On a freezing Monday night, our party of 5 trekked out to Lower Wolvercote to visit The Trout Inn, a 17th century pub just north of Oxford featured in Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited and plenty of episodes of Inspector Morse.
It being a Monday, the bar was unsurprisingly almost completely empty when we arrived, and The Trout’s sprawling layout meant that we were left waiting by the door to be seated. When we were eventually spotted by our waiter, who was friendly from the off, we were led through a few rooms to the restaurant which was impressively busy for so early in the week. The atmosphere was cosy, the décor was inviting and homely (if a little trout/Morse heavy) and we had plenty of space at the table to shed our many layers of coats and jackets.
We were promptly brought menus, though it took a while for our waiter to return to take our drinks orders – just about long enough for us to decide to order everything at once. It should probably be noted that The Trout’s menu doesn’t seem to have vegetarians and vegans particularly in mind, but the options available all seemed carefully considered and spanned the different sections of The Trout’s diverse menu. From pub grub to pizzas to (verging on) fine dining, everyone should be able to find something to their liking.
We decided to share a bottle of the house cabernet sauvignon (dubiously referred to as a cab-sav by our waiter…) which was reasonably priced and certainly warming. The drinks menu, predictably from a pub, is incredibly varied and won’t break the bank, though the option to splash out on drinks is certainly available. Between us we ordered from across the food menu, choosing battered halloumi, roasted butternut squash & sweet potato tart, roasted pork belly, lobster and Devon crab fishcakes, and king prawn, crab & chorizo linguini.
I opted for the battered halloumi, a tasty vegetarian alternative to the classic fish & chips. The twice-cooked chips were a bit of a mixed bag but at their best were perfectly crunchy on the outside with a fluffy centre. The minted pea puree was a welcome touch which complemented the halloumi well and elevated the meal from simple pub food to something a bit more indulgent. Highlights from around the table included the particularly crispy pork crackling from the roasted pork belly, and the pea & truffle oil velouté that accompanied the fishcakes.
The setting was friendly and relaxed, and the resounding opinion from the rest of the group seemed to be that The Trout is at its best when serving comfort food. All in all, if you’re after a homely setting and good pub food, then The Trout Inn is well worth a visit.