Local Talk

Can anyone recommend a nice place to eat out in Oxford?

(145 Posts)
XBenedict Wed 15-May-13 20:58:06

We are meeting friends there in a few weeks time but neither party knows Oxford that well. Can anyone recommend somewhere smile ?

RayABlokeIUsedToKnow Wed 15-May-13 21:02:50

Haven't been to Oxford for a while but have a look at the restaurants in the castle quarter www.oxfordcastlequarter.com/

It's the prison grounds which have been converted into a Malmaison hotel, bars and restaurants. We generally head there to eat.

OutOfCheeseError Wed 15-May-13 21:03:15

Any preferences on cuisine/price range/atmosphere? Does it need to be very central or would you happily walk for a bit?

stealthsquiggle Wed 15-May-13 21:04:03

Loads. Budget /preferences?

XBenedict Wed 15-May-13 21:12:42

We're staying in the Randolph, I think that's fairly central isn't it? Healthy but not stupid budget, bistro type place not too stuffy, bit of atmosphere, would prefer non chainy type restaurants. Maybe French/British cuisine. We really enjoy the restaurants in places like Hotel Du Vin.

FruOla Wed 15-May-13 21:13:28

Pierre Victoire www.pierrevictoire.co.uk/
It's fabaroony. Well, it was when we were there a couple of years ago!

tigerdriverII Wed 15-May-13 21:18:01

Ashmolean Restaurant (not the cafe!): just over the road from the Randolph and fab food and views. Good pub grub: Red lion in Gloucester Green , although a bit "after work". Cherwell boathouse always good and a quirky location. Gee's is nice too. None of these particularly cheap though.

Jude89 Wed 15-May-13 21:18:07

Jamie's italian is pretty good, but they don't take bookings (or they didn't last time I was there)

George St has lots of chain places.

The restaurant above the ashmolean is very good, but can be quite pricey I think.

There are alot of nice cafe/restaurants in the covered market.

if its sunny skip dinner, go to G&Ds for a bagel & icecream and then go punting

MummyCoolski Wed 15-May-13 21:18:21

I adore Gee's on Banbury Rd. The Old Parsonage is near the St. Giles end of the Banbury Rd. and is also nice.

In Jericho, there's a Loch Fyne and a Petit Blanc and a few less expensive independent restaurants.

In the centre there are the usual chains, including Jamie's Italian, Pizza Express etc.

frillyflower Wed 15-May-13 21:28:47

Another vote for old parsonage.

If you like Chinese Sojo in Hythe Bridge St is fabulous.

OutOfCheeseError Wed 15-May-13 21:29:52

I would second Pierre Victoire and Gee's. The Rickety Press also does seriously good gastropub type food.

XBenedict Wed 15-May-13 21:33:06

Fabulous thank you for all these suggestions smile

Mondrian Wed 15-May-13 21:39:29

Browns has always been an Oxford institution. The Talkhouse is also a favourite - that's if you fancy a gastropub with loads of atmosphere. Its a few miles out of Oxford city in Stanton St Johns but its definitely worth the trip.

Tigresswoods Wed 15-May-13 22:22:46

DH is from Oxford & DMIL still lives there. We regularly go to the Tapas bar on Little Clarendon St. Just gorgeous. We never have Tapas anywhere else, unless we are in actual Spain.

Al Andalus I think.

MoreBeta Wed 15-May-13 22:27:02

I'd go for Browns. Was disappoined at Ashmolean last year. Gees is nice too but can be quite pricey.

Pierre Victoire is nice but noisy.

Loch Fyne in Oxford is revolting - seriously.

Branca (a bit further up Walton street) is quite nice, but both that and Loch Fyne are quite far out.

The Old Parsonage by St Giles' Church, and Gees further north, are both really lovely IMO.

The Tapas bar on Little Clarendon had mice a couple of years back, and I couldn't fancy it since.

