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“An unexpected pleasure” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Ashmolean Dining Room

Ashmolean Dining Room
Beaumont Street, Oxford, England
+44 1865 553823
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Ranked #216 of 494 Restaurants in Oxford
Price range: $9 - $30
Cuisines: English
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Outdoor seating
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Home Style
Transit: A 10 minute walk from Oxford train station, and very close to Oxford bus station.
Description: A celebration of food and wine alongside art and culture. The Ashmolean Dining Room provides the spectacular setting for Oxford's first and finest rooftop restaurant. We have a fantastic new menu taking the food back to a good, hearty British feel with a European twist. As the subject of gastronomy dictates, we have dedicated this menu to the art of good eating with introductions of rabbit and monkfish tail as well as treating you to a sublime bream dish and lamb rump to die for. Vegetarians will be left drooling for our pearl barley dish and cauliflower salad. And, what better way to top it off, but with our Paris Brest dessert. Ingredients are fresh and seasonal and we use many local Oxfordshire suppliers to bring the best quality to you. Our wine list is broad with 50 handpicked wines from around the world.
oxfordshire
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
“An unexpected pleasure”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2013

Stepping off the park and ride bus and urgently seeking a coffee in congenial surroundings my wife and I were approached by a charming lady who recommended us to try the restaurant at the top of the Ashmolean.
What a lovely surprise! A bright and airy room with roof top views, a large outdoor seating area and even a grassed over space with deck chairs!
By this time we were easilly seduced into taking hot breakfasts with coffee. My wife chose a BLT -'really good' - and I tried the scrambled egg with mackerel. a pleasing combination.
Yes, it took a while for the food to arrive but it was prepared to order and how nice to relax, enjoy the ambience and not feel rushed.
Service was extremely politie and faultless.
Having read other somewhat negative reviews after our visit maybe things have changed for the better.
Our bill, including a well deserved tip for our waiter, was £20.00.
We sauntered throught the museum on our way down from the 4th floor (there is a tiny lift available) feeling well prepared to tackle our shopping expedition in Oxford.
From The Oxfordshire Doglover (dog safe at home on this occasion)

  • Visited August 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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301 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Shipston on Stour, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“A mixture”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2013

We went for lunch as part of a visit to the Museum. A beautiful roof terrace gives good views over Oxford but the main dining room is somewhat bare. A bottle of water was brought without our having to ask - a good start but the delay between the arrival of the menus and the taking of our order was rather long given that there were not too many people in the restaurant. My wife ordered the pan fried salmon ("Catch of the day") which looked and apparently tasted near perfect. My roast pork was very tough, though nicely flavoured. The so-called cracklind (apart from one tiny piece) was leathery. You didn't need a magnifying glass to see the apple sauce, but it would have helped. The "seasonal vegetables" were carrots and green beans (the latter not even topped and tailed. This was hardly imaginative in summer and I have to marvel at the practice that must have gone into producing beans of such excruciating toughness. The roast potatoes were crispy and light on the outside but the centres would have been improved by a few more minutes cooking time. We didn't get the impression that the staff were interested enough to deal with complaints. Both meals were £14.50: one doesn't mind paying a premium price for the convenience of eating at a museum restaurant but the pork was simply mediocre at a top price.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Patronising and dismissive service and a poor concept of what is 'jam' for a cream tea!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2013

Went the the dining room for a cream tea with a friend; a second visit in a year. The roof terrace is absolutely lovely but the service was exceedingly poor, so much so that it nearly spoiled our best friends meet up (we live 180 miles apart). I complained about the 'jam' which accompanied our cream tea, it was actually more of a coulis than jam. There were all sorts of excuses; the chef makes it apparently and the state of the 'jam' today was apparently due to the hot weather and the quality of the strawberries! I asked if there was any more jam in the building and I initially thought I was being offered Tesco 'value' as an alternative but he was actually being sarcastic and added that he thought that (Tesco jam) was what I wanted (ie the quality) and inferring they were offering something more superior! Other than that the service was poor, disinterest and no pleasantries or acknowledgments. I seem to remember similar on our last visit. A cream tea is not a cream tea without the jam! The manageress came and apologised, bringing jam from the cafe downstairs but we'd finished our scones by this time, she gave us another scone though. This will be my last visit there. My advice to the chef - give it up and buy some jam! Get some decent and less snotty staff too - customer service is important even to a transient population of customers.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Very disappointing service.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2013

We had lunch at the Ashmolean restaurant and had a nice Mediterranean meal.
The restaurant is simple but stylish, interesting lamps! with a nice terrace with views over the roofs.
However next night before leaving Oxford we decided to go back and it seemed like a different place the service was slow, staff was chatting amongst themselves…. After waiting for a while we decided to leave.
Very disappointing.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abingdon, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Underwhelming but if management get it right could be overwhelmingly good”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2013

An exciting and different venue in theory and for us a birthday special meal. A bit of an underwhelming experience and all in all the service not very attentive due to lack of staff.. Staff seemed a bit stressed and were not able to complete tasks and provide the level of service that you would usually expect. Cocktails being made for other guests seemed to detract from any other table service at times.

Some of my party were not impressed with the mackerel main course as what quite puny and not served as hot as it could be. The sharing board of anti-pasta was very boring and overpriced, just meat and 4 small bits of bread and few gherkins. I enjoyed my lamb immensely but the plated food and sides were not as hot as they should be, however, the flavors were delightful.

Salted caramel cheesecake very yummy!

I wonder if the business model doesn't require customer retention due to the tourist footfall? What was very poor was the fact that the unisex toilets were sloshy and no hand towels were available. When questioned the restaurant responded saying that they took no responsibility for the toilets as they were managed by the museum. This apparent lack of desire to meet customers' basic needs and to provide amenities seemed to say it all.

We requested that the optional service to be taken off as we felt that the service (no fault of staff) did not warrant it.

Would love to give it another go but only if there are improvements.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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