Our contemporary British pub, located at the heart of Chester Zoo has picked up a huge Tripadvisor award after it was ranked in the top 10% of all of the world’s restaurants. The Oakfield, which opened just two years ago, has been handed an esteemed 2020 Travellers’ Choice Award, which is based on customer feedback submitted through the world’s largest travel website, Tripadvisor.
The accolade follows the loving refurbishment of the grade two listed house, which was once home to the zoo’s founder, George Mottershead.
George and his family moved to The Oakfield in 1931 to begin building what is now the UK’s most visited zoo. A pioneer of his time, George lived out his dream to create the world’s first zoo without bars which would forever change the way that exotic animals are cared for.
From a family home, a tea room, an aquarium and now a contemporary British pub that celebrates the zoo’s rich heritage, visitors can now relax in the Mottershead’s former library, or enjoy a meal in the rooms which were once part of the family home.
The Oakfield has only been open for two years, so to gain such a major accolade in this short space of time is a brilliant achievement. And what makes this award all the more special to us is that it’s based entirely on real opinions and genuine, honest feedback from our guests. The Tripadvisor team analyses thousands of reviews and ratings from travellers everywhere before handing out this honour – that’s why it means such an awful lot.
I’m so proud of the team’s hard work and dedication to make our pub such an exceptional place for our guests. The Oakfield has retained the original details of the house to give it a real ‘home from home’ feeling, with precious family photos showing what the zoo was like at the very beginning. Rooted in history, it’s the real centrepiece of the zoo, where guests relax outside on the terrace and admire the beautiful grounds, or cosy up in front of the fire and enjoy the best freshly-prepared, locally-sourced food.
Simon Lockhart, Chester Zoo’s Food and Beverage General Manager
“The award has really given us a boost during what is a really challenging time for the zoo. The pandemic, and our long period of closure, has pushed our wonderful charity to the brink, but we’re so glad to have again been able to open our doors and continue to provide our guests with a fantastic dining experience with a difference.”
All of the revenue generated by The Oakfield supports the zoo’s crucial conservation work to protect endangered species from extinction and is a vital source of income for the charity zoo in its battle to protect its future. Launched in June 2020, the zoo’s well documented Save Our Zoo campaign continues to appeal for public after almost three months of lockdown created a £5m hole in the charity’s finances, pushing it to the brink of extinction.