Overlooking the expanse of Witney's beautiful Church Green, The Fleece is a fine Georgian building, originally the home of Clinch's brewery and reputedly a favourite watering-hole of Dylan Thomas when he lived in South Leigh. Since they took it over five years ago it has won many awards and also features in Alistair Sawday and in the 2008 Michelin Guide. It would be possible to enlarge upon all this indefinitely, but our purpose here is to tell you about The Fleece and how they put into practice their principles.
Located in such an attractive part of Oxfordshire, The Fleece pulls from both the locals and those passing through the town, who find the essential comfort and undemanding atmosphere of the place both reassuring and good value. For those who want to stay there are ten en-suite bed and breakfast rooms, made up of one family room with the rest doubles or twins. They offer good reliable comfort with not too many frills at prices that are competitive.
Breakfast is served from 8 am - 11.30 am. Like all the meals, dishes are freshly prepared and cooked to order. The a la carte menu is served from noon to 2.30pm and 6.30pm to 10pm, Monday to Saturday, and on Sundays and Bank Holidays from noon - 4pm and 6.30 - 9.30pm the a la carte menu plus a great selection of Sunday roasts is available. An all day menu is served from noon - 6.30 pm every day except Sunday.
Head Chef is Alistair Barlow who has been in the industry for nine years now, the first soaking up some Mediterranean influences (and a few rays) on the tiny Greek island of Paxos. What went on the menu was just what was grown locally - a discipline which helped him establish an imaginative style of cooking. Three years later, fresh from a stint in Devon, he arrived in Witney; his intuitive approach and willingness to mix the traditional with the avant-garde have gone down a storm ever since.
A la carte offers everything from deli board with starters, nibbles or sharing dishes all a possibility, taken from cheeses, antipasti, fish, charcuterie and bread. On their menu, you will find the very best quality fresh ingredients - fantastic sausages; free range chicken; simple, pan-fried fish and seafood; 28 day dry-aged Aberdeenshire rump cap steak - sourced from producers who take pride in their products and an ethical stance in their production.
The Fleece always makes the most of seasonal ingredients - this ensures they avoid air-freighting and keeps us in touch with the cycle of the year - while combining the best of great British cooking and influences from around the world that are now part of our culture.
The Fleece also has a private dining room for up to 30 guests, making it an excellent choice of place to party and entertain at or to meet with colleagues.
The highly praised wine list, endorsed by the Michelin Guide, is short and has a choice of interesting wines for every type of occasion. Those who like their pint will be encouraged to find Greene King IPA, Black Sheep and Old Speckled Hen on draught. The whole focus is on genuine and unfussy food, great service in a relaxed yet fun atmosphere delivered by an award winning, well-trained team.
To find out further details and the latest seasonal menus why not visit their Website
? Have you looked up The Fishes, at North Hinksey near Oxford? It is the sister pub to The Fleece, if you are considering one you should try both!