Given its popularity, it's advised to book in advance, so we booked in for an early dinner.
There’s a very elegant little wine bar by the entrance, for those who want to enjoy a drink before their meal, however as we were famished, we asked to be taken straight to our table. The restaurant is spread over two floors, and we were seated on the ground floor, towards the back of the restaurant. Exposed brickwork throughout creates a very relaxed atmosphere.
During our visit on a Friday night, the place was pretty packed, however, the waiting staff were still attentive, without being intrusive.
Loxleys is a family-run restaurant with a mission “to offer customers a fresh, locally produced product with excellent service.”
The varied seasonal menu caters for all tastes and features an excellent selection of fish and grill specials, salads, classic dishes and small plates. To kick things off, we ordered a couple of small plates to graze on while we pondered our options for the starters and mains: the Nocellara del Belice olives, which come with smoked almonds, and the red pepper hummus, which was accompanied by a selection of crudités.
Given the menu had so many excellent options to choose from, we had the staff help us select our starters and mains.
The restaurant serves modern British dishes with a focus on classic flavour combinations. Head chef, Paul McCoombes’ aim is to cook simple food brilliantly with its own Loxleys' ‘twist’ that is impossible to find in any other restaurant in the area.
For starters we decided to go local and opted for the Cotswold Gin Cured Chalk Stream Trout with Horseradish Crème Fraiche and Pickles served with rye bread; and the whipped Black Pepper Goats Cheese with Butternut Squash, Filo Pastry, Pickled Beetroot, Vanilla Honey, Old Winchester and Walnut Crisp. The starters were well-sized portions and were bursting with an array of flavours.
For the mains we opted for a Loxley’s classic, the Super 12 Salad, which consists of quinoa, cape gooseberry’s, beetroot, pomegranate, red cabbage, edamame beans, bean sprouts, chickpeas, spinach, conﬁt garlic, chia seeds & tahini dressing with a side of grilled chicken. My dining partner chose the Thyme Roasted Chicken Supreme with soft herb giant couscous, glazed carrots, and celeriac served in a chicken reduction.
For drinks we opted to share a bottle of reasonably priced Laurent Perrier Champagne, which was superb. Unfortunately, we didn't have room for dessert as we were too stuffed, but it was probably for the best anyways as when we looked around the restaurant, we realised we were the last patrons! That being said, even though time had escaped us, the staff were waiting patiently to close up. This is the beauty of Loxleys, it is so relaxed, no one rushes you out the door and it's evident that service and hospitality are of the utmost importance.
The food is creative and well executed and the service is outstanding thanks to a hospitable owner and a service-oriented team.
3 Sheep Street
*During my visit I was hosted by the lovely team at Loxleys. All opinions are my own. Photographs courtesy of Loxleys.
Our experience overall
Food and drink: ★★★★
Staff attentiveness/friendliness: ★★★★