Newest Review: ... within easy sight of the Specials Board which was very handy. It is also not far from the open fire which is also a good thing as we have... more
Sounds like something from 'Wind in the Willows'
The Trout Inn at Tadpole Bridge (Faringdon, Oxfordshire)
Member Name: catsholiday
The Trout Inn at Tadpole Bridge (Faringdon, Oxfordshire)
Advantages: Lovely English pub with good food
Disadvantages: Not the cheapest place to eat
The Trout Inn at Tadpole Bridge
Buckland Marsh, Faringdon, Oxfordshire SN7 8RF
Tel: 01367 870382
THE TROUT INTRO
Tadpole Bridge is a lovely old bridge which crosses the River Thames and is near the Oxfordshire village of Bampton and only 20 minutes from the centre of Oxford.
The Trout is a fairly old looking building and a historic Inn located by the Thames Path. Beside the pub there are a six boat moorings which can be used by guests staying at the pub or eating there. This is also a small hotel with six bedrooms but as I have never stayed I won't talk too much about them.
AWARDS AND PRAISES
The Trout won 'Oxfordshire Dining Pub of the year in 2008 and then in 2009/10 it was awarded AA Pub of the Year. In 2007 it was in the Michelin Pubs Guide, The Good Food Guide, The Good Pub guide and Alistair Sawday's Special Places to Stay.
If you look on their website there are reviews adding praises from 'The Times' . 'The Telegraph', @The Daily Mail and so many more so it is obviously a vey well known pub with a great reputation.
Monday to Saturday - 11.30am - 3pm & 6pm to 11pm
Sun 12.00pm - 10.30pm,
last food orders for Sunday lunch: 2.00pm
Sunday evening 6.30pm to 10.30pm
WHY THIS RESTAURANT?
This is a restaurant that I have been to a few times with my sisters. One sister works in Swindon and the other in Oxford so this makes a great meeting point for us when I go down and stay with my sister in Oxford.
The meals are really very tasty and pretty good value from an a la carte menu or the blackboard specials. I don't know much about the lunch time menu because we have only been in the evening but i do know my sister always books as they are often very busy.
WELCOME AND AMBIENCE
This is not only a restaurant but also a pub/bar and many people just come for drinks especially in the summer as their garden is lovely and looks over the river and the moorings.
As you arrive you are greeted and shown to a table. In our case each time we have had the same table just to the left of the bar and within easy sight of the Specials Board which was very handy. It is also not far from the open fire which is also a good thing as we have found it quite chilly in the restaurant sometimes which is unusual as usually you get rather hot in crowded restaurants.
The staff are always welcoming and efficient but I wouldn't say they are overly friendly. They do come and take the drinks order and sometimes because we are so busy yakking we haven't chosen our food and have to ask them to give us more time. They always allow this but at times we have had rather more time than we have needed after sending them away!
We also always ask for a jug of tap water which comes with ice and glasses usually just after our drinks. As two of us are always driving our alcoholic needs are small but they must be used to that since the drink driving laws are so strict.
The restaurant is like a traditional pub atmosphere with original beams and solid dark furniture. There is sufficient room between tables so that you are not sharing the next door tables' conversation but at times it does get quite loud and as our table is large and round with only three of us on it we tend to move our chairs closer together so that we don't have to shout to each other.
There is a menu but it tends to be a bit more expensive than the things on the Black board so we tend to select from the Specials Board. The starters on the Specials Board range from soup at about £5 to £8 for sautéed Crevettes with Garlic and Herb Butter, £7 for A Bowl of Cornish Mussels with Tomato and Basil Sauce, £7 for Bubble and Squeak, Poached Egg and Hollandaise Sauce and £8 for Whole Crayfish, Citrus Mayonnaise. These we find are pretty average prices for starter that are well presented and freshly individually prepared.
The mains vary from around £11 for fish and chips through to the most expensive at £19 for Char grilled Ribeye Steak, Fat Chips and Tomato Aioli and several dishes around £13 to £15 in between. We usually choose something around the £13 price range and there is usually a pretty good choice and it does change regularly too which is nice.
The a la carte menu is smaller and the starters range from some sort of salad for around £7 to things like oysters which are pretty expensive at £12 for half a dozen. The mains range from £14 for something like guinea fowl through to rib eye steak at nearly £20 and then side orders are £2.50 each unless you choose the mixed vegetables which are £6.
When we order the specials we seem to get all we need on our plates so we have never felt the need for side dishes and they always annoy me as I feel the dish should be served complete rather than paying extra for veggies and things.
If we decide to have a starter which is not often as we all like our desserts I always choose something like the Whole Crayfish, which rather than the normal cocktail sauce comes with a citrus mayonnaise which is always really tasty and so fresh. My sister like things like the pate of duck with plum chutney or sometimes a goat cheese starter and every time they have come nicely presented and they have both enjoyed them.
You also have a lovely little bowl of olives brought which we share and fresh bread with butter as well which we try not to each too much of before our meal!
The main courses that I have enjoyed include the seabass with Crushed New Potatoes and a sorrel sauce which was simply divine with the sea bass just melting in my mouth and I have also had other fish which were equally tasty and it depends on what they have in at the time. One of my sisters has enjoyed the duck and the other the risotto with crayfish and both have chosen the sausage specials as well with locally made sausages that come with either mash or chips and both have said they were really yummy.
We all like our desserts and I am especially fond of crème brule so whenever that is on the menu my choice is ready made. Their crème brule comes in a pretty large flatter dish that you usually get but it is deliciously creamy and very tasty. My sisters are not such fans and they very their selection from things like crumbles or fruit desserts or even the cheese selection which are often local cheeses and every choice of dessert we have made has been a good one.
PAYING AND THE RECEIPT
You ask for the bill then pay the waitress and if you are paying by card then they bring the machine to your table so that your card never leaves your sight. We take turns in paying the bill and so there is never a fuss about splitting it I think my turn is coming around next visit again. You can choose to leave a tip on the card or by putting it on the table it is not automatically added which I think is a good thing.
They are easily accessible and have always been clean whenever I have used them. They are not posh or fancy but perfectly serviceable. I can't remember if they are accessible or if there is a disabled toilet but I assume there must be. If you need this facility then I would phone or just check when booking.
Getting into the restaurant from the front has no steps and inside the part where we sit also has no steps. If you go further into the restaurant then I believe there is a small step. Again if this might be a problem for you then I would phone or just check when booking.
WOULD I RECOMMEND?
Yes indeed, this is a good place to eat as it has plenty of parking outside and it is free. It has a nice cosy atmosphere although we have all be a touch chilly despite the open fire at times and always make sure we have extra layers.
The staff are always very efficient but not what I would call overly chatty or friendly and smiles are a bit in short supply however the food is brought in good time and we are always asked if we need anything else and whether everything is okay after we have started eating so I shouldn't really moan.
The food is really good, not the cheapest places to eat by a long way but you do get quality freshly prepared food and it is always well presented too.
Thanks for reading. This review may be posted on other sites under my same username.
Summary: A really nice traditional English oub with quality food but wear something warm
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