over by the guys running The Woodspeen in Newbury and given a total makeover, the food is really sensational, thanks to head chef Sam Brennan. Destined to become a foodie Mecca. VOTE HERE https://surveyhero.com/c/csgrfkeh

The Star at Sparsholt

20) Swan, Islip – If I had a pound……there are few people who haven’t either asked us about Paul Welburn’s new restaurant Cygnet or been there to try it out. Anyway this was the most awaited opening of 2022 thanks to his Michelin star at 215 in Summertown. A big deal for Oxfordshire’s culinary front. VOTE HERE https://surveyhero.com/c/csgrfkeh

Nina Gray and Paul Welburn outside The Swan in Islip just before it opened

21) The Snug, Bishops Court Farm, Wallingford – A great little cafe with big plans. The farm is slowly being adapted to fit both animals, farming and visitors comfortably and this new little cafe is just the beginning. A large outdoor space and eating areas means that David McCleary’s food is available all year round. He has big ambitions. VOTE HERE https://surveyhero.com/c/csgrfkeh

David McCleary outside The Snug

You can only vote once in each category so keep voting every day for all 10 categories! Voting ends at the end of March.

Vote here https://surveyhero.com/c/csgrfkeh