Rickety Press used to be down the road from me and it is lovely - overly poncey for a pub IMO, but fun, and nice food.

I'd go for Gees, personally, like a shot.

stealthsquiggle Wed 15-May-13 22:30:13

From the Randolph I would go for Browns, followed by ice cream at G&D in Little Clarendon st. Or tapas.

The Magdalene Arms is meant to be very good too.

Btw, DH reckons I should qualify - Loch Fyne used to be good, and is now shit.

If you change your mind, Al Shami in the south end of Jericho is lovely, cheap Lebanese food, too.

joanofarchitrave Wed 15-May-13 22:35:31

and I have always wanted to go to Edamame ('home cooked Japanese') but their opening hours are tricky
Chiang Mai is the well thought of Thai but the one time dh and I went there, we had to go for a meal afterwards blush - I prefer Bangkok House opposite.

The Jam Factory on Hollybush Row near the station is a personal favourite but is not particularly foodie - nice relaxed atmosphere and the service can be amiable rather than ruthlessly efficient IYSWIM.

joanofarchitrave Wed 15-May-13 22:36:33

Personally? I think Browns is terrible. Pick Gees, pick Gees.

Blueskiesandbuttercups Wed 15-May-13 22:39:21

What is Sojos like for kids?

Also years ago we used to go to this lovely Thai restaurant,huge room,very ornate.

Anybody know which it could be?

Any kid friendly restaurants?

You might be thinking of Paddyfields on Hythe Bridge?

Or possibly At Thai on the High Street.

joanofarchitrave Wed 15-May-13 22:44:17

blueskies that sounds like bangkok house - lots of carved wood?

Sojos wouldn't be the best for kids I think. I would choose either the Ashmolean, the Jam Factory or one of the chains.

Blueskiesandbuttercups Wed 15-May-13 22:47:34

Yes think so,had 2 parts to the dining room.Lots of carved wood,waitresses in costume?

Wanted to do Chinese with the kids.

Used to love Opium Den but it looks like it's ££££££ now.

So why is Sojos not good for kids?

Blueskiesandbuttercups Wed 15-May-13 22:50:32

Mind you that Jam Factory looks good.

twofalls Wed 15-May-13 22:55:42

CAn't believe nobody has mentioned brasserie blanc on Walton street. A bit pricey but great.

Or the tapas on little Clarendon. Either way loads of places for cocktails first in that area.

TWinklyLittleStar Wed 15-May-13 22:57:45

Leave room for G&Ds icecream, whatever you do.

Brasserie Blanc is Raymond Blanc's place that mummycool mentioned, I think?

I've got to say, I've been there a couple of times and I thought it was really poor. Rancid nut oil in salad dressings and boring food.

I agree with cocktails though - Angles or the Grand Cafe are nice.

stealthsquiggle Wed 15-May-13 23:01:12

Is Brasserie Blanc still there?

Paddy fields is best for Sunday dim sum.

It is still there.

LippyDiDooDah Wed 15-May-13 23:10:12

Avoid Brasserie Blanc - not worth the hype.

We loved 'The Big Bang' which is a sausage restaurant serving a choice of 32 sausages. Great atmosphere, great service, lovely place. very near the prison grounds another poster mentioned and just up from the Randolph.

Have a lovely trip and come back and tell us where you went smile

joanofarchitrave Wed 15-May-13 23:14:08

Brasserie Blanc? [snarls] No longer any connection with Raymond and I shook their dust from my feet after the work do when they just treated us like cash cows.

Sojos is fab but perhaps it's just because my ds is not that adventurous, but it seemed rather serious for a family meal.

stealthsquiggle Wed 15-May-13 23:20:38

Lippy my DM similarly snarls about the Big Bang. Something about giving her the wrong mash and then telling her she was wrong when she complained I wasn't really listening

rootypig Wed 15-May-13 23:27:56

I'd choose Branca - a beautiful (and not very long) walk into Jericho of a summer evening, should we ever get one of those, with a few nice places for cocktails along the way. Gees used to be fabulous, but the food has slipped.

