The Mole Inn, Toot Baldon

If you’re a foodie, this rural gem within striking distance of Oxford is well worth a visit for its great food and lovely garden.

9 July 2024Add to My FavouritesSave

The Mole Inn is a top-notch gastropub with lovely courtyard gardens (arguably among the best in the county) in the charmingly named village of Toot Baldon in Oxfordshire.

The interior is an attractive mix of exposed timbers and stone walls, but the AA Rosette-standard food is the star of the show here, with the ingredients as local, seasonal, and free-range as possible.

The Mole has been run brilliantly by Sarah Heather-Holt for the past five years, but in 2024 it has been taken on by new owners Jack Anderson and Dave Phillips, who plan to take it to the next level.

Alongside the à la carte lunch and dinner menus of modern British fare (plus The Mole’s famous Sunday roasts and Tuesday steak nights), the pair are cooking up plans to introduce more local beers, a wood-burning oven for pizzas, an outdoor kitchen, a BBQ, a fire pit and an al fresco menu.

The new patrons also want to help The Mole burrow into the heart of the local community. They had a big post-refurb party in July, and plan to hold a lively calendar of events, from live music to tapas and pizza nights.

Further down the line, they’re keen to become a destination gastropub too. With the help of James’s business partner, builder James Morris, they’re eyeing up derelict barns for extra accommodation, and see potential to create an events space on the site of the huge carpark. Did somebody say wedding venue?

In short, the ideas are flowing as freely as the ale here – and this dog-friendly pub isn’t short of pedigree in the hospitality world. In 2015, they won the Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons Award for Excellence in the Oxfordshire Restaurant Awards.

Now it’s all hands on deck, watch this space to see what’s next for The Mole. Its new owners are certainly digging deep.

At a glance

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01865 340001

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Opening hours
Monday: Lunch 12-2.15pm Dinner 6.30-8.45pm
Tuesday: Lunch 12-2.15pm Dinner 6.30-8.45pm
Wednesday: Lunch 12-2.15pm Dinner 6.30-8.45pm
Thursday: Lunch 12-2.15pm Dinner 6.30-8.45pm
Friday: Lunch 12-2.15pm Dinner 6.30-9.15pm
Saturday: Lunch 12-2.15pm Dinner 6.30-9.15pm
Sunday: Lunch 12-3.15pm Dinner 6.30-8.15pm

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