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Trout Inn, Wolvercote

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user reviews of the Trout Inn, Wolvercote

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Very food orientated, with a large outside riverside seating area and a few cask ales.
alexw - 3 Jun 2019 23:22
Stopping off during a walk. Absolutely packed, as you would expect on a summers day, but the staff did seem to be coping well.

We just wanted a quick pint as refreshment. Not too outrageous £8 for a lager and lime and an old hooky. Old Hooky in poor condition - not clear and poorer than average.

Great location.

Visit blogged at
Mappiman - 24 Jul 2017 14:10
Definitely a restaurant and not a pub, but at least it sold some beer.
simontheeditor - 9 Jan 2017 16:45
Approaching at 10pm, we were unable to appreciate the finer points of The Trout, but a convivial Australian barmaid and a well-kept pint of Cornish Trawler provided a warm welcome. Seeing a bar festooned in clingfilm seemed odd, but was done to keep the flies off, who were attendant in their droves. Light and bright and not really pubby at all, but nice to prop up the bar at what is predominantly a food-oriented establishment.
Komakino - 14 Aug 2014 18:26
Superb location with huge riverside drinking and eating areas. The peacock strutting around is tremendous. Foodie but you are not made to feel unwelcome as a drinker. Poor choice of beer (Brakspear or Doom Bar-what about a local micro or two guys?) Interior is, well beige.
curioushistory - 15 May 2014 16:02
Good points? The location is gorgeous as are the buildings while a peacock was sounding off on the roof. Minuses? Terrible upholstering by fans of eighties' dramas, awful music and the fact it's too busy. Still, they do have the decency of leaving a lot of seats outside open for just drinkers thus preserving the place's status as a pub rather than a restaurant. A chain pub by stealth as I have seen the same menu in Cookham, Golders Green and Warwick.
BoehmBawerk - 4 May 2014 19:34
Awesome location. Beer choice is limited: Brakspear Bitter and Doom Bar, but the setting is simply wonderful - just on the edge of Oxford's water meadows, with the dreaming spires in the distance. There's been a sympathetic modern extension which recreates the feel of the original 17th c. building so you are not jolted when you transfer from one to the other.

Spacious and over-staffed so even when busy (which appears to be most of the time) it has a relaxed feel. You would, however, need to book in advance or arrive early if you wanted a meal.

There are minor flaws regarding the beer selection, and the inconsistency of staff attentiveness, but this is a damn fine pub, and a must visit place.
SilkTork - 18 Apr 2014 16:08
I agree with every word of the last comment. 8/10 from me too.
eddybeer - 24 Mar 2014 11:03
4 out of 10???? To say that rating astonishes me would be an extreme understatement.

Very nice location to sit in the garden whilst quaffing a few pints of Aspel cider, we found it a lovely way to spend some time. Sure the beer selection was not the widest but I have a very soft spot for Aspel.

Okay it is food orientated but to slag off an establishment for that in the current day and age when pubs are closing at an alarming rate is in my view totally out of order.

I sincerely hope people are not put of visiting by the stupidly low rating (the packed car park did indicate this was not the case). Very nice pub that I will certainly visit again when in the area, regardless of whether I am having food or not.

8/10 from me.
kevmac - 24 Sep 2013 18:12
It's an enjoyable walk from the town in Summer, and makes a fair destination for that purpose.

I agree with most of the main points made here though, and for that reason I'd not be a frequent regular.

We had a very enjoyable evening, (mainly down to the company), and it's only fair to say there wasn't really anything about the pub to spoil that.
eddybeer - 12 Aug 2013 19:19
yes its is in a beautfull location, and it is a stunning building, but its completely food orientated. and also on a sunny day it is so exceptionally busy thats its not really realxing, even outside looking at the river. interior is a bit paint by numbers, and whilst clean and pleasant a little souless.

food was nice. pizzas especially were superb.
CHELSEA_on_tour - 12 Aug 2013 17:03
Moved up to Oxford this summer and was soon recommended to head over to The Trout ... and I loved it! Been back again and again ... taken friends, family and clients there and have never been disappointed. Great selection of ales - I've enjoyed Oxford Gold, Purity UBU, Sharps Doom Bar, Tribute and they had Hobgoblin in for Halloween ... obviously they care about their ales! Food has always been great and the service is what I wanted ... friendly and efficient but without making me feel rushed. Great place! Great team!!
richardrealaledrinker - 5 Nov 2010 12:00
The food is reasonable, if overpriced but what really lets this place down is the service. We arrived at 12:00 on Saturday for a family lunch and were quickly ushered to a table as they wanted us 'out of the way' because it was busy and we were clearly taking up valuable real estate. What proceeded was shambolic. It was nearly an hour before our order was taken and then nearly another hour before the first course arrived. All in all it took them nearly 4 hours to serve two courses - we gave up on desert as we had better things to do. Beer was OK but this is not really a pub, it's a restaurant and a badly organised one at that. Avoid.
centrpoint - 31 Oct 2010 14:24
Dreadful place! - another example of an genuine old pub that's been gutted and replaced with fake 'old' decor, so that it looks like every other fake-old pub in every other town. For the first time I can remember I felt underdressed in a pub! - or should I say "pub", because this is really just an over-priced restaurant for the local monied classes and tourists. They should stop the pretence and take the pub sign down outside and rip the bar out to put more tables in. Shame because it has a great riverside location.
discerningdan - 18 Mar 2010 21:43
I don't feel I can add anything to the three of four reviews below. A real waste.
thomashenry - 1 Jul 2009 13:37
I arrived at this pub having walked 20 miles of the Thames Path. I was expecting an old fashioned riverside pub with character where I could rest my weary feet and have a few ales in celebration.