Er where else. Cherwell Boat House. The Perch. Both beautiful and very Oxfordy.

jitterbug85 Wed 15-May-13 23:45:05

I second the talk house, beautiful place and fantastic food. From what I remember they did a good kids menu too. It's a couple of miles out but definitely worth it.

staverton Thu 16-May-13 00:06:14

2nd Gee's and the Cherwell boathouse. The old parsonage is lovely, but is a bit stuffy. Gee's owned by same people, less stuffy.

You could always get a taxi to Le Manoir... the food isn't actually that expensive, in the grand scheme of things, from a certain perspective (i.e. when compared with the price of the rooms grin)).

FairPhyllis Thu 16-May-13 00:35:17

Browns on St Giles is ... reliable. And well located for you. You didn't use to be able to book on Friday or Saturday nights, but they have an efficient waiting system. You might like Quod too - attached to the Old Bank Hotel on the High Street.

Gees or Cherwell Boathouse if you are looking for something more expensive. Taxis will prob. be involved for Cherwell Boathouse though. Stay away from George St.

Chiang Mai (Thai) is probably still my favourite actually nice restaurant in Oxford. still weeps at the demise of Ma Belle

Agree on Chiang Mai -- I can never remember what it's called (had to Google to check which it was) or explain anyone else how to get there, but it's the one place we keep going back to to eat in Oxford.

Mondrian Thu 16-May-13 05:54:41

The Fishes in Botley is pretty good too, I think kids would enjoy it too as they can stretch their legs in the gardens. They used to do lunch boxes for garden orders - our kids loved that.

No one has mentioned The Trout Inn - haven't eaten there since they did it up last millennium. The setting alone makes it a worthwhile a visit even if its just for drinks .... Wonder if the peacock is still running around the yard.

Mondrian Thu 16-May-13 05:58:55

I would also highly recommend Hero's for a quick lunch ... They used to do a chicken/bacon/avocado/pitta sandwich which along with Brett's hamburger should have been protected by some agency but sadly Brett's burgers are no longer there and Hero's changed their menu but if you ask nicely they will can still make it.

Trumpton Thu 16-May-13 06:18:24

When we used to go to Oxford Heroes had had the " o " on its sign board changed to. " p" . Not such an appealing name when it showed as Herpes grin

JollyOrangeGiant Thu 16-May-13 06:24:18

We are staying near oxford in July so this is great. Op can I ask hq to move the thread, from chat so it doesn't disappear after 90 days? Please smile

milk Thu 16-May-13 06:25:46
TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 16-May-13 06:30:15

Quod is nice.

Otherwise, echoing others with Chiang Mai kitchen and G&D's.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 16-May-13 06:32:20

Also, The Grand Cafe, not the cheapest place though.

brightwell Thu 16-May-13 06:33:13

I love Mamma Mia's, there's one in Jericho & one in Summertown, good food & family friendly.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mondrian Thu 16-May-13 09:56:42

What's the food like now LRD, are they still doing game?

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

staverton Thu 16-May-13 10:04:21

I was really disappointed by the food at chiang mai- no better than big standard thai takeaway. Maybe they were having an off day.

FruOla Thu 16-May-13 10:17:36

Oooh, I loved The Trout when we were there - but more for the scenery too! And the peacock!

Actually I think The Trout is part of a chain of gastropubs (although I think they all 'sell' themselves as being independents, or whatever). There are a few of them that we go to and the menus are all the same.

FruOla Thu 16-May-13 10:20:49

OMG - that made it sound like we ate peacock - it's a live bird that wanders around the terrace!

