The Trout (Vintage Inns)
Godstow Road, Wolvercote/Godstow/Oxford

Monday to Saturday 11am to 11pm
Sunday 12 noon to 10.30pm (26.vii.1998)

Pontus Lurcock writes:
They now have Adnams. I forget if it was supplementing or supplanting
the Bass, but in practice it hardly matters.

In retrospect, my earlier review seems a little harsh: I must clarify
that it's not so much of a restaurant that you feel uncomfortable
oing in just for beer, or drying your footwear at the fire. But
neither is it so much of a pub that you feel like staying for more
than one.

Has largely dropped any pretence of being a pub. Any bitter as long as
it's Bass, although to their credit it's always in good condition. But
it's still worth the trip for the setting, with peacocks on shore,
mallards off shore, and across the water that baffling island: they've
renovated the bridge and kept the island itself perfectly manicured,
but there's never, ever, anyone on it -- except occasionally a man
with a strimmer, manicuring.

If you happen to be sailing up from the Medley club, there's a
convenient little jetty at which to moor, and an inconvenient big tree
branch on which to snag your mast. In the autumn there are open
braziers and chestnuts to roast on them. The chestnuts always seem to
be rotten or maggot-infested, but I suppose you could bring your own.

It's a lot more pleasant if you think of it as a restaurant which
happens to serve draught Bass. There's nothing wrong with the food
(pace Elaine Ewart) except the vast queues at weekends, and they
always bring you a dustbin-lid-sized tray of sauces which includes
every condiment known to humanity except for brown sauce. I've had
occasion to visit another "Vintage Inns" pub (The Vine in Wombourne)
and it was eerily similar, right down to the lack of brown sauce.

Colin Batchelor writes:
Here you will remember as the pub which featured in one of the Inspector 
Morses. The best thing about it is the weir which gushes impressively and 
flood-lit past Godstow Lock (between the pub and Godstow Nunnery). It's 
near the site of a monoplane crash earlier this century, and there's a car 
park across the road.

Vintage Inns is a chain of this sort of pub belonging to Bass. It's 
another symptom of Oxford turning into a themepark, really. Out the back 
in the very brightly lit garden is the Morse Bar. The beer brewed by Bass 
is chilled and insipid.

They used to have an oleaginous manager here, but he has moved on to other 
things. The Gents has a framed {Sunday||Daily} Telegraph on the wall, and 
I found a middle-aged couple playing Scrabble without the aid of a board. 
(Not in the gents, obviously.) I don't know how they did it. (26.vii.1998)

Henry Braun adds (on the subject of food:)
It's very good. The plates of pub-food (Mixed Grill & whatnot) are big, 
well-cooked (tomatoes and mushrooms not overdone) and quite adequate even 
for boaties after a long outing. The roasts are also not at all bad (I 
recommend the Herd of Goats with plum sauce they did last winter). At six 
to eight quid a main course it's within the price bracket of the Nosebag 
or Pizza Express and compares well. And the walk gives one an appetite.

Queues, even with the wooden-spoon order system, can be absurd. Last 
orders for meals taken at nine. Beer not such as to make the wait 
worthwhile, alas.

Elaine Ewart adds (on the subject of food:)
Overrated. Grossly.