For my birthday, my wife wanted to take us all out for lunch, since my daughters were still on school holiday. The venue she chose was the Trout Inn in Wolvercote, Oxford, which is not too far from where we live. My wife is always looking for us to experience fine dining with her, and with this pub and restaurant situated in village meant that it would not be too difficult to get to and would not be too noisy.
We were greeted by the Trout Inn sign which hangs where their car park is situated, which has ample parking spaces. No worries about not finding parking here.
The Trout Inn is a 17th century pub sitting by the banks of the River Thames, and in the summer time is a great place to have a drink, enjoy fine dining and soak in some sun. As it was rather cloudy and drizzling at times the day we went, we did not have the opportunity to enjoy this aspect of dining.
I have to say that the setting is very warm and cosy, with lovely simple decorations to make it feel homely and rustic, and definitely not too modern.
We started off by ordering drinks – my wife had the elderflower sherbet which is rather sweet, whereas I had the minted cranberry spritz – lovely softails (non-alcoholic soft-drink cocktail).
To start off lunch, we ordered starters to share. My wife and I shared a Fisherman’s platter which has sloe gin smoked salmon with salmon caviar, crayfish cocktail in bloody mary ketchup, salt and szechuan pepper squid, smoked mackerel, Devon crab mayonnaise with toasted rustic bread and aioli. This was a lovely dish and had many different elements to it which we would not normally eat. But as we are not big eaters and do not normally eat much for lunch, we felt pretty full after this dish.
My oldest daughter ordered a garlic pizzette, or as daughters called it a Garlic bread pizza. It was very nice, but was also very filling for my oldest daughter.
For the main dish, I ordered a small plate of King prawn, crab and chorizo linguine – definitely could not finish a large plate of this.
My wife ordered for me a side dish of asparagus tips with parmesan cheese.
For her main, my wife ordered the slow-cooked pork belly and seared scallops with pancetta and thyme mashed potato, green beans tossed in apple butter and an English cider and mustard sauce. As Rosie our Yorkshire terrier was with us as well for lunch, she managed to eat some of the pork as well.
My oldest daughter ordered a Margherita pizza, and only managed to eat a slice before she felt full – my wife called it the most expensive slice of pizza. It was a lovely thin crust Margherita pizza, just the way she likes it – but clearly that garlic pizzette had already filled her up.
My youngest daughter ordered from the kid’s menu – the British beef burger served on a brioche bun with a serving of fries. She was surprised at the size of the serving, as it was probably more adult sized portions.
The food was lovely, but as I’ve said before, we do not normally eat much for lunch and the starters pretty much filled us all up. But this is a lesson that we never learn, as we will always order more than we can finish, owing to the fact we do not dine out very often, there are so many nice dishes to try out, and we would have forgotten this lesson by the next time we eat out again.
But we did enjoy the atmosphere, the occasion and the food was lovely – at least what our appetite would allow us to eat.