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“A Lovely stay in a lovely pub”
Review of Unicorn Inn

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Unicorn Inn
Ranked #3 of 5 Deddington B&B and Inns
1 review
“A Lovely stay in a lovely pub”
Reviewed May 27, 2012 via mobile

From a warm welcome to a fond farewell this was a perfect stay. Karen the new landlady is a delight, she really did everything she could to makes us feel welcome in her establishment. We ate in the restaurant on both nights, the food was of considerably higher standard than any gastro pub I have ever eaten in before. The pricing was exceptional for the quality of the food, eating in the restaurant is a must.

The music that was played in the bar really made me relax and feel like I was enjoying my drink in a friends living room rather than sitting in a pub full of strangers. A wonderful experience all round, we will definetly stay again! Well done to the team at the Unicorn inn!! 5 stars!

  • Stayed March 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Robert-Lewis1961
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HerefordFoodie, Owner at Unicorn Inn, responded to this review, June 17, 2012
Thank you for your kind and generous comments. It is so much more meaningful when a good review is posted - because this is a real reflection of what happens on a daily basis.

I have spent the last 4 months developing the business and I have had a wonderful experience doing it. I have met some great people - both locals and visitors and I have made many good friends. You know who you all are!

During my time there I wanted to provide a high quality food offering - and I did - achieving a 5 star rating from Cherwell Council, That in itself proves just how much I and my team cared about what we were doing.

As a small business starting up in a Recession there are many obstacles in the way - high energy costs, high wages, NIC contributions, low profit margins, high operating costs, and the biggest problem of all - 20% VAT .But, I have always been something of an optimist.

Our Village pubs are fast disppearing and unless things change they will soon be a thing of the past. Not many will work the long hours or have the integrity and professional dedication to ensure that the food hygiene standards are met or exceeded.. I have genuine admiration for all those involved in small hospitality businesses because my 4 months at The Unicorn have been an education in just how much effort , care and integrity was required to make it all happen.

I would like to thank all those wonderful customers who came and enjoyed what I and my young team had to offer. It was a pleasure and a priviledge to have met and shared many happy times with you.

Not all bad reviews are deserved or justified - they are sometimes posted by casual whingers who just have no concept of the damage they can cause, For every bad review there may be a hundred happy and satisfied customers who have no reason at all to turn to Tripadvisor to comment.

Thanks for all the great reviews -but more importantly thanks for coming and being part of what I was trying to achieve - you made it all worthwhile!

Let's get through this recession and get back to making our village pubs the great community focal points they should be. This will only happen when they can become economically viable once again.

Sadly I just didn't have enough customs to make it work at this time.

The Unicorn will continue - and I wish it well. Deddington is a great place and I thoroughly enjoyed my time there.

Good Luck and Best Wishes to you all
Karen



Karen Baines










I




,
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87 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed May 20, 2012

I was close to Oxford when I was called by a colleague who suggesed we meet part way. The most obvious place was Deddington as that was near to both of us. So we decided would meet at this pub - oh why !!

The village is lovely and super people passed us by, but entering into the Unicorn (painted in a very morbid Grey for some reason) we understood.

There was some faint music, but very little else. We were, to be honest, ignored by the staff and one person who can only have been the owner for quite some time - I would add that there were only about 9 other people in the bar and they all had drinks.

To say we felt un-welcome is beside the point. I have before writing this review, read those posted previously. In every review there seems to be a valid reason for the Customer being unhappy and that does not apparently have anything to do with the management - well i would strongly advise they look in a ruddy great mirror !?

After a far less than good start to our evening, and I fine meal at a pub that only sold pies, we ended our evening in the market square in the red lion where we seemed to meet all the locals who would not frequent the Unicorn. Rather strange as the Unicorn is a super buillding with a garden yet the locals avoided it - there is the reason why !
Lack of welcome

distinct lack of service

very overpriced food for pub food - not that we ate but expensive because we didnt get that far !
expensive beer !

one other pub in deddington was selling the same bitter for 70 pence a pint less - why ? !

great village/town - avoid this place unless there is a significant change or you are not all discenring and have money to burn

Room Tip: Totally out of their depth = and I have been very polite for the service i received. When in a ma...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank baldricksvalet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Deddington hotels

devon
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 17, 2012

I have been visiting this delightful pub for the last ten years with my family. Are most recent visit was a real shame as the property has been taken over by new management whom, have not got a clue. The food offering was abysmal as was the customer service. There was always a warm welcome but our experience this time was decidedly frosty.

