We may be about as far away from the sea as you can get, being based in Oxfordshire, but we are surrounded by beautiful countryside. As you know, we do love exploring and we are big fans of the Cotswolds, which we can reach in less than an hour from home. We were recently invited to sample the lunch menu at The Fox Inn Great Barrington, which is ideally placed close to Burford, Stow on the Wold and Bourton on the Water. It’s also set on the river Windrush, and I don’t know about you, but I do like visiting a pub next to a river. I’d also spotted that the pub has rooms available, which would be ideal if you’re in the area over night.
The Fox Inn Great Barrington has two car parks, at the front and rear of the pub and we had no problem parking just before 12 o’clock on Sunday in the rear car park. The sun was out and my son had already spotted swans on the pond in the pub gardens.
There are three eating area within the pub, the bar area, Riverside Dining Room or in the gardens. It looked as if the tables were all booked in the Dining Room (which did look lovely), so, as it was a lovely day it seemed silly to not sit outside in the garden and enjoy the views.
Monkey loved running around the garden whilst Daddy P and I looked at the menu. He came running back to tell me he’d spotted signets, so obviously we had to have a look at them, quietly!
We explained that Monkey needed to leave the young family in peace and admire them from a distance, and it wasn’t long before some Canada Geese had caught his eye instead. Giving Daddy P and I the chance to make some final menu selections.
Daddy P being the traditionalist of the family opted for a homemade mushroom soup starter with fresh crusty bread, followed by Extra Mature Cotswold reared Topside of Beef with vegetables.
The flavour of the homemade soup was good, but sadly it was luke warm, so didn’t go down too well with Daddy P, who likes his soup piping hot. He did enjoy his Sunday Roast and thought the portion size was good.
Now as for my 6 year old, he’s always an ‘interesting’ dinner companion when there is anything other than pizza on the menu away from home! Do you know that feeling too? The Fox Inn Great Barrington doesn’t have a specific childrens menu but will supply any meal requested as a half portion.
He will eat beef, lamb and duck at home, but not when we’re out. He’s not a fan of Roasted Ham or Pork, so the Sunday Roast menu wasn’t going to work for him. He’d decided on the Fish and Chips from the general Pub Dishes menu with a bread and butter starter, but unfortunately that wasn’t available when we went to order. Never mind, the staff were very accommodating and we decided that he’d have the homemade Salmon fish cakes from the Starters section as his main meal.
The fish cakes were a big hit with Monkey, and he even allowed me a taste. Full of flavour and salmon. He was a very happy boy.
I’d opted for a fish/seafood fest! With the Salt, Pepper & Chilli Calamari with dressed salad & garlic dip as a starter and Local Bibury Trout Grilled Served with Hot Buttered New Potatoes Dressed Salad & Homemade Coleslaw as my main meal.
The Calamari were a little overdone for my taste, but well seasoned. The Bibury Trout was the star of the day. I haven’t had trout for ages, and it really was delicious and I thoroughly enjoyed it. We’ve been talking about taking Monkey to the trout farm at Bibury for ages to feed the fish, now we really must arrange that! Monkey tried trout for the first time, he loves fish, but hasn’t seen one served whole before, so it was a good experience for him.
The speed of service was good, which is always a bonus when eating out with children. I can’t comment on the desserts as these didn’t appear to have been included in our review. But there appears to be a good selection on the menu.
Daddy P and I both felt that the garden area of the pub needed a bit of TLC, with the hottest months of the year ahead of us (hopefully), there was a bench that a family couldn’t sit on as one side was broken, with nails sticking out of it, a seat offering a lovely view was also broken. There was a lot of broken glass around the steps too, which did put us off a bit. Having wildfowl by the river obviously means a certain amount of pooh, which I do understand is all part of nature, it would have been nice though if this had at least been cleared from the pathways.
The Fox Inn Great Barrington really is in a great position in the Cotswolds, the menu is varied and by the we left both car parks were full, so it’s obviously popular. The garden area could certainly be a big pull with a little tidying up.
disclosure: we were given a given complimentary starters and main meals in exchange for an honest review.