The Fishes used to be a lovely getaway from the bustle of Oxford City, but in 2004 the management changed and a subsequent refit has removed traditional character of the place and seen a massive hike in prices. The smooth, plainly decorated walls and the coffee-bar image probably does appeal to some, but it's no longer the pub it used to be.
In February 2006 we faced a 45 minute wait for a table we had booked, and were then served fishcake with almost no fish in it (the management did agree with this and refunded the cost dish). It was our second disappointing visit since the refit and we won't be going back, so I wouldn't know if things have improved since.
The new menu has a 'tapas-like' 1.50/item menu including a variety of nuts/ cheese/ fish/ antipasti/ bread etc. Mains are 7.50-13.50
The best way to get there from town is to walk out to the very very end of Ferry Hinksey Road, past the industrial estate. By the side of [Terry's ice cream], there's a little path which takes you more or less directly to the Fishes' back garden, which is very pretty.
It's yet another Ex-Morrells (now Greene King) pub, so the only beers on are IPA and Ruddell's, but the latter is in extremely good condition; a little pricey at 2.20 (2.50 Ruddell's) a pint, but you're also paying for the atmosphere. The grounds are spectacular, they have not one but two [Aunt Sally] runs, and occasional wandering ducks.
There is a sign saying "wlan access" so WiFi is available; this was free in February 2006.