Worrall Thompson winner
Excellent food and service from this quirky Worrall Thompson gastro pub in South Oxfordshire, renowned for its Wagyu beef.
Muddy regulars will know we’ve eaten at this superior gastro pub before so we were more than happy to return to check it was still a cut above. Lucky Nicky Richardson was the little piggy sent to oink her way through three courses. Over to you Nicky.
Situated in South Oxfordshire, Anthony Worrall Thompson and his wife Jay, know a thing or two about the restaurant trade and they’ve really made this a destination pub on all fronts – not least for beef lovers who go crazy for the wagyu burgers. The garden is a decent size with lots of table and chairs, plus this fun outdoor ‘shed’ (below) that was being used for a private party on the day we visited (yes, there are heaters!).
Quirky, warm, grandiose yet intimate, the decor is really fun. The kids particularly liked the hanging giant teddy bears and I couldn’t stop staring at the wine glass wall – clever no? We went for Sunday lunch and it was buzzing with people who covered the full spectrum of ages. It’s on the pricey side so there was a fair amount of grey hair, but also younger groups and families.
SCOFF & QUAFF
With impatient kids in tow, we opted for the bread and dips which included crackling sticks, garlic, flatbread and warm baguette to get started. Just as well because they didn’t like the crisp black pudding and haggis cake above chosen by their dad, nor my vegetable antipasti (too many veggies obvs).
The courgette and feta fritter on avocado hummus was particularly tasty – crispy and savoury but very light. As it was a Sunday, I couldn’t resist a roast (all options available) and my leg of lamb was excellent, tender and pink with full-bodied gravy and delicious sides (although I wasn’t taken with the white sauce and carrot, perhaps because I wasn’t sure what it was and it looked rather 70s school dinners).
The hubster enjoyed his sea bass with spiced squid on butternut and onion with peppers, tasting very fresh despite being miles from the sea.
The menu is positively groaning with different cuts of steaks and burgers and you can build your own with a variety of options, sauces and sides. The kids shared a T-Bone/Porterhouse, a fillet and sirloin on one plate with Wagyu fat chips and Bernaise sauce. Mouth-watering and excellent were amongst the adjectives used.
By this stage, we were pretty stuffed but it is the Muddy way to persevere in the interest of our readers so on to the puds – a tasting plate in fact. Sticky toffee pudding, lemon meringue pie, creme brûlée and chocolate brownie were all delish. The Affogato with Amaretto quaffed by my husband was divine but sealed my fate as designated driver.
OUT AND ABOUT
If you fancy a piece of National Trust action after all that food, then take a wander around Greys Court in nearby Henley, a stunning Tudor Mansion with a patchwork of styles leading up to the present day. More unusual is the Maharajah’s Well in Stoke Row, a gilded Victorian contraption gifted by an Indian prince. The Greyhound is very dog friendly so you can take your pooch and have a walk in the many woods in the area before or after your meal.
THE MUDDY VERDICT
Goof for: Groups of friends, families (although not much room for prams inside and toddlers), couples, dog walkers, Sunday lunches.
Not for: Those wanting a cheap quick meal. It’s lovely gastro territory you’re stepping into here
££: Although dishes are not overpriced, it all adds up but I’d say it’s good value given the quality of the food. Starters from £6 – £12, mains vary from £14 to £58 (for a Wagyu fillet) and puds £7-£8. As you would expect, an extensive wine list with a good range of prices.
The Greyhound, Gallowstree Rd, Rotherfield Peppard, Henley RG9 5HT. Tel: 0118 9722227.