A charming little pub by the river, with decent food
As we are now a member down with our little group, we decided to have a "lucky dip" of places to try out. We all placed a venue name into the hat and picked out a place to go, and the lucky place this time around was The Horse And Jockey pub tucked alongside the river on the Botley Road. It was somewhere Clair had often noted as driving past and she wondered what the food would be like, hence putting the name into the hat!
It is advisable to book with the pub as it is a smaller venue, meaning if you turn up on the off chance, you may be disappointed! I emailed my reservation through but had not received a reply, meaning we turned up not sure if we had a table or not. Luckily, it was a fairly quiet night, despite the car park being busy, and a table had been reserved for us. It was nice to have a round table too, meaning we could all be part of the conversations which frequent our monthly meeting!
The decor was homely and simple, in keeping with what is usually expected in a friendly local public house. The staff were attentive and helpful upon arrival. First glances at the menu, it came across as a limited menu for some, but with the specials board there was an added extra few little choices to indulge in. Clair tried out the Mediterranean vegetable risotto, which is on the menu as a starter or a main option. It was creamy, delicious and a perfect starter size to get the taste buds going! Dave and Dean tried out the whitebait, which proved to be a huge portion for starter standards! Not being a huge fish fan, Dave loved the taste and especially noted the homemade tartar sauce. Gemma too chose a fishy starter with the crayfish cocktail which she found delicious and even nicer with the bread served with it. Peter tried the garlic bread, but he did not feel it was much to write home about!
For the main course, Peter and Dave looked to trying the burgers! Peter had a burger with bacon and an egg served with chips, which was a decent size and quite tasty. The burger was homemade and cooked very well. He also ordered some onion rings which did not turn up with the meal, and when they did, it was not as he had expected as they were overcooked and the batter was too crispy for his liking. Dave did not have a smooth run with his burger order wither, asking for a burger with bacon and cheese and ending up with a burger with egg and bacon and no cheese! The owner was extremely apologetic about the situation, and informed Dave that there were no more burgers for him to have a new one made. Dave was happy for them just to add the cheese and the price of all the added fillings were deducted from the bill as a result. Needless to say, the burger went down very well despite the slight difficulty.
Clair opted for the sausage and mash dish, which was lovely but could have done with some vegetable accompliment to even out the mash a little. (Something which effects her diet currently) The sausages were of good quality meat and went down very well.
Gemma tried the pie of the day with chips, the pie being steak and ale. It was clearly homemade and very tasty, with perfect pastry. Unfortunately, after a few mouthfuls it was a little dry for Gemma, so she added some sauce from the condiments. After a few minutes, the gravy which it was meant to be served with arrived, meaning this was not necessary!
So to desserts, Gemma tried out the blackcurrant sorbet to add a lighter end to the meal, which she found perfect. Dave chose the special chocolate fudge brownie sundae, which was as small as the price was! Peter had the same as Dave and felt it was not as described on the desserts special board.....it tasted good, but not as mouthwatering as described on the baord!
The facilities for the ladies were a little on the small side, not easy to get into when you are very pregnant! The rest of the toilet was clean and welcoming, so it was a little disappointing the cubicles were not the same! The little touches of the race horses in the form of stickers on the cutlery was a nice addition, and how the whole mix up with meals was handled with genuine horror at the waitresses errors was a saving grace here.
Marks out of 10.................................................................. 7.5 (lucky dip choice)