Soho House can do no wrong in my eyes. From the recently refurbished original Soho House to the Electric Cinema in Portobello Road to White City House to The Ned – I love them all and I’m not even a member! Here, we have their latest opening, a roadside motel and diner by the name of Mollie’s.
It sits next to the BP Garage on the A420 in Oxfordshire, a 45 minute drive from Soho Farmhouse. We visit purely to eat at the diner but the lure of a £75 room on a Saturday night means we stay over on a whim.
There’s a small reception/living room area which offers free tea and decent coffee. There’s a little shop selling toothbrushes, toothpaste, and Cowshed miniatures, meaning the rooms don’t come with the usual Soho House extravagance.
Where it matters though, the rooms come up trumps. The air con is exquisite, there’s free fast wifi, the Samsung telly is massive, the towels equally so and the shower a thoroughly decent pressure. It looks gorgeous, too, with a mix of wooden slatted walls, greys and greens and a pastel-pink comfy chair. We have a cracking night’s sleep.
Over in the restaurant, which has its own drive thrue, it’s classic diner style with plenty of cosy booths for fours and twos. Peer into the open kitchen and you’ll see whole chickens turning on the rotisserie above burning hickory wood and charcoal.
Fans of Chicken Shop (also owned by Soho House) will love it. It’s basically the same thing. Half a free range chicken from Castlemead Farm in Somerset (£10) is a mighty fine piece of chicken.
Crinkle cut chips (£3) are less desirable, with the texture of undercooked frozen oven chips which is never a good thing. Mac ‘n’ Cheese (£5.50) uses four cheeses and a generous helping of mustard to make it zing. Onion rings (£4) are large and grease free while offering serious crunch.
A half rack of spare ribs (£12) is spot on. The meat stays soft and squishy without turning to mush as soon as it comes off the bone. The BBQ sauce is sweet and light; totally addictive. The meat is from Pat Thomas Butchers in nearby Faringdon.
Fried chicken and waffles (£10) could only be bettered if the waffles were made to order – they are a little dense. Still, they soak up the endless maple syrup which we devilishly pour over the perfectly fried chicken. Lovely stuff.
With rooms from £50, Mollie’s Motel is offering something quite special. Cheap and cheerful accommodation with that Soho House attention to detail which you don’t find anywhere else. Throw in a bite to eat at the diner and you’re in for a treat.
Would we go back? Yes.