Soho House Style At An Affordable Price? We Visited Oxfordshire’s Coolest Motel And Diner

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Oxford is so rich in history and isn’t shy of a classic English boozer or three. But did you know that on the outskirts of this quaint English city in Oxfordshire's lovely countryside, is a chic motel that brings all the flavours of Soho House out into the sticks? Founded in America, Mollie’s Motel and Diner was dreamt up by the founder of Soho House who later brought his creations to the English countryside, setting up sites in Bristol and Oxfordshire. A Manchester location is also set to open, just in time for summer staycation season.

Mollie's Motel Oxfordshire | DesignMyNight

Mollie's decor is chic and sophisticated, just like Soho House. 

If you hop on the S6 Gold bus from Oxford train station for around 30 minutes, you’ll end up directly outside Mollie’s Motel and Diner. After only ever seeing motels in the movies, and being slightly terrified after watching Bates Motel, I was pleasantly surprised by how warm and welcoming this place looked.  

Our double room (£70) was simple and decorated with beautiful light oak furnishings, giving it a familiar bedroom feel. I instantly sunk into the king-sized Hypnos mattress by Soho Home, and was very tempted to fall asleep. However, I managed to drag myself up, tossed my trusty £20 Babyliss hair straighteners to one side and made full use of their built-in ghds before heading to the diner for dinner.

Mollie's Diner Oxfordshire | DesignMyNight

A king size bed and a pair of ghds - what more could you want?

The interiors matched that of the motel, chic and super stylish. It boasted gorgeous red leather booths like the ones you’d see in old-school American movies, a brightly lit open-plan kitchen and those little ketchup bottles in the shape of a tomato – obsessed.

We started the evening off right with a round of cocktails. I ordered the picante (£9), which is one of my all-time favourites, and it didn’t disappoint. It had the perfect level of spice, with that distinctive and delicious margarita tinge. My boyfriend went for the English Garden (£9) – a sweet mix of elderflower and raspberry gin, elderflower syrup and lime juice. It tasted like an alcoholic J2O and I wasn’t mad about it.

Mollie's Diner Oxfordshire | DesignMyNight

The nachos are the star of the show, but be sure to save room for mains. 

After our first sips, it was time for starters. I tucked into one of the largest bowls of nachos (£8) I’d ever seen (no exaggeration). The generous offering of guacamole, sour cream and salsa made for the best dipping and tasted incredible. We also nibbled on some popcorn chicken (£7), dunked in the sweet pineapple barbecue sauce.

My dining partner opted for the chicken ‘n’ waffle (£14) for his main - a combination of fried breaded chicken on a waffle that you can douse in maple syrup (in true American diner fashion). He's got a real sweet tooth so it was ideal for him. Even though I prefer to keep my mains savoury, I still absolutely loved the combination of the sweet syrup over the rich, crunchy chicken. Safe to say, I'll be dousing more dinners in maple syrup for the foreseeable. 

I also had my pork belly dish (£17) to devour. Coated in BBQ rub and served with Mollie’s house beans and fries, I was honestly sent to comfort food heaven. I wasn’t prepared to be beaten at the last hurdle, so we soldiered on and ordered the chocolate chip cookie (£7.50) for dessert. Doesn’t sound impressive? The gooey bowl of cookie dough was made as the ultimate sharer and was nicely complemented with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Mollie's Diner Oxfordshire | DesignMyNight

A cookie and a cocktail has never looked so appealing.

After waddling back to our motel room, nursing the ever-growing food baby, we both wanted to get the PJs on and have an early night. I was concerned about hearing the noise from the busy road, but we couldn’t hear a single thing.

The elite combination of Egyptian cotton sheets, the comfiest pillows and blackout curtains enabled us to have the most refreshing night's sleep. We woke raring and ready for breakfast, despite eating our body weight in food just 12 hours previous.

I had the fluffiest French toast (£9) for breakfast, smothered in blueberries, maple syrup and fresh cream. Not too sickly sweet, this dish melted in my mouth and was easily the highlight of my dining experience. My boyfriend went for a slightly more unusual combination – a pancake stack (£8.50) covered in butter and maple syrup, with a side of hash browns (£2). Apparently one plate of carbs wasn’t enough for this man, so he had to throw some potato into the mix (no judgement from me). The two dishes didn’t disappoint, and made for a flawless ending to our lovely stay at Mollie’s Motel and Diner.

The DesignMyNight Digest

If you’re looking for boujee on a budget, then Mollie’s fits the bill. The quality of the food, rooms and service is faultless and makes for the perfect weekend getaway. They’ve even got a whole host of buzzing activities on throughout April and May – with everything from performances by singer Mollie Green, to farmyard fun at Millets Farm Centre.

  💰 The damage: Rooms start from £70, while dinner, drinks and breakfast for two came to around £90.

  📍  The location: Shrivenham Rd, A420, Buckland, Faringdon SN7 8PY.

  👌 Perfect for: A night away after an explore around Oxford city centre.

 ⭐ Need to know: The drinking water is located outside of the hotel room, in case you get thirsty in the night.


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