FruOla Thu 16-May-13 10:23:05

Ooops, sorry, just seen you've already mentioned the peacock, LRD blush

Mondrian Thu 16-May-13 10:31:49

LRP i kind of know what you mean - in 25 yrs of going there i think I have ever eaten there twice - don't know why we have not eaten there more often!

berryfreeze Thu 16-May-13 10:33:41

How about The Nosebag lovely place built in the city walls, everything homemade and gorgeous cakes, very close to Randolph,

berryfreeze Thu 16-May-13 10:35:36

It is opposite the student union building can't remember name of street, which is annoying as spent alto of time there!!

Pagwatch Thu 16-May-13 10:39:35

I stayed at the Bank Hotel and ate at Quod. The food was nice enough for me but they were charming to the two DC and they ate well too.

Browns is a bit crap tbh.

The old parsonage is lovely.

Mondrian Thu 16-May-13 10:43:54

Nosebag is in St Michael's St, used to go there for their soups. Great lunch treat in between doing the Xmas shopping ... Not so sure for dinner in summer!

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 16-May-13 10:50:18

What is the pub that's the opposite side of the road to Walton Street but a tiny bit further out of town? White painted stonework? That's nice.

Pagwatch Thu 16-May-13 10:54:46

My Browns associations are the same LRD
Phoned in advance, told them I was bringing a child with ASD so could we have a quiet spot. They confirmed they could.
They sat us in the midle of the romm, jammed up against two other tables with music so loud and people just shouting at each other. Then 30 mins to take our order and one hour before any food.

berryfreeze Thu 16-May-13 11:01:16

Thank you Mondrian for street name, it is lovely in summer as well, they change the menu seasonally, and have a good selection of decent salads as well. Feel a bit homesick nowsad

That's really shit, pag. Sounds as if it is their standard line, then.

doctrine - do you mean the Royal Oak on Woodstock road? Or actually on walton street? Anyhow, the Royal Oak is nice if not child-friendly.

We clearly need an Oxford meet-up and pub-crawl. wink

Mondrian Thu 16-May-13 11:06:59

Up to a few years ago they never accepted advanced bookings so I'm guessing its a steep learning curve for them.

My memory of of Browns goes back to early 80's. Back then they were renowned for their waitresses and remember seeing an ad in the local paper for a waitress position at Browns, there was a size restriction, a height restriction and even an eye colour restriction .... That should be enough to put off all MNers off going there - even after all these years.

Pies are still neice after all these years.


Yep, that puts me off.

berryfreeze Thu 16-May-13 11:17:24

The Royal Oak if I remember was not really that foodie, maybe it was the Horse and Jockey( no longer there) or the Lemon Tree(?) further up the Woodstock Road

Mondrian Thu 16-May-13 11:17:37

If there is going to be a pub crawl then I suggest we should start at Old Marston, couple of nice pubs there - food was pretty good at one of them - not sure which as I was a bit .... Lets say I was driven there!

Huh. I don't think I know either of those, berry. I clearly need to spend more time in Oxford's fine establishments. grin

The RO isn't foodie, just quite pleasant and in winter they have a lovely range of hot drinks - buttered spiced rum, that sort of thing. Hence, not so child-friendly.

grin at mondrian.

stealthsquiggle Thu 16-May-13 11:29:34

I used to have tutorials in the RO, complete with chips. They did good chips back in the dark ages

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

aquavit Thu 16-May-13 11:33:47

You'll be lucky to get a booking at the Manoir ...

Great food pubs are the Rickety Press in Jericho and the Magdalen Arms up the Iffley Rd. Both v good with children as is Branca in Jericho, also doing nice food - modern Italian (I think much nicer than Jamie's). Old Parsonage is really lovely and v close to the Randolph. View at the Ashmolean is nice but I don't rate the food that much.

