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“Lazy Saturday afternoon”
Review of The Fishes

The Fishes
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Ranked #63 of 634 Restaurants in Oxford
Price range: $14 - $57
Cuisines: European, British, Pub, Gastropub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Description: The Fishes is a hidden gem. Quite a big gem, too. An imposing Victorian building set in acres of wooded grounds leading down to the banks of Seacourt Stream. The deck that wraps around the conservatory offers a rare opportunity in land-locked Oxford to dine outside with an idyllic view. In recognition of this, the Fishes was named Al Fresco Dining Pub of the Year in 2006, as well winner of The Public Vote in Oxfordshire Restaurant awards 2012 making it one of the best restaurants in Oxford.
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
64 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Lazy Saturday afternoon”
Reviewed October 6, 2013

My wife & I visited The Fishes lon Saturday afternoon. We found it to be a pleasant place to eat, bright and airy with a good selection of food. Service was good and we will return

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank James G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamish S, Owner at The Fishes, responded to this review, October 7, 2013
Thanks for taking the time to review us positively Doug.
We love cooking with great ingredients, and that's probably what makes the difference.
Please tell some friends new to us about The Fishes and if they show this email notification and know your email, I will stand them a Estrella or glass of wine. If you want a code word to make sure this works, email me Hamish@peachpubs.com
Thanks again,
Hamish
Peach
Best Employer in Hospitality 2011,12,13
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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677 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Excellent lunch at The Fishes”
Reviewed October 6, 2013 via mobile

Popped in here for lunch with the wife.

I've eaten here a few times now, as well as the odd liquid visit, an I've always enjoyed it so I thought it was time to write a review.

The Fishes is a well established pub, offering a well presented bar and restaurant area and a lovely, large garden which is perfect for summer evenings. It's popularity is obvious; the garden is always busy on warm sunny days but even if the weather lets you down the food in the pub makes up for it.

The wife had Mussles and I had Fish and chips. The fish was wonderfully cooked with crisp batter. This isn't just a Chippy Take Away offering; although that can hit the spot when you want to. It was well presented, and just the right amount although the fish was so good I could have eaten it again.

The service is polite and friendly. We order 2 pints if Estrella and then the wife changed her mind, wanting a glass of wine instead. This was no trouble. Even though they had poured it they were happy to change it with charge. As a result I was happy to line it up as my second!

Really worth a visit!!

Helpful?
Thank Doug S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamish S, Owner at The Fishes, responded to this review, October 14, 2013
Thanks for taking the time to review us positively Doug.
We love cooking with great ingredients, and that's probably what makes the difference.
Please tell some friends new to us about The Fishes and if they show this email notification and know your email, I will stand them a Estrella or glass of wine. If you want a code word to make sure this works, email me Hamish@peachpubs.com
Thanks again,
Hamish
Peach
Best Employer in Hospitality 2011,12,13
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Derby, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“An Enjoyable Night Out”
Reviewed September 30, 2013

My wife & I visited The Fishes during a weekend in Oxford in September. We found it to be a pleasant place to eat with a good selection of drinks, and the food was also very good. As the name suggests, many of the dishes were fish-based, but not all of them by any means (the fish cake was very tasty, though). Service was also very good throughout with staff having a good knowledge of both the food & drink on offer - always a good sign. Also, they brought a list of the Specials to your table, rather than you having to take it in turns to go and find them on a blackboard somewhere on the other side of the pub. I've seen some indifferent reviews of The Fishes recently - maybe we got lucky, but for us, it was a very enjoyable meal out.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Adrian S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamish S, Owner at The Fishes, responded to this review, October 2, 2013
Thanks so much for the positive feedback Adrian. We love getting compliments. And I know that its not luck that you had a good experience at the Fishes. I am really proud of the food and service we give, and we get 100s of positive comments in writing in the pub. I love Tripsadvisor becasue it tells us the truth about why we disappoint occasionally and allows us to apologise and get it right.
I'll tell Owain and team you liked it, I know they will love to hear it . Thanks again Hamish
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Shocked by the mixed reviews of this excellent gastro pub!”
Reviewed September 29, 2013

I happened to be browsing Oxford restaurant reviews on Trip Advisor this afternoon and could not believe the number of negative reviews for The Fishes. Having visited many times, and living locally in North Hinksey, I felt compelled to set the record straight! I have never left a review on Trip Advisor before but feel strongly that the hardworking staff of The Fishes deserve a bit of fairness and balance in the feedback they receive.

