After a bit of Oxford shopping at the weekend we found ourselves over by The Randolph hotel, so decided to keep walking and head on into Jericho, as we had an afternoon with no great plans, which is rare! We turned into Little Clarenden Street, which is a lovely narrow one way street always decorated with white lights, criss crossing down the street, so no need for christmas decorations. This one street is packed with multiple restaurants, a wine shop, a hairdressers, a variety of unique shops from kitchen appliances to wedding dresses and a cocktail bar to complete the street.
Turning onto Walton street, the main street in Jericho, you will find a couple of cocktail bars, Raouls is a personal favourite of mine. Sadly over the road from Raouls, several shops/restaurants were recently closed down, due to the ‘need’ of using the building for another use, so across the street is looking quite different from how it had done previously.
Previously I’d only ever sat in the side garden of this pub, which has a great sun spot on a sunny day, there is also some seating at the front, either side of the entrance. Last weekend it was a ‘sit inside day’, although sunny it was certainly not warm! The pub wasn’t full but there were several large groups in the pub ready to eat after their day shopping in the city Centre. The curved steps leading into arched doorway make for a unique and attractive entrance. As you walk in, the bar is in front of you in the middle of the pub.
The tables and chairs are scattered throughout the pub, leaving the bar as a centre-piece. The venue has a mix of dark wood paneling and light walls, which are covered in brightly coloured old posters advertising various plays, films and musicals. We took a window seat, to watch the world go by, the seating was comfortable and had a homely feel to it. The large mirrors on the walls make the pub feel light, despite the dark wood. There was only one member of staff on the bar in the middle of a weekend lunch service, apparently the number 2 had not turned up. But the staff member that was on her own kept her cool and did a great job juggling the drinks orders as well as keeping an ear out for the kitchen food to be ready for service.
What we ate:
Hand-battered Halloumi Fries With red pepper and chilli dip. (v) £2.95
Middle Eastern Hummus With flatbread and crudités. (v) £3.95
This was ideal for the nibble that we wanted on that afternoon. Had we wanted a larger meal there was plenty to choose from, as well as some good meal deals and offers for those on a budget on the run up to Christmas.
With my nibble I had a lovely glass of New Zealand white wine. The name escapes me, however it was not your average plonk that you may sometimes happily have in a pub on a Saturday. The variety of beer, ale and cider would also suit anyone that gets bored with the standard stuff.
Overall this pub was well priced, good service (considering the staff situation), and generally a nice atmosphere, in the peaceful suburb of Jericho, if you’ve not been for a while pop in, I think the mulled wine will be up and running by now.