ESCAPE LONDON – The Fox and Goat in Oxfordshire, a cute country pub, rich with history
This cute little pub is only an hour drive from central London and just minutes from the M40, it has ample parking and is very easy to find. The white exterior is pretty and has plenty of seating outside for you to enjoy in those warm summer months.
The bar staff are friendly and well organised, booking my dinner time as soon as I arrived and also mentioning that the restaurant was fully booked that evening, which is always a good sign. My room was simply decorated in cream and white, with good amenities, including a range of tea, delicious biscuits and even a cute little clock next to the bed. The bed was comfortable, with soft white linen covers and a lovely thick duvet, perfect to keep you warm this time of year. The night stands, dresser and headboard were a lovely contrast to the white, as they were made of beautiful oak wood.
The bathroom was a good size, modern and extremely kept, with fluffy white towels on the shiny silver heated rack. The large tiles were cream and matched the colour of the bedroom well. The porcelain white sink wes deep and round, whist the taps were a beautiful shiny silver, matching the towel rail. The bath doubled as a shower too, designed to give you plenty of standing room and for bath lovers like myself, a generously sized bath to bathe in.
The bar itself is cosy and welcoming, just as you would like a country pub to be, with cute little wooden shutters and lovely wooden chairs. Even though I arrived quite early for dinner, the bar was already buzzing with happy clientele. The venue has always been a pub or inn and dates back to the 17th century. The restaurant walls are the original brick, with a stunning open area where the fireplace used to be and now a wood burner sits. You can’t help but feel transported back in time, as you relax in this friendly pub and admire the décor.
You can’t help but feel transported back in time, as you relax in this friendly pub and admire the décor.
The staff are all very friendly and my lovely waiter (who was actually the owner Doug) was happy to adapt my starter of Potted mackerel and toast, to exclude the wasabi cream. The menu provides a great range of food for vegetarians and meat eaters alike, as a Pescatarian I opted for the Pan Fried Salmon, new potatoes, white wine sauce and tender stem broccoli. The mackerel appetizer was full of flavour and the accompanying bread perfectly crisp. The food presentation was beautiful, although the mackerel proved a little too salty for my taste. The salmon main however, was superb, the fish fell onto the fork and was cooked perfectly. The accompanying broccoli was crisp and full of flavour, the potato well seasoned and all were superbly presented, insuring the dish nothing short of excellent. I tried the sticky toffee pudding and it was moreish, delightful and tasty – it is clear the Fox and Goat know how to create amazing food.
It is clear the Fox and Goat know how to create amazing food.
After a great night sleep I popped downstairs to see the happy face of the friendly owner Doug, who had set up a lovely breakfast table in the bar just for me, yes I felt very spoilt. I was served hot pastries and offered a hot breakfast, although they also have a range of fresh fruit and cereals available for you, I opted for my favourite – scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and brown bread. Once again the food was outstanding, with fluffy eggs sprinkled in chives, tasty salmon and excellent presentation. It is easy to see why the restaurant is fully booked, even in January.
Doug showed me around the bar and it was fascinating to hear that the wood beams, which were stripped back to their natural beauty, were once part of a ship. The original deeds from 1748 were found in the barn next door and displayed on the wall, they show all the previous owners, that is where learning how to read Chaucer in school comes in handy as I can read old English. The original name was The Three Goats Heads and when Doug took over the bar it was called the Fox, to honour the rich history, he renamed the pub The Fox and Goat, as it is now known.
The Fox and Goat pub is a short ride out of London, making it easy to visit for a night or a weekend. If you enjoy historical buildings, this place is a must visit. It is hard not to imagine the clientele that walked on the same floors a couple of hundred years ago and what the pub would have been like back then. The rooms are comfortable, the prices reasonable and you can enjoy a night of fun, without a designated driver in sight.
Oxford Rd, Tiddington, Oxon OX9 2LH
Heart London 5 * Rating
Cat, Heart London