There was a little white house, with crocked beams and a crocked thatched roof. In that little white house was a quaint pub and an amazing restaurant called The Thatch. Story time over now let’s talk about this fantastic Oxfordshire find.
According to the polls, The Thatch is on the top ten list of gastro pubs to visit in Oxfordshire. So, when Elena and I had our weekend excursion to Blenheim Palace we had to make a dinner stop since we where in the area to check if the poll were correct and if it was worthy of all these awards.
When you look at the exterior there is one word which springs to mind and that is ‘cute’. When you open the door and walk in and realise that you can touch the ceiling (Elena and I are between 5ft 2-4 inches) another familiar word springs to mind ‘awwwww’. The pub/restaurant has lots of little cosy areas to drink and dine. It even has its own pretty beer garden. The bar itself is small but well stocked. We were very surprised to see a wide selection of non alcoholic cocktails which is unusual for a country pub but being a designated driver it is most welcomed.
The menu is what you would expect from a good country pub with roasts, fish of the days and a wide selection of veggie options. The waiters are lovely and have the most odd yet helpful manner of presenting the specials. They bring a large blackboard with all the specials written on it and prop it up on a chair next to your table. Once they have been through it with you they leave it for you to go over. A simple yet nice touch. We observed others to make sure it wasn’t just us and well everyone got the same treatment. The waiter also told us that if we were to select the roast specials there would be an endless supply of veggies and gravy as they really want the customers to feel like it’s home style cooking and you can eat as much as you like. It did make us question why all gastro pubs didn’t have this philosophy as that’s what going to the pub should be like, a cosy, homely feel.
To start with we ordered Tender Beef Croquettes in Spinach to share. Each croquette was backed with herb infused potatoes and the most tender pieces of beef which we used to mop up the beef jus at the bottom of the dish.
For mains we ordered from the main menu free range chicken breast with spring cabbage, chorizo and sweet potato croquettes. From the specials we ordered the pan fried salmon with mashed potato and broccoli.
The chicken breast was tender and just flaked apart, good sign of quality meat and expert cooking. The croquette were crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, the sweetness of the potatoes really came through which is always a worry when you fry sweet potatoes.
The pan fried salmon was the favoured dish. The meat had a blackened seal around the pink centre which gave a crackling noise when you broke into it. You cook taste the fish was fresh as the meat just melted in your mouth. The mash was nice and smooth and I couldn’t help but wipe the butter sauce at the bottom of the plate clean with the mash. The broccoli had a nice bite to them and were a vibrant green which lifted the whole look of the dish. Delicious.
The Thatch use seasonal vegetables meaning that they will always be packed with flavour and there is minimal carbon foot print. Go green food! Whoop whoop!
The quantity of food was perfect meaning that we could also have some dessert. We ordered the creme brûlée and the chocolate tart. I always get annoyed how little creme brûlée you get when you order it or buy it but this time there was no complaint as The Thatch gives you a nice healthy portion to which I couldn’t finish. It had a thick glaze on top which gave me great joy in cracking. The chocolate tart was again a nice healthy portion and to our delight deeply filling, intense, dense yet decedent.
The Thatch really encapsulates why we love old English pubs so much. The friendly atmosphere, the history within the decor, the amazing attention to detail when it comes to food and the satisfied smiles we leave with having a good meal and all round time at the pub.
Definitely worth a visit it you are in Oxfordshire.
29-30 High Street, Thame OX9 2AA