I do love a good pub. Even more so when it’s away from the hustle and bustle of a town or city and everything just seems a bit slower. It makes for a relaxing time where you can enjoy the moment you are in, opposed to thinking ahead or back to other times.
Which brings me onto my next review of The Perch, which can be found in a small village called Binsey which is about 1.5- 2 miles northwest of the centre of Oxford. You ideally need a car to get there if you don’t want to walk, that being said on a nice sunny day it is about a 40-minute walk from the city centre which I’ve been told is lovely if you have the time.
The pub itself has some cool history too, there has been a pub on this site for around 800 years and it’s said that Lewis Carroll gave some of the first readings of Alice in Wonderland here. This is most definitely one of Oxford’s oldest pubs and has established itself a reputation over this long period of time.
In 2015 a full-scale renovation was carried out to bring the pub up to date whilst also restoring its country pub charm. In addition to this, they recently have created a new dining room which opened in early April I believe. If you look at the seventh picture below you will see, it is a lovely bright and airy space which looks out onto their lovely pub garden.
Food and Drink
I tried one of their lagers (a XT Eisbar Lager) which was a pale, crisp and refreshing pint.
In terms of food, we ordered the Perch Burger (with farmhouse cheddar, crispy smoked bacon, house ketchup, slaw & triple cooked chips) which is pictured directly below and one Ale Battered Cornish Fish (with triple cooked chips, mushy peas & tartare sauce).
Although I went for the Ale Battered Cornish Fish, I still had to try some of the Perch Burger (just look at it!) and was not disappointed. It was a good quality burger and I loved the detail of The Perch being printed on the parchment paper underneath.
These triple cooked chips are some of the nicest chips I’ve ever had at a pub and were super filling! So crispy on the outside and fluffy in the middle as you would expect from the description and appearance.
In terms of my Ale Battered Cornish Fish, I was equally impressed. The batter was light and tasty, the fish fell apart inside and as you can see there is a light sprinkle of salt on top which gave a nice a appearance and enhanced the taste.
Again, I was fortunate that my meal came with the triple cooked chips so that was good. The mushy peas and tartare sauce were both decent too.
At this point, we were both quite full and we said if there was an Eton Mess style dessert on the menu, we would try it. Otherwise, we would leave it on a high there.
To our delight there was a Yorkshire Rhubarb & Custard ‘Eton Mess’ on the dessert menu so we had to try it.
We were not disappointed, just look at that cream and meringue nearly falling over the edges! Fortunately this dessert felt quite light as we split it and I absolutely loved this pubs twist on a classic Eton Mess.
After our meal, we decided to have a little wonder around the beer garden and was actually blown away by how big it was and also how nicely decorated it was too.
This was my first time visiting the Perch but I’m sure when the sun comes out a bit more this garden will be packed!
Conclusion and Final Thoughts
Personally, I think the Perch is the kind of pub everyone wishes was their local down the road from where they live. It’s spacious, relaxing, has a lovely garden/interior, plus a decent menu and selection of drinks. What more could one want from a local pub?
I’m sure anytime I’m this side of Oxford and I’m thinking of a place to go for some food or for a drink, the Perch will be at the top of that list.