After hours: The Trout Inn: Upstream, not upscale
LECHLADE — Traditional is the word that best describes The Trout Inn, an old English pub along the River Thames near RAF Fairford.
From the outside, the pub’s exterior stone walls look as if they’re hundreds of years old. Inside, where aged wooden beams with stone and wooden floors can be seen, is no different.
But patrons and the pub’s innkeepers, Bob and Penny Warren, don’t seem to mind the low-lying warped beams and creaky floors. For them, the antique setting is part of the experience.
“The pub itself hasn’t changed very much in 40 odd years,” Bob Warren said proudly. He and his wife have owned the place for 20 of those years.
Found just outside the quaint British village of Lechlade on the A417 highway, the building housing the pub has roots back to 1220. Yet, it didn’t officially become The Trout Inn until 1702.
There’s no jukebox, video games, pool tables or dartboard to entertain patrons, who are left to enjoy each other’s company in its friendly atmosphere.
On a recent weekday night, the pub also didn’t seem to cater to any specific age group.
At one end of the pub’s bar area, a group of 20-something men sipped pints of lager chatting about past drinking escapades and encounters with the opposite sex — typical guy talk for that age.
On the other side, not more than 10 feet away, a table of silver-haired patrons shared much quieter conversations and the occasional laugh with Bob Warren as he manned the bar.
“We’re a real mixture,” he said.
To keep things lively, the pub offers live jazz every Tuesday and Sunday, with folk music on the last Friday of each month. In the summer months, a live blues band will play on Fridays, Warren said.
The pub also hosts a range of special occasions, such as big-band concerts and beer and boating festivals in the summer, he said.
The pub’s grounds run along the weir pool to St. John’s Lock, the first lock on the River Thames. Here, patrons can rent boats to cruise the famous river. Smaller boats can cost as low as 250 pounds for a two-day hire while larger ones range anywhere from 800 to 1,325 pounds a week, Warren said.
Fishing also can be done in this area from June to March, he added.
The pub serves a variety of fish for those who aren’t lucky enough to catch one themselves. Its trout (11.95 pounds) comes from a local hatchery about 10 miles from the pub. Meat dishes are purchased locally as well.
Away from the bar are two seating areas where patrons can dine in style on candlelit tables with neat arrangements of cutlery and folded napkins.
To see previous After Hours reviews, go to stripes.com/afterhours
Location: St. John’s Bridge, Faringdon Road, Lechlade on Thames, GL7 3HA.
Food: Traditional English fare with fresh trout and meats purchased locally. Dishes range from 10.25 to 15.50 pounds.
Drinks: The bar has a row of lagers and British ales on tap, and a standard selection of spirits and wine.
Entertainment: Live jazz every Tuesday and Sunday, with folk music on the last Friday of each month. In the summer months, a live blues band plays on Fridays.