Just a short drive from the historic city of Oxford, you'll discover The Fox and Goat. An endearing village pub nearby Tiddington, Albury and Waterstock, both the restaurant and rooms have been beautifully refurbished with a charming finish that mixes classic and contemporary. Cosy fireplaces and exposed brick are met with hints of olive green, fresh flowers and natural wood to create a home from home feel. After a sunny day in Oxford, we made our way along the A418 to be warmly welcomed by The Fox and Goat staff.
Amongst a handful of renovated bedrooms upstairs, we were shown to our Classic Double, which is £92 per night including breakfast. We were met with a clean and modern bedroom, with large marbled bathroom, shower, heated towel rail and Cole & Lewis toiletries. The crisp white bed linen was paired with neutral soft furnishings and cosy check curtains. I especially loved the touch of the sage green carriage clock, another homely piece. For extra comfort, there are sink-into down toppers on all of the beds. Heavenly!
Arriving early afternoon, we made our way to the bar to relax and enjoy the welcoming surroundings. It was the day of the England vs. Wales rugby match and friendly manager Doug brought out a large homemade sausage roll, sliced up for everyone to help themselves from the bar. I thought this was a lovely gesture for the local drinkers. It was delicious too - although I had to restrain myself since we were eating a few hours later!
The menu is made up of pub classics with season in mind, although there are a few Spanish, Italian and Eastern inspired dishes too. Starters on the daily-changing menu include the likes of soups, pate and baked Camembert, whilst you'll find mains to the tune of beer battered fish and chips, Oxford Gold sausages and mash and honeyed ham with duck eggs.
To begin we opted for one of their platters for two (£18) which featured Salami, Serrano ham, chorizo, Brussels pate, mini meat balls, buffalo mozzarella and chutneys. The ideal start to whet our appetite, this would also have been the perfect grazing platter if you were just going for drinks with friends. The rich meatballs were my favourite, but the warm bread to dip in the pesto sauce and good quality oils were a close second.
For main I went for something I usually wouldn't try in a British pub, a curry. This was the Monkfish tail and coconut curry with turmeric rice & shallot bhaji and fresh coriander (£15.95) which is coincidentally one of their gluten free options. Living within easy reach of Leicester and Birmingham, I'm spoilt for choice when it comes to Indian and Eastern cuisine, although something about this fragrant seafood combination intrigued me. It turned out to be utterly delicious.
The flawlessly cooked chunks of monkfish melted into the aromatic sauce, which was an ideal balance of creamy and spicy. The bhaji rivalled some of those I've had in Indian restaurants and added a texture interest to the dish.
My dining partner went for the Roasted beef sirloin with truffle mashed potato and seasonal vegetables (£16.95), another of the gluten free dishes. The glistening sirloin was flavoursome and cooked medium rare as requested, whilst the pungent truffle mash added interesting flavours to the dish, whilst feeling luxurious too.
To finish, I again opted for a different pud to my usual. (Because you're all sick of Bakewell tarts and sticky toffee puddings, riiight?) Instead I went for their carrot cake with rum and raisin ice cream. I'm not usually one for boozy ice creams either but everything had been so perfectly matched thus far. I have to admit it was more of fruit cake than carrot, but it was moist, well flavoured and telling of a homemade dessert.
As the only ones staying that night, we had the breakfast area to ourselves come morning. The leafy surroundings and the Spring sun coming through the window made us feel so leisurely and relaxed. Although the comfy down mattress topper may have helped with that too. We sat at an old church pew with the table set up with gingham napkins, soft butter wrapped in brown paper and mini bottles of fresh milk.
Doug was there bright and early to take our bespoke breakfast order, Sam opting for a full English whilst I asked for poached egg, salmon and spinach. With no spinach in, he suggested chard would be a good option to accompany. This turned out to be very palatable and was happily wash down with a fresh orange juice and piping hot latte. As you can see the full English looked mouthwatering and came complete with Oxford gold sausages and a free range fried egg.
Because what would a breakfast review be without a runny yolk?
In all, The Fox and Goat is a lovely, friendly pub with a fantastic menu and comfortable rooms to boot. For a meal, it would definitely appeal to couple, families and special occasions alike. An overnight stay would be perfect for someone exploring The Cotswolds or staying nearby Oxford for business. I cannot say enough just how welcoming this place felt, and I definitely hope one day to return when I'm back in Oxfordshire.