I have visited several times over the past three years: for occasions ranging from a quick drink and bar snack to a wedding reception. I feel well placed to comment on The Fishes as I have visited mid-week, on the weekend, during the day and in the evening with friends, husband and family. Whether the pub was empty or heaving with customers, I have not been disappointed on any one of my visits and the staff have always been unfailing polite and highly knowledgeable. I never hesitate to bring even the fussiest visitor (such as a four year old who would only eat plain chicken 'with no black bits' and only wanted pink smarties on her icecream) to The Fishes!

My most recent visit was on Wednesday 25 September at 9pm when my husband and I decided to walk down the road and treat ourselves to a meal out. To our delight, it turned out to be Steak Night at The Fishes! We were welcomed as soon as we entered the pub and were immediately given a choice of table (we opted to sit in the lovely conservatory extension). Drinks were summoned up immediately and the young Spanish waitress coped admirably with my husband's request for ale recommendations! She brought the specials board to our table and we were very impressed to see the incredible variety: there were around eight different cuts of steak to choose from, accompanied by a choice of three different types of potato (lyonnaise, boulangere or fat chips) and a myriad of different sauces (bearnaise, cafe de paris, garlic butter, mushroom, peppercorn, diane). The waitress was able to advise on the different cuts of beef and helped us select our cuts according to how we liked our steak cooked (medium-rare for him, well-done-yet-still-tender for me).

I opted for an onglet steak with fat chips and cafe de paris sauce and my husband went for French cut steak with bearnaise sauce and boulangere potatoes. We were then offered delicious, warm fresh bread with garlic butter while we awaited our main course. Both meals arrived speedily, were generous portions and were beautifully presented with a wonderfully fresh watercress side salad. My husband ordered a side of onion rings, which were deliciously crisp and not at all greasy.

We both decided to finish our meal with pudding washed down with a deliciously syrupy dessert wine recommended by the waitress. I chose the special: vanilla panacotta with plum compote and my husband went for warm bakewell tart with clotted cream and red berry coulis. Both were delicious and I later discovered that the plum compote was made with plums grown by one of the villagers!

We both thoroughly enjoyed our meal at The Fishes and are already looking forward to our next visit. Neither of us need any persuading to return but if somebody from Peach Pubs is reading this and would like to tempt us back even sooner, please do! We are eagerly awaiting the autumn menu which, according to our lovely waitress, will arrive in the next few weeks... The lucky staff have a menu-tasting next week to help select the seasonal menu! No wonder they are able to speak so enthusiastically about the dishes...

I would thoroughly recommend this lovely pub to all - no matter how large or small your group, how formal the gathering or what the time of day!

To the manager and staff: thank you for another great evening and we hope to be back again soon!!!

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Emma A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamish S, Owner at The Fishes, responded to this review, October 5, 2013
Thanks so much. Whilst I love tripadvisor reviewer's honesty in their experience which helps us get better, I just know our current reviews are not a fair reflection on what almost all guests feel. Anyway it's just wonderful to be be able to talk through the things you have enjoyed this time and in the past. I would love to meet you to say thanks for supporting us. Just email me at hamish@ .
Hamish
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“fantastic for all the family!”
Reviewed September 21, 2013

we visited one sunday evening and instantly fell in love with the place and ended up having a full whole roast chicken dinner for the whole family, which was totally delicious.
On arrival the manager came over and welcomed us and continued to check up on us all during the course of the evening, which was a great touch!
The esspresso martinis are fab here also!
We will now be making this place a regular family treat as it was such great value and quality family time!

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank emma m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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