His Dark Materials
His Dark Materials

The Trout Inn was an old, stone-built inn just outside Oxford in Lyra's world. It was on the River Thames, just opposite Godstow Priory. It was run by Malcolm Polstead's parents, Brenda and Reg Polstead.[1]

The inn served plenty of food and drink, including alcohol and desserts. Baked apple and custard and stewed apples were two of the dishes served here.[1][2]

Parts of the inn[]


The terrace sat above the Thames, where people would drink and eat. The peacocks Norman and Barry often walked around the terrace.[1]

Terrace Room[]

The Terrace Room was the smallest dining room in the inn. It overlooked the terrace, river and the priory. It had small windows and wasn't used much in the summer or winter. When Thomas Nugent visited the inn, he sat in the Terrace Room.[1]

Saloon bar[]

In the Saloon bar college scholars drank ale and smoked pipes. They were considered gentry at the inn.[1]

Public bar[]

The public bar had a fireplace and a dart board. Watermen and farm labourers drank at this bar.[1]


Brenda worked in the kitchen and would cook a joint every day when Malcolm was younger. Later, Malcolm suggested varying the menu a bit.[3] There was a spit over an open fire which was turned by an arrangement of wheels and chains.[1]

Conservatory Room[]

The Conservatory Room was a room separated from the public bar. Malcolm was once called away from listening to the conversations of customers to take a beer to this room.[4]


With its position on the River Thames, the tavern and the priory often encountered traavellers. The Trout Inn usually had two or three of these visitors staying overnight whom Malcolm would serve breakfast in the morning. These travellers were normally fishermen (or, as Malcolm's father called them, commercials).[1]

Known employees[]


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External links[]