But DON'T GO TO GEE'S!! It's been relaunched and is now nothing like old Gee's - very sad given that it used to be one of Oxford's best (albeit a tad hit and miss) - hideously expensive for what it is. They have lost all ambition and the menu is now just a long list of grills with a couple of pizzas and vege/pasta afterthoughts. Wildly disapppointing.

aquavit Thu 16-May-13 11:36:42

this has made me v hungry! I am in my office about five doors away from Branca (and just round the corner from the Rickety Press) <<--not at all stealthy boast

GoWestcountry Thu 16-May-13 11:36:46

The pub that used to be the Radcliffe Arms in Jericho is now a lovely gastro pub. Went there a few weeks ago, food was really nice and the staff were great. Had a good choice for children too. Can't remember the name of the pub or the road tho sorry!

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 16-May-13 11:37:29

Yes, I mean the Royal Oak, thanks. Isn't the outside bit enclosed (no play equipment though)?

Magdalen Arms definitely for food but a bit far from the Randolph and parking is shocking (just for a change!)

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 16-May-13 11:38:47

The Lemon Tree shuts and reopens more often than, err, nutcrackers at Christmas - is it open at present?

Oh, I like new Gees. Only been a couple of times though. I thought the bread was very tasty. I am a bit sad they've lost the old menu, but IMO the new one is nice.

aqua I think I know where you are! grin I'm jealous. I used to live just down the road from your office.

doctrine - yes, there is an enclosed outside bit, I just think it'd be a bit boring for children and there are so many pubs with nicer outside bits. There is a bus that goes more or less past the Magdalen arms, though.

berryfreeze Thu 16-May-13 11:45:10

My dp worked at Gee's many many years ago, aquavit is the Jericho cafe still there?

berryfreeze Thu 16-May-13 11:47:13

LRD so did !!!! Also on the canal!

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

berryfreeze Thu 16-May-13 11:53:44

15years ago just say spent most of my time in Jericho Cafe

Aquavit, I had heard similar about Gees. I might have a little cry to mourn memories of chocolate tart under fariy lights in the conservatory.

They still have lovely chocolate tart. Also prune ice cream which is to die for (not something you typically say about prune ice cream!).

aquavit Thu 16-May-13 12:07:28

I nearly wept too April. It was actually the night we went there that we finally decided to up sticks to a different town grin though this conversation is making me sad to be leaving!

Jericho Cafe is most certainly still here but the Lemon Tree is not (and won't be again)

GoWest, the old Radcliffe Arms is the Rickety Press wot we have been banging on about: it's on Cranham St off Walton St

there is a bus that stops right outside the Magdalen Arms - most of the parking round there is now residents only (thank the lord as I live there <smug>) so that is a very good way to get there

Mondrian Thu 16-May-13 12:14:26

Lemon tree was one of Clinton Pugh's creations. I used to have a patch in his first bar/restaurant creation in Oxford - Baedeckers. He went on to start Grand Cafe, Lemon Tree, Grand Cafe & Coco as well as a few others .... Apart from a Mexican miss the rest have always been great. Think he sold the Lemon Tree and then after it failed bought it back again a few years ago so no idea who owns it now or what it's like but if its Clinton then it's bound to be good.

Crazy Bear at Stadhampton is also great ... A few miles out of town but food is one of the best as is the rather unusual cluster of cottages/hotel suits around the pub ... Booking office is a converted double decker bus in the parking. The outdoor dining area is great for those summer evenings too, as for the bar ... Not many places out in the country offer a selection of Vodka shots or oysters at the bar.

Mondrian Thu 16-May-13 12:17:59

Should have been Frozen Vodka shots.

Pagwatch Thu 16-May-13 12:38:06

Ooooh we stayed at the Crazy Bear too. The dc loved it. Especially the reception bus grin

Hasitfallendownagain Thu 16-May-13 12:46:07

Definitely Cherwell Boathouse <reminisces fondly>. It's not in the centre, but it's a nice stroll up there if the weather is good.

Or Moya is fabulous, my favourite Oxford restaurant - the food is fantastically good (Czech/Slovak cuisine and really delicious), but it does seem to be closed occasionally, I think it maybe doesn't open on Sundays.