Boy was I disappointed. On entering the place it wasn't at all clear whether it was a pub at all - you had to search to find the bar and if you didn't intend to eat there was very little of a welcome.

The one ale I had was OK, but nothing special. Certainly there was nothing to persuade me to stay.
alexw123 - 22 Nov 2008 17:38
Only the totally undiscerning would go here. A wretched apology for a riverside pub. Very poor food.
Braganca - 17 Oct 2007 22:35
Devastated! It is like sitting in a bus station with a constant stream of Mothers with babies in buggies, or kids being dragged to the lavatories (which are not very clean and tidy). The lavatories are right next to one of the main eating areas which would make dining a very unpleasant experience.

Now that the policy is 'fags out and kids in', it is no longer a treat to go to the Trout. Invariably it like an assault course trying to get to the bar, having to negotiate your way through kids and buggies.

There is a good selection of beers and wines, but each time you visit the prices will have gone up. The staff are very impersonal. The whole pub lacks atmosphere.

This pub has really been ruined, and it not nearly as nice as it was when Bob and Laura ran it a year ago.

anonymous - 1 Oct 2007 13:56
How were the new owners allowed to get away with the destruction of a pub with such character? I went back recently after a few years away and it really brings a tear to your eye. The great old place has been transformed into the standard rubbish you would find in an All-Bar-One. It is nothing short of vandalism. Worryingly, the owners are proud of what they have achieved. The original interior no doubt changed bit by bit over hundreds of years but never so dramatically as this. The thing is, after ten years, what they have done will look worn out and rubbish. But there is now no way back. Tragic.

Oh yes, food is weak and you have to wait years. Beer is ok I guess.
Spaino - 18 Jul 2007 17:37
took my stepdaughter, her friend and my other half for a birthday celebration meal, great venue, staff were pretty good but my oh my were we dissapointed in the food. 2 vegetarians in our group and not a decent choice. such a shame as if they had a little fore thought it could be so much better. Shant be darkening their doorstep again for food, might eventually venture there for a drink beside the river although there are a lot of other riverside venues in Oxfordshire I will investigate before returning
rabc1963 - 31 May 2007 22:48
What they have done to this pub over the past 5 years is borderline criminal. Nobody, not one person I have spoken to in Oxford has appreciated the changes that have been made to the Trout yet they went ahead anyway. This is cultural rape of the highest order.
hongkongdave - 30 Apr 2007 16:04
The Trout, which used to be a most delightful place, is now a triumph of modern style over substance, with its faux cosiness underlining a complete lack of warmth. I suppose the procession of new Range Rovers (none with a fleck of mud on them) in the car park, should have been a warning. The bottles of "dipping" oils, another. The menu was rubbish, the service even worse and the final straw was being barked at to put my cigarette out, even though I was eating outside. Throughout a painful two hours in the place I repeatedly heard the young and aggressive staff tell people what they could not have - fish and chips (for which the place used to be famous), cider - they didn't have any, Kir ("we haven't got any of that") culminating in them turning away (for food) two cyclists who'd made the mistake of arriving five minutes after food closing time at 2.00pm. The conceit of having covers of Inspector Morse books framed on the walls was absolute. Morse would rather have given up drinking than spend any time in a modern nightmare like the Trout today. 100 mile round trip from London for some dried out chicken and chips? Never again.
anonymous - 11 Apr 2007 21:51
If you think Vintage Inns had wrecked one of the most famous Old Pubs in the country you should see it inside now. Contemporary and stylish , yes. The food is chic and contemporary too. But who with any sense of feeling for the most charming and historic Inn in England, or memory of it in its heyday, would consider that this was an appropriate thing to do to it. A typical classy 21st century gastropub. You could go to the same thing anywhere in the financially well off world. For anyone who loved the old Trout it is genuinely heartbreaking.
oldguy - 25 Mar 2007 12:07
I used to visit the Trout every week through the late 70s and 80s when it was my favourite pub by far especially on a winter's night when the river was roaring outside under the bridge and the fire was roaring inside. They killed its soul when it became a Vintage Inn with gold lettering on the wall. The staff were neutral and the queues interminable. It is a very sad place now - no character at all. I hear it is to become a gastro pub now - got to keep up with the White Hart at Wytham which does this sort of thing quite well. Fingers crossed!!!
GarethBarnes - 30 Jan 2007 22:43
The trouble with the Trout is that it's a Vintage Inn, which is a great pity. You get what you deserve if you must use these places.

