The Fox Inn is set on the banks of the River Windrush in a designated area of outstanding natural beauty and most people’s idea of a quintessential English pub.
My visit was on a Sunday evening following an afternoon at a place of contrasting culture Bicester Village. So after leaving the chav’s queueing for their £500 Prada shoes – you do wonder where people who can afford to spend so much money on such items actually have the brains to earn it. There were traffic queues all around and I crawled towards Oxford and took the road indicated by my satnav towards Cirencester. I began to wonder at one point whether I was nearly in Wales…as I saw Ross-on-Wye signposted.
After turning right of an A road I saw the Fox Inn down a tiny lane. It was still light as it was about 6.30pm on a September evening. The setting is beautiful.
I check into my room, which is one of 4 in the ‘mews’ with oak beams, Cotswold exposed walls, and river view and I watch the ducks floating past. There are seven rooms in total and mine is a double, costing £69. It was very clean, modern, had ample toiletries and the sheets were cotton – so far so good. So I throw down my bag and head outside for a walk around the river.
The Fox Inn is in an area of the Cotswolds known as the Golden Triangle (10 minutes from Stow-on-the-Wold and 5 minutes from Burford). There is a mixture of couples and families staying here on a Sunday evening.
The inn has a riverside conservatory where breakfast takes place, dining bar, two riverside alfresco dining areas and landscape gardens for eating and drinking. The ales are local and the beers and wines come from the award-winning Oxford Wine Company.
The menu is mostly from locally-sourced fresh produce overseen by their in-house butcher, Clive, which means that the specials menu is an ever-evolving delight of seasonal fish, meat and vegetarian options. There is also a bar snack menu.
I tried the Chef’s Liver pate with red onion marmalade, granary toast and salad at £7.25…followed by a 28-day matured Cotswold Sirloin Steak with homemade chunky chips, grilled tomato,mushrooms and dressed salad (£22.95) followed by home-made apple crumble(£6.50). The wine selection was reasonable and we opted for a red Rioja.
The staff were friendly and the service was good but my steak arrived substantially raw and could not be eaten and the crumble was burned. We were offered a refund on the charge for this.
The breakfast more than made up for the dinner, with a full English on offer – and they serve a decent pot of tea with tealeaves. There was no pressure to rush off and we have another pot.
Loved the pub and its setting but the dinner, on this occasion slightly let it down. It was Sunday so maybe it was the chef’s night off? My main recommendation for staying there as its in a great place, the staff are friendly and the service is good.
The Fox Inn, Great Barrington, Oxfordshire, OX18 4TB
01451 844385 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Double room with breakfast costs circa £69