TWinklyLittleStar Thu 16-May-13 12:51:33

Was the Radcliffe Arms the one that did the humungous Sunday roasts for about four quid? Loved it.

When someone mentioned Heroes I sniggered and thought 'herpes' straight away. They did beautiful hot beef and mustard sandwiches, and chicken curry and mango chutney pittas.

I want to go on a day trip now just for a sandwich from Herpes, a G&Ds icecream, and a cookie from Bens Cookies in the covered market.

GoWestcountry Thu 16-May-13 13:32:47

Aquavit ah yes that's it, silly me!

Twinkly yes that's the one-it's changed a bit since the microwaved burgers that arrived before you even sat back down after ordering.

Does Rosamund the Fair still exist? One of my most memorable Oxford dinner dates ever - DP had managed to get last minute cancellation so we virtually had the boat to ourselves!

stealthsquiggle Thu 16-May-13 14:00:10

Ben's Cookies grin [sigh]. I could just use a few of those and some G&D's cinnamon ice cream right now.

stealthsquiggle Thu 16-May-13 14:01:31

Does anyone else remember Peppers Burgers, at the Port Meadow end of Walton street?

TWinklyLittleStar Thu 16-May-13 14:08:59

Yes! Friday evening was happy hour cocktails in the Duke of Cambridge then burgers from Peppers smile

stealthsquiggle Thu 16-May-13 14:18:26

With their 50 sauces, and complete ban on "just chips and sauce" smile

Mondrian Thu 16-May-13 14:30:03

Duke of Cambridge ..... Good old days, used to follow it up with a trip to Raouls and Freuds to break the stuffiness of DoC.

mummytime Thu 16-May-13 14:33:18

We lived very close to Pepper's Burgers!

Clawdy Thu 16-May-13 14:33:34

Quod every time. Or Bar Meze in Headington.

Mondrian Thu 16-May-13 14:37:42

Tried Ben's cookies in Oxford street, not even close to the one in Oxford covered market.

stealthsquiggle Thu 16-May-13 14:52:16

We stuck to Raouls, inspite of the lecherous manager.

berryfreeze Thu 16-May-13 14:52:24

Ohh pepper's burgers, the blue cheese dressing was so nice, does anyone remember St Giles cafe, with the mega fry UK's so busy

Mondrian Thu 16-May-13 15:35:16

Forgot about St Giles Cafe, remember popping in on a Sunday after a 6 am photo shoot ... It was the highlight of the event for me.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 16-May-13 15:46:59

<wants Dime Bar icecream>

<has a strop>

ModernToss Thu 16-May-13 15:52:41

Another vote for Quod at the Old Bank. The staff are brilliant, and the food is very nice indeed.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

stealthsquiggle Thu 16-May-13 16:27:15

Less nostalgically, I too have recent good experience of quod with DC.

Mondrian Thu 16-May-13 17:16:53

LRD ... Better to have lived above-ish DoC than Brew house.

Brew house?!

berryfreeze Thu 16-May-13 17:48:16

Know the flat above Jericho cafe, was it staff accommodation above brewhouse? Say that would of been quite lively there, though preferred the Gloucester Arms(right now I am really really homesicksad

Mondrian Thu 16-May-13 17:53:03

It was a popular city centre pub, name changed in 90's apparently.

I must have a decade or so on you.

Ah, after my time I think. Sorry! blush

I have moved here as an adult, though, so you would have time on me - it sounds as if you were a student here.

berry - oh, bless you. Did you grow in Oxford then? You must have a lovely accent if so.

The glock is closed, sadly, and there's now a nice but not entirely exciting-looking Italian there.

after?! Before, even, sorry.

Mondrian Thu 16-May-13 18:23:46

Yes but still visit pretty often as in-laws live there & we might be heading back in a couple of years pending DDs secondary school admission.

Shanghai 30s? Lovely food and when yougo to the loo, you get a Chinese lesson ...