At least they put a sign up to warn you off.
nickdavies - 31 Jul 2006 11:20
The trouble with The Trout Inn is that it doesn't function properly as a pub for you to call in at and have a drink (you queue interminably), nor does it work as a credible restaurant (you wait for 45 minutes - at least you did on 28/7/06 - for your meal). It draws heavily on its idyllic setting, then does nothing with it. Tourists will love it; but, then again, they aren't the kind of passing trade that will seek to come back. It smacks of the least satisfactory kind of English tourism: taking a great location, but milking it somewhat.
gaplow - 31 Jul 2006 00:51
The location is idyllic. On a summers day, a cold beer watching the ducks on the sun dappled river is about as close to perfection as you can get. However, such a Utopia is not without flaws. This pub gets very busy. As a result, you have to queue for a drink, patrol the seated area to get a table, and then queue to order the food. It took about 25 minutes to get served at the bar. Not much fun.
gravedigga - 2 May 2005 13:52
After visiting I have to agree with the last comment I have visited this establishment a couple of year too late. The setting is perfect by the river a postcard setting. But the pub is sadley let down by the limited menu, I was so looking forward to some nice fish (seeing as the pub is called the Trout)but all they had on the menu was Scampi and fish and chips.
The beer was acceptable, I will visit again not for the food but the postcard setting. Sort your menu out.
Womble - 17 Apr 2005 09:30
This pub had a long-established tradition as an excellent pub, in one of the most beautiful locations in Oxford, serving well-kept beers and superb traditional pub grub, and a friendly staff -equally welcoming in both summer and winter. Sadly, since it has been taken over by a chain, all that has disappeared. The historic interior has been gutted and replaced with an identikit open plan. The sub-standard bought in catering is advertised on over-sized plastic menus moure suited to Happy Eater. The beer is limited to poorly kept fosters and Smiths draftfow, and over-priced tepid Chardonnay. Customers are seen as units to be processed with long queues at the bar. This has not however, reduced the clientelle - if anything numbers have increased, but mostly by foul-mouthed fake-Burberry becapped yobs and their equally ill-behaved off-spring. It saddens me deeply to see such a well-loved Oxford institution decline in such a way, but I shall never visit it again and would recommend that others who are looking for a pleasant evening out look elsewhere.
Arcadian - 7 Apr 2005 14:44
This pub has the BEST beer garden!!! I love it.
Vickilou - 1 Dec 2004 07:36
You do have to wait ages to be served and several times my order has been lost completely. The food is really excellent if and when you get it, and the location lovely.

I've brought a well-behaved small child here half a dozen times and staff are usually rude to us. For example, I get told off for having her in the bar even though we are on our way to the toilets and there is no other route to the toilets!

My advice is, come during the winter without kids, sit under the outdoor heat lamps, and enjoy a very tasty meal.
Sara - 4 Sep 2004 23:35
Probably the best location for any pub I have ever seen, perfect in summer. Though would someone please tell me why, WHY did they feel the need to gut and refurbish this place a year or two ago? They turned it from a traditional old pub with worn old beams and stone floors into another tiled, polished wood bar. Yes it's still a very nice place to go but it's unforgiveable what they did to it. Who ever was responsible for it deserves a hefty kick up the arse. Another nice old country pub ruined to fit more arses on seats. Sad.
hongkongdave - 18 Apr 2004 22:10
Lovely location, but be there at 11.30 on a sunday and join the queue, wait for 2 hours for your food, worth it? NAH!
michael - 12 Mar 2004 23:09
Lovely pub and great location.
It gets far too busy in the summer (full of tourists).

Food is standard fare.
Daniel - 2 Feb 2004 18:56
The Trout has good beer and reasonable wine. The food is wholesome, cooked on the premmises and Sunday lunch is served in portions that would keep a student full till wednesday. I needed to walk it off alongside the river and still fell asleep on the way back to London. Or was that the beer? Get there by 12.30 or be prepared for a long wait for a table.
Nigel Bateson - 16 Nov 2003 18:12
probably one of the best pints of bass outside of burton but dont even think about going there before 9.30 in the summer. bob the landlord is s diamond. steer clear if you are hungry you could wait over an hour for your food on a busy day.
Allan - 2 Sep 2003 21:50

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