How can an award winning pub & restaurant go down hill so quickly? What a crying shame!!

Will not be returning in a hurry

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank rgfDevon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HerefordFoodie, Owner at Unicorn Inn, responded to this review, May 22, 2012
A surprising review as all the guests that stayed in May so far have been an absolute delight to serve After redecorating upstairs we have had nothing but compliments on the comfort, character and cleanliness of the rooms. Everyone I spoke to said they would stay with us again. Indeed we have just been awarded 5 stars for cleanliness after a surprise inspection by Cherwell Council.

I'm always amazed that if these complaints are genuine why are they not brought to our attention at the time?

The reviewer might like to know that when he stayed here last year under the previous Owner's Regime - the rooms andespecially the kitchen were far from award-winning as they had only 1 star for cleanliness from the Environmental Health Officer. The photographs of mould and neglect on this page are from that era. Not mine.

We take great pride in what we do here and our customers appreciate it .We will always try to correct any errors - we want our customers to come back and bring their friends.

However, don't expect Michelin style service - just very good food at reasonable prices, and always carefully prepared by hardworking honest people.


Our homemade Burger with cheese and chorizo is a real winner as are our regular specials. We are currently serving a South African Potjie Stew of Springbok and Kudu meat which has been a big hit .

On 7th June we are having a French Bistro Night- three courses for £25 with live Gypsy Jazz music - call us and book a table - we would love to see you : 01869 338838
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ireland
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 16, 2012

We stayed at this Inn for one night and I found the place to be full of Character. The owner was there to meet us and was very friendly. Room was great and quiet and overlooked the square. Breakfast was not too large which in my opinion is a good thing. Would definately stay here again

Nick

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Nick W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HerefordFoodie, Owner at Unicorn Inn, responded to this review, April 21, 2012
Many thanks for the good review. It is a real pleasure to hear that our guests have enjoyed their visit and have taken time to post a review for us. The photos on this page are from last year - before I took over the business. We have spent £51 000 on repairs and refurbishments since !st February and the Unicorn is a very different place now. It is a great shame that these old photographs remain - they are impossible to remove and cause so much unnecessary damage to this new business.
The Unicorn is a really friendly place with helpful staff and young enthusiastic chefs creating exciting new dishes full of flavour. We have Tapas as starters - calamari, koftas, whitebait,delicious sticky ribs, olives, hummus, chilli chicken wings - all great for sharing with friends and family.
On 8th May we have a South African Food Night - £20 for three courses. The villagers are really looking forward to- trying out Tempura Crocodile, Springbok Potjie and Bobotie to mention just few of the dishes. We are always trying to make a visit to the Unicorn special so that our guests return.
We are friendly and unpretentious - so are the locals. Deddington is a warm and friendlyvillage and The Unicorn is a relaxed and comfortableplace to meet. Come and try it for yourselves - we would love to welcome you. Karen
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Banbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
105 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed March 31, 2012

Food quantity poor. An 8oz steak was thin, more like 4oz and overcooked. Prices of desserts were far higher than other restaurants. Coffee was very weak, with little taste. Service was reasonable. Overall cost for main course, with wine and coffee at £40 per couple was poor value. Not recommended.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Max270243
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HerefordFoodie, Owner at Unicorn Inn, responded to this review, April 4, 2012
This gentleman ordered a smaller 'Lady Portion' steak - it is a thinner ribeye steak and costs £14.95 instead of £16.95. He asked for it to be cooked 'well done'. This makes a steak tough and dry and is not recommend. There are lots of options on our menus; we also have gammon and chips, sausage and mash, lasagne and a homemade pie all at a very reasonable £8.50 (please remember £1.20 of that is vat and goes to the Government – not us) available lunchtime and evenings. Our desserts are handmade and cost £5.95. The other guests had our Cape Malay Curry and said it was delicious - a frequently heard comment from our very happy customers. We have a very comfortable bar and restaurant and a large sunny garden which is very popular at weekends. We will soon be hosting a South African Food Night which is booking up fast – why not visit and see for yourselves? We are a friendly bunch and we love feedback!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed January 14, 2012

