Long ago Steeple Aston had several pubs, now sadly only one remains. In this section, we give a detailed description of our village pub, the Red Lion, along with a link to their website for sample menus and forthcoming events. We also provide information on the Grain Store cafe, the nearby Holt Hotel,  Middle Aston House, a fish and chip van and links to a variety of pubs and restaurants nearby.

The Red Lion

The Red Lion

Opening hours 

Monday – closed
Tuesday 16:00 – 23:00
Wednesday 12:00 – 23:00
Thursday 12:00 – 23:00
Friday 12:00 – 23:00
Saturday 12:00 – 23:00
Sunday 12:00 – 20:00
Monday: Closed
Tues: 5.00pm – 9.00pm
Wed – Fri: 12 noon – 3.00pm / 5.00pm – 9.00pm
Sat: 12 noon – 9.00pm
Sunday: 12 noon – 5.00pm



The Red Lion building has been a pub since 1765. It was originally called The Chequers, but was renamed the Red Lion in 1830. It was acquired by Oxfordshire brewer Hook Norton in October 2005. Sarah and Melvin Phipps became the first tenants of the pub in February 2006. When they retired in November 2019, there were several short-lived tenancies and periods of closure during the pandemic.

The pub was closed for refurbishment in March 2022, and re-opened in August with new tenants, Charlene and Ryan Keogh. However, they left in January 2023. New landlords Victoria Sykes and Craig Schindler reopened the pub in  March 2023, but left just under a year later. The pub was re-opened on 24th February 2024 when Harry and Hannah Dickson took over.

Situated in a peaceful setting on the corner of South Side and Water Lane, the pub is in an elevated position giving a pleasant view across the valley from the terrace at the front. There is a car park to the rear.

The bar is small and cosy with a log burner in the corner; the daily newspaper is there for you to read and you will usually find a local or two propping up the bar supping the cask marque accredited ales.

With the brewery just 12 miles away as the crow flies, the beer doesn’t have to travel far to their cellar and you are always guaranteed a great pint of “Hooky” at the Red Lion.

A new dining room addition was built in 2004 that seats 30 diners in comfort. Named by the owner at the time, the Garden Room is an oak construction with lots of large windows that flood the room with light, and is an ideal place for a family gathering, a celebration or Sunday lunch. The room is also used for meetings and can be utilised as a training venue or even a gallery, should the occasion arise. 

Children and dogs are allowed in the pub. A free wi-fi connection is also available,

The Red Lion,
South Side,
Steeple Aston,
OX25 4RY
Tel: 01869 389174
Website: https://theredlionsteepleaston.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/steepleaston 

The Grain Store Café 

inside the cafe

This local café is in the refurbished former grain store at The Hatchery between Steeple and Middle Aston, hence its name.

This is very much a local enterprise as its owners Helen Taylor and Emily Robinson, have both lived in Middle Aston for around 18 years. There are lots of other local people involved. Helen’s son Teddy Taylor the chief barista, Steeple Aston photographer Nigel Francis is providing black and white photos of local scenes to put on the walls, and local garden designer Caroline Edwards is doing the landscaping for the outside seating area as well as the rest of the Hatchery site.

The emphasis on the local is carried over into their use of suppliers from Oxfordshire and the Cotswolds. All the furniture comes from Second Time Around in Banbury. Coffee is from the Missing Bean and cakes come from the Barefoot Bakery, both Oxford-based. Their state-of-the-art coffee machine, however, comes from Italy. They’re calling her Florence as that’s where she comes from! 

The café, which has seating for 42 inside and 20 outside, is open from 8.30 until 4.00pm Monday to Friday. On Saturday and Sunday they open at 10.00am. In the morning they serve breakfast sandwiches and muesli. Coffee, tea, hot chocolate and of course cake is available all day. Lunches consists of toasties and soups and other light dishes.  Hot food served until 2:30pm Everything is available to take away.

There is free wifi, dogs are welcome and there is plentiful parking for cars and bikes.

The Grain Store website has full details of opening hours, forthcoming events and more. 

The Grain Store Café
The Hatchery
Fir Lane
Middle Aston
OX25 5QL
E-mail: thegrainstorecafe@gmail.com
Website: https://www.thegrainstorecafe.co.uk/

The Holt Hotel

The Holt Hotel at Hopcroft’s Holt is a traditional coaching inn on the Oxford to Banbury Road, just a mile from the centre of Steeple Aston.

The Highwayman’s Bar & Lounge

Open throughout the day. Serves lunch and dinner as well as afternoon tea. Afternoon tea must be booked 24 hours in advance.

Du Vall’s Restaurant

The Claude Du Vall Restaurant features an a la carte menu in the evening from 6.00pm, and a Sunday carvery. For a sample of the menus, please see the website.

The Holt Hotel
Oxford Road
Steeple Aston
OX25 5QQ
Tel: 01869 340259
Website: www.holthotel.co.uk

Middle Aston House


Middle Aston House has a long uninterrupted history of owners dating back nearly 1000 years to the Domesday Book. Although much of the current house is Victorian and most of the original Medieval manor house is buried under the front lawns, there remains plenty of evidence of the Tudor manorial home now incorporated into the main building.

Situated between the villages of Middle Aston and Steeple Aston, the house and 20 acres of gardens, mature woodland and lake provide a welcome relaxing retreat from the hustle and bustle of 21st Century daily life. Middle Aston House is now an independently and privately owned meeting, functions, and wedding venue open to both corporate and leisure guests throughout the year.

There’s free parking and complimentary wi-fi.

Middle Aston House is open seven days a week for meetings, functions and as a wedding venue with B&B rooms.

Andreanna Karanikki
Middle Aston House
Middle Aston
OX25 5PT
Tel: 01869 340361
Email: enquiries@middleastonhouse.com
Website: www.middleastonhouse.com


Fish & Chips 

Fish and chip vans have called at Steeple and Middle Aston in the past, but they have given up through lack of trade. However, Howe & Co 66 Frankly Fish and Chips call at the Heyfords every Tuesday. You can track their route from their Facebook page live on the night. You can pre-order by phone or email, or just order at the van. Menus and other details are on their Facebook page.

Other places to eat and drink nearby

The Bell Inn, Lower Heyford

Kizzies Bistro, Lower Heyford

Horse and Groom, Caulcott

The Yurt at Nicholsons, North Aston

The Deddington Arms, Deddington

The Killingworth Castle, Wootton

The Oxford Arms, Kirtlington

The Bell at Hampton Poyle

La Galleria, Italian restaurant, Woodstock

The Crown Inn, Church Enstone

The Duck on the Pond, South Newington

The Dashwood Arms, Kirtlington

The Falkland Arms, Great Tew

The White Horse, Dun’s Tew

The White Horse, King’s Sutton