“…a buzzing cosmopolitan gastro-pub, attracting a mixed, lively crowd of diners and drinkers seeking a trendy but relaxed vibe.”Oxford Mail Review Page
For any resident of Oxford to venture out of the City Centre to dine, there has to be good reason. Finding great food and a venue with atmosphere is hard at the best of times, but finding both in such a warm and welcoming environment just outside of Oxford seemed too good to be true.
So, thinking my first visit to The Hollybush must have been a flash in the pan, I went back with four companions, and it turns out it was a flash in the pan, because it was even better this time around! Albeit for different reasons.
Our first visit was a Friday-night family get-together, and we were seated in one of the side rooms in this delightful yet tight family run pub/restaurant. Friday nights out are often a luxury for families, but this was the ideal venue and from seven to sixty seven, everyone had a ball. Trip number two, which was a more intimate meal for four, was equally memorable, with attentive service throughout and first-class food.
With produce from local suppliers and farms, such as Foxbury and Bakers the butchers, the all-day menu changes regularly with daily specials to boot. The pub, located just a moment’s walk from the centre of Witney, has a large garden set out in three parts – a decked marquee area, patio and even a barn, all available to hire.
So what about the food? We chose the chicken, bacon and avocado salad and the garlic king prawns with lemon to start, followed by crab cakes with sweet chilli dressing and lamb skewers with rosemary for our mains. Hungry? Definitely! I plumped for the 10oz sirloin steak, matured locally at Foxbury, with a superb peppercorn sauce – and I couldn’t forget my fresh tomato and onion mix leaf salad on the side (and the hand-cut chips, naughty but nice). Pudding for me was the chocolate tart, complete with vanilla ice cream – now I was fit to bursting.
The wine list was varied and well priced, and we had both the excellent McHenry Hohnen Margaret River Shiraz and the white meat and fish eaters enjoyed a perfect Hungarian Pinot Grigio.
Whether it’s a Friday night or Tuesday lunchtime, John and Pinky will welcome you with open arms. Running the business is an obvious joy for this likeable family unit, so much so that they have just acquired The Horse Shoes over the road!