Eden Bar and Grill

Eden Bar and Grill

British

0.5 miles
16-17 Cornmarket, Thame, OX9 2BW
Renowned for its markets and annual agricultural show, Thame is a hop and a skip from Oxford's spires or the shopping experience of Bicester Village, and the town is longaccustomed to catering for visitors in search of quiet epicurean retreats (it was here Evelyn Waugh's Anthony Blanche wined and dined Charles Rider in Brideshead Revisted). You'll find yourself absorbing a wealth of history - the intriguing tithe barn, and cottages with thatch, herring-bone brickwork, stained glass and leaded windows abound - and first-time visitors and regulars alike are drawn invariably to the mile-long high street and market place. Here, dominating the south side (its presence heralded by a striking red and gold sign, painted originally by Dora Carrington of Lytton Strachey and the Omega Workshop fame) you'll find The Spread Eagle.

This hotel draws you in and unfolds behind its Georgian façade into the impressively spacious and recently redesigned Eden Bar and Grill, before narrowing once more to intimate dining or meeting rooms. Airy, filled with light and open plan at one end, cosy and romantic at the other, the Eden is the perfect place to stop for some superb food. If you're after a snack, there are plates of antipasti or charcuterie cuts and a wide range of sandwiches on offer. Should you fancy a substantial meal, whether traditional or exotic, the menu is designed to appeal.

You could kick off with game terrine, or perfectly cooked pigeon breast and black pudding with beetroot salad; or opt for a delightful sweet-and-sour combination of fresh crab cake with chilli and coriander salsa, before considering the modestly priced main courses. These range from salmon teriyaki with ginger noodles, or vegetable and feta gateau, to hearty classics such as steak and kidney pie with new potatoes and market greens, Dingley Dell sausages with mash and onion rings, or an exquisite slow-cooked lamb shank (which slips off the bone) served with mash, root vegetables and a subtle hint of juniper and redcurrant. Whatever you choose, the presentation is meticulous and the user-friendly wine list, categorised by taste (fruity, zesty, aromatic, sophisticated, deep, full-bodied), has been carefully assembled.

Between courses you might like to dip into the Diary of an Innkeeper, which was written by the establishment's erstwhile and eccentric proprietor John Fothergill. But, with service so unobtrusively efficient, it is better to leave this for an extended digestif. Over a chocolate pot served with raspberry coulis, blackberries and cubed marshmallows to dunk, you might sit back, imagining the hosts of artistic characters, academics and students who dined here in the 1920s and observe, on the far side of the window, modern Thame going about its age-old business. Settings in which to enjoy the charms of history, mingled with the deliciousness of modern cuisine, don't come much better than this.
+4Eden Bar and Grill
Opening Hours:
Mon:10am-2pm, 5pm-9.30pm
Tues:10am-2pm, 5pm-9.30pm
Weds:10am-2pm, 5pm-9.30pm
Thurs:10am-2pm, 5pm-9.30pm
Fri:10am-2pm, 5pm-9.30pm
Sat:10am-2pm, 5pm-9.30pm
Sun:10am-2pm, 5pm-9.30pm

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Mon, 07/23/2018 - 14:07 -- Administrator
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