To be clear, I was invited to stay here and provided with a free
I have never reviewed a stay at a hotel or motel before through OXFORDABLE so was thrilled to have the opportunity to take part in reviewing the opening of Mollie’s Motel and Diner. Keep an eye out for this newly created brand, I have a feeling you’ll see many more of these pop up over the UK within the next few years.
When I received the email with an invitation from Nick Jones I didn’t hesitate to RSVP yes, as I knew it was going to be something great. Nick Jones is an entrepreneur I
From what I learnt about Mollie’s Motel and Diner before I went, I understood it to be a new venture from Nick that creates a different experience from a typical motorway service station. A proper 1950s American themed dining experience and motel and that the motel would have 79 bedrooms, which will include interconnected family and bunk rooms.
Coincidentally, something I’ve longed to do for a while
In terms of where the Motel and Diner is located, I created a short video below to show you where it is in relation to Oxford. If you are travelling from the city centre it is just over 14 miles west of Oxford and easy to reach using the A420 by car, taking around 30 minutes if you are driving or closer to an hour by bus using the S6 Gold bus service.
So when you first arrive, the thing that struck me and that you can’t miss is the big, red illuminated sign. There is one at the main front entrance for the Motel and Diner which is where the Diner is located and then also another for just the Motel which you can see below, I think these are great. You don’t see many other motels or hotels looking like this in the UK which makes it quite unique.
You can see the main entrance to the Motel above. We stayed on the ground floor. If you were to go through these main doors, reception is on your right and we stayed in room 50 to the right-hand side of the hotel as you face the front of it.
When I entered our room I was really impressed. I’ve stayed in some nice hotels across the UK but I had to stop for a moment and think about how to describe this because it is like nowhere I’ve stayed before. The best three words I could use to describe it is a slightly different yet excellent combination of ‘luxury, minimalism, and retro’. Imagine a top quality version of a Premier Inn or Travelodge with a bit of quirkiness.
I found out that Mollie’s only use Cowshed products which were really nice. I am told that other Soho Properties offer a variety of 10 different cowshed products on offer when you stay, but as this is a slightly more basic accommodation offering they provide you with two different types. Still, much better than a Premier Inn/Travelodge/Holiday Inn’s offering in terms of complimentary toiletries.
The decoration and furniture are all rather minimalist with plenty of wood and dark stone on display. You almost feel like you are out in a cabin in the woods.
As I was saying earlier it is the simplicity and rawness of the finish that impressed me the most, for
At the same time, there is also a mixture of old school and modern. For
If you watched my Instagram Stories on the night of the event, you will have seen how excited I became about what you can see below. This is a genius, simple solution to what I feel like is an inconvenience whenever I stay at a hotel.
I personally drink a lot of water, taking into consideration that 9/10 when staying at a hotel I might have a meal out for dinner, possibly with a couple of drinks I’m always going to want to have some water for the night and usually end up buying a big bottle of water from a local shop or supermarket. So I’m impressed by the incredible level of attention to detail from Mollie’s here not only giving refillable water but also recyclable paper cups. Or perhaps I’m just easily pleased.
I can’t leave out one of the most important aspects of a hotel/motel review which is the bed. It’s actually the first thing I tried when I arrived in the room. The bed was soft and as my partner described, very ‘doughy’. It was a nice combination of being able to sink into the bed but without being swallowed up by it.
When it came to waking up, I didn’t want to leave the bed. I was so curious as to what brand of bed they used I pulled the bed sheet back and was blown away that it was a Soho House branded bed! I should have taken a picture but 10/10 to them for branding their own
The main question is, would I return as a paying customer? Absolutely. With rooms meant to be starting from £50/night I can’t believe what incredible value for money you can get here, I have paid well over double that for a night at certain Premier Inns.
To be blunt I can’t see when I would be staying at this Mollie’s as there is nothing that side of Oxford for me to justify staying around 14 miles away from my own house, however, if when I travel to London, Bristol, Manchester or anywhere in the UK I see there is a Mollie’s on the way I will be looking to stay there before any other hotel, if the price is somewhat comparable.
Coincidently after doing my own research, I have found that Soho House has earmarked a few potential sites near Bristol and Manchester which are two cities I do travel to every now and again which makes me very excited.
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So I was invited to both an evening meal the night before the official opening to the public, as well as to have breakfast the following morning on the first day the Motel and Diner was open to the public. I tried to get some decent pictures on the evening from dinner but as you may have seen in my Instagram stories it was difficult to get good pictures because the lights were really dimmed, which did create a lovely atmosphere but not so good for when you are trying to review the food.
As I mentioned earlier the front of the Diner and Motel is striking as soon as you see it for a distance, looking especially cool when it dark. The diner also
The one semi-decent picture I managed to get of the food in the evening was these nachos below, which were very tasty.
The majority of food pictures I did manage to take were at breakfast the following morning though, so below you can see the breakfast menu. We opted for a couple of lattes, waffles with bacon/maple syrup and poached eggs on toast with smoked salmon.
Below are some pictures of inside the diner to give you a feel for the place. very retro feeling and similar light fittings to the ones you have seen that were in our bedroom.
I loved this bit below. If the restaurant is full or if you want to just grab a really quick bite to eat you can sit up right by the kitchen.
As you walk in the main entrance on your right hand side you are greeted by a big white illuminated menu board. The brightness is slightly exaggerated below because this was just before 7am when it was really dark, its much easier to read in person.
In terms of the quality of the food, I couldn’t fault any of it. The poached eggs were cooked to perfection, avocado was the perfect ripeness and as its one of my favourites the smoked salmon topped it off.
I also tried the waffles with bacon and maple syrup and these were super tasty too. One thing we did notice was that there was a lack of maple syrup as suggested in the menu description, but it was their first opening morning of breakfast so it might have been a small error. Nothing enough for us to mention it to our waitress.
Speaking of our waitress, I have never felt so looked after when eating breakfast! Herself and colleagues kept coming over to check everything was ok but without pestering us. When our cofffee was empty it was replaced. She refilled our waters without us asking. Exactly the sort of service you would expect from a quality dining experience.
That being said the prices really aren’t that unreasonable for quality breakfast. All we had including the coffees would have come to around £20-25 and we were so full!
Mollie’s diner is excellent in my opinion. The decor is great, matching the American 1950s diner image they have aimed to provide. It’s like nowhere else I have visited in the UK. Similar to the question that I asked about the Motel – will I be returning as a paying customer? More than likely yes! I might even be tempted to travel from Oxford to visit for dinner because the food was that good.
Have you visited Mollie’s or are you tempted to after seeing what you’ve seen so far about it? I’d be really interested to hear your thoughts, especially if you have made it this far in my review – drop me a DM on Instagram or comment on my Mollie’s picture to let me know your thoughts.
Thanks for reading,