It might nearly be March, but last weekend felt particularly wintery – especially Saturday and as we drove towards The Perch Oxford, the car windscreen wipers were going in to overdrive. (Not really ideal weather for taking photos of the Perch’s quaint 17th Century thatched roof exterior.)
Arriving at the Perch is quite an odd experience. Travelling off the infamous Oxford ring road towards Binsey, Navman (my trusty Sat Nav) directs us down a narrow residential street, towards a single lane bridge that crosses the Thames.
After about a mile of single track road we emerge in Binsey hamlet (I don’t think one can really call it a ‘village’!) overlooking Port Meadow – you’d barely know that the centre of Oxford was five minutes away. Blessed with its own car park, it was a relief to reach the interior of The Perch as we admirably watched sturdier walkers heading towards the meadow.
Tom and I were looking forward to this dinner – not only had we spent the last several weekends unpacking boxes and building IKEA furniture – we also knew that the Perch was a regular favourite of Oxford legend – Inspector Morse. I think it would be fair to call the Perch ‘a gastro pub’ and last year it enjoyed a full scale renovation.
It was with sheer gluttony and over eager joy that we embarked on a three course dinner at lunch time (that was the end of any packing thoughts for that Saturday!) As you’d expect with a name like ‘The Perch’, the pub specialises in freshly caught and were possible, local, fish dishes.
Tom tucked in to the Crispy Cornish Fish with homemade garlic mayonnaise with relish and his Moules Frites was also quite frankly a joy to behold. Almost a week later, I’m still salivating over the sourdough toast – thick and dripping with garlic butter mushrooms. To be honest, I should have just STOPPED there. The menu at the Perch is definitely unusual and I had parsnip and leek cakes, which were tasty, but super filling.
Finally, against my better judgement, we finished with desserts – Tom will always go for heartiest thing on the menu – Rhubarb and Ginger steamed pudding (I had definite food envy) and I went for the special – a dark chocolate and chilli torte pot with white chocolate mousse with passion fruit coulis. It looked impressive, that’s for sure – but for me, a tad overwhelming with all the different components.
I really wanted to visit the Perch in the day time as Tom and I are still on the look out for wedding venues and they have an excellent permanent marquee which would make an great summer venue. They also have one of THE most interesting wedding menus I’ve seen yet. You never know..
The staff estimate that there’s been a pub on the site of the Perch for at least 800 years and I say, lets hope its around for another eight centuries!
Disclaimer – our lunch was organised by the kind staff at The Perch Oxford, but as always, all opinions and nonsense are completely our own!
Need to know:
- The Perch Oxford as BUSY, you definitely need to book a table for this favourite. You can find out more about the team here: http://the-perch.co.uk/