I have been visiting this pub for years, Many faces old & new, different times of the year, and of course, new managements. Talk about change! From what i saw the pub has recently undergone a refurbishment, changing the outside colour of the building from white to 'Battleship Grey', very dull and no representation of a Unicorn, which lays on the arch above the front door. As you enter through to the bar, a blackboard reads 'Saskia and the team welcome you'... The Lady behind the bar was pleasent enough and was doing a great job for someone who was on their own. It was a Friday evening and as you can imagine, quite busy. I wont go into too much detail about the food as i am still very angry about the price i had to pay in relation to the quality i recieved, to highlight, The Burger was raw,The Steak overcooked, not once, but twice, the chips were undercooked and the Loch Duart Salmon's taste had definately expired! Our meals were 'warm' and served to us on cold plates. By this time, we wanted out, so left our meals and went to pay. We must of waited at the Bar for atleast 10 minutes, our waitress was unable to take our payment as she was new and did not know how to use the till, after asking to speak to the manager to complain about the food, i was told that no one had seen her and that she does not usually work of a weekend. This pretty much sums up the 'New Management' up in one! To my disappointment I paid the bill and left. I will not be returning to this Pub again as it was a disgrace, Poor value for money, Poor Quality and No Manager!

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank mysteryguest101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HerefordFoodie, Owner at Unicorn Inn, responded to this review, March 14, 2012
You will have a very different experience from now on - as the new owner, from 1st February, 2012 - I have started a refurbishment programme. We have a great team providing a warm welcome and always striving to achieve the very best levels of hospitality. Our food is getting great reviews and the rooms are well on their way to achieving the high standards our customers deserve. We look forward to seeing you! Regards, Karen Baines
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2012

well,stayed here last week for 1 night and 1 night only.

there was Mould spores on the walls in the bedroom and bathroom,no tea or coffee in the bedroom and pubic hairs on the bed cover.

the food was OK in the pub but over priced for the quality and presentation of ingredients etc

will not be going back again,lots of nice places to visit in deddington and stay/eat instead.

Room Tip: try for a room looking over the market square at the front and not the kitchen extractor fan,it is v...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank purple b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Unicorn Inn

Property: Unicorn Inn
Address: The Unicorn Market Place, Deddington, Banbury OX15 0SE, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Oxfordshire > Banbury > Deddington
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 B&Bs / Inns in Deddington
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Unicorn Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to the newly refurbished Unicorn Inn in Deddington. The Unicorn is a stunning 17th century country inn oozing with character that has an incredibly diverse offering. Not only does the Unicorn have a charming bar area and snug both complete with open fire places, it also has a contemporary restaurant, large garden, function room, relaxing coffee area and six mythical bedrooms. Johnny Parke (head chef and co proprietor) has assembled an exciting menu combining the best of traditional English and European cuisine with modern cooking techniques. All the food is locally sourced where possible and everything prepared onsite. Chris Brewster (manager and co proprietor) prides himself on his well-kept cellar. Providing great quality traditional ales and bespoke international lagers. The wine list has been assembled to cater for those who like the odd glass in the evening and for those foodies who like to match wine with their favorite dish. The Unicorn aspires to bounce back at the heart of the local community and be a warm and welcoming public house catering for families, couples and corporate trade alike. Chris, Johnny and the team look forward to welcoming you here at the Unicorn soon. Within easy distance of historic England's Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon and Warwick as well as the Cotswolds, Bicester Village and Silverstone. Advanced bookings are recommended. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Unicorn Hotel Deddington
Unicorn Inn Deddington, Oxfordshire

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