Passing the rows of parked Porsches and Range Rovers, without a beat up Chevy or a U-Haul trailer in sight, I noted this was no ordinary motel car park.

But then Mollie’s is no ordinary motel.

The first in a long line of motel/diners from the Soho House troupe, Nick Jones never does anything by halves.

And Mollie’s is a classic example.

Retro, classic, minimal and stylish, he is once again redefining the hospitality industry by taking on the budget hotel boys at their own game. But instead of shoebox rooms with hard beds, shiny loo roll, paper thin walls and a Teasmade, the motel is chic, homely and contemporary.

Have a closer look inside the new Mollie's Diner here - complete with more than a few celebrities 

The diner is more brash - as affordable but with more affront. Think Retro Americana reimagined.

The Oxford Times:

The Oxford Times:

And it’s bigger than expected - banquettes as far as the eye can see, with a drive through for the cash rich, time poor. The coolest take out in town.

Situated next to a BP garage and M&S service station, it’s hardly an exotic location. Yes there was a diner, Chariots and Cherry Pie, there before, but the site had been derelict since 2014.

Nick Jones presumably saw its potential, added a touch of Soho magic, and Buck’s your uncle - rooms for £50 a night and a diner serving cocktails, burgers and breakfast to passing motorists and enthusiastic locals.

On Friday night it was filled with a much trendier crowd; those in the know, keen to check it out, perhaps en route to Soho Farmhouse down the road. Talk about one extreme to another.

Soho Farmhouse has been attracting complaints from neighbours over celebrities zooming around in SUVS - read the story here 

Packed to the rafters, with people queueing out the door despite the all day and late night opening hours, the signs were good. But was the food?

It was a mixed bag for me. Moments of brilliance, interspersed with an unbalanced menu and some lacklustre components.

Perhaps I’d spent too much time in real US diners, but I was disappointed with the menu. Excessively carnivorous, my daughter had her heart set on the Pure Filth Burger (beet black sesame bun, garlic aioli, american cheese, crispy onions, beetroot ketchup and pickles (£7), only to be told they didn’t have any.

There was little else on the menu save a grilled aubergine with chilli (hardly diner fodder), the all day veggie breakfast or a side of mac n’ cheese. If you’re only going to serve one veggie burger make sure you have it in stock.

I’d decided only a hot dog would suffice - when in Rome? Not in Buckland. There were none on the menu. Neither were onion rings or French fries allowed. Crinkle cut chips only apparently, or sweet potato. I can imagine the board meeting....

The starters were as irritating: The nachos, on closer inspection only involved cheese, salsa and sour cream (£5). The missing ingredient; guacamole was served separately with chips for £5. Where had the jalapenos, chilli beef and refried beans disappeared to?

The chicken bites with BBQ sauce went down better.

But it was the half a rotisserie chicken (£10) that stopped Mr Greedy in his tracks. Marinated for over 24 hours in Mollie’s secret sauce, steamed and then roasted over hickory chips; it was extraordinarily soft, moist, tender and beautifully flavoured.

The Oxford Times:

The dirty burger (Cheddar, mustard, mayo, iceberg, gherkin and tomato (£7) also disappeared instantly, the only clue it had been there at all was the noise of fingers being licked. The mac n’ cheese was fairly mild/innocuous and the cod burger more of a fish finger sandwich.

We eschewed pudding in favour of a blow out breakfast and really went to town when we awoke.

The Oxford Times:

But even then, there were omissions. No pancakes (why?), although the waffles placated the kids, served with either thick smoked bacon or mixed berries. The veggie breakfast (£7) - see pic - and the full English (£9) were massive, colourful and generous.

My over-riding impression then was that Mollie’s Diner was fun, well priced and cool. Just don’t expect a gourmet experience.

Mollie’s Motel and Diner,

Shivenham Road, Buckland, Faringdon SN7 8PY

01367 707777

molliesmotel.com

Parking: yes

Opening hours: The Diner is open from 7am to 10pm every day

Mollie’s Motel’s 79 comfy bedrooms include interconnected family and bunk rooms. £50 for three months currently, from May onwards £75. Reservations on Mollie’s app or website