Oh, nice. It would be a nice place for secondary school from what little impression I get.

twofalls Thu 16-May-13 21:01:40

Mondarin, you have taken me right back with talk of The Brewhouse. On a good night we would drink in the Brewhouse and then go and dance the night away at Boodles followed by chips in Bonn Square. Now I am really showing my age.

And sorry to hear brasserie blanc has gone down hill. Haven't been there for about 3 years to be fair.

Blueskiesandbuttercups Thu 16-May-13 21:17:01

Nose bag used to be soooo cheap,used to meet friends from school there,bet it isn't so cheap now.

Bens Cookies is a blast from the past.

What was that cafe in the undercover market that did nachos?

magnoliamom Thu 16-May-13 21:19:02

Another vote for Moya, glad to see someone else mentioned it! I also really like Qumin's which is also in St. Clement's. And Edamame. I am still looking for a good Thai for takeaway...

YonisAreForever Thu 16-May-13 21:35:50

I always find Oxford a let down, it should be so much more.
I could only recommend trout for position and crazy bear!

tigerdriverII Thu 16-May-13 22:20:00

Wow. Some memories here!

Brew house is now the Red Lion and is a nice eaterie but not super special. Very work lunch/ after work, but nice enough and nt too pricey.

My ExH used to work at Peppers Burgers a zillion years ago. He could bring free ones home at the end of his shift <<wonders why I am so humongous>>

Anyone old enough to remember Colonel Bogey's?

Oxpops Thu 16-May-13 22:36:38

Yes Moya is fab and quite reasonable too(if I recall)

I remember the Brewhouse- dark, dingy, pinball machines- those were the days

I also remember seeing The Jennifers (now Supergrass) at the Venue(now Zodiac)

Oxpops Thu 16-May-13 22:39:12

Oh and Oxford Thai on the Cowley road is good (and cheap), though it's more of a place to go with a bunch of your mates before heading off drinking.

Oxpops Thu 16-May-13 22:41:16

The Excelsior is a must for a greasy spoon lunch. The Chef is about 80(true) and the guy on front of house who I think is the owner is in his 70s. Very friendly- haunt of Rick Stein (in his student days) and some very colourful characters today.

Though I think I heard a rumour the owner/chef was retiring.

rootypig Thu 16-May-13 23:13:08

Blueskies Georginas! grin

we used to love Cafe Coco when we lived in Cowley. I remember you used to be able to smoke in there! seems incredible now.

Mondrian Fri 17-May-13 04:35:05

Coco's ... Wonder if Simon &/or the bath tub are still there!

Twofalls Yes you have given your age away, you must be much younger than I as in my days (nights) Boodles was called Scamps and along with Down Town Manhattan were the only 2 clubs in town. I think the name change to boodles came later in early to mid 80's when Coven also came to the scene. I even remember eating banana splits at Wimpy and later took my first job there, only lasted 2 nights before I started working at Maxwells.

Blueskiesandbuttercups Fri 17-May-13 07:14:18

Georgina's is still there!

Sooo taking the dc when we visit in the summer(got a loooong list now).

Nose bag would be too healthy,wonder if thy still have those earthenware cups.

Going to do Pitt Rivers,punting,Botanical Gardens- any other Oxford kid must dos?I see The Oxford Story has gone.sad

hopkinette Fri 17-May-13 07:24:18

Mondrian The bathtub is still there! Clint did open another branch of Coco's in the space under the Royal Oxford Hotel (where Smollensky's was - close to the station) but it didn't last long. Nothing ever lasts long in that site, it seems to be doomed, but there's a new Korean place that's just there opened so it'll be interesting to see if they can make a go of it.

OP if you're still looking for somewhere to eat, I really love Door 74 on the Cowley Road. It's tiny and quite casual. I love their food. Alternatively, if you want to stay closer to the city centre, I'd recommend Turl Street Kitchen. They get very very busy so the service can be a little bit slow, but I like the staff and the food has always been insanely delicious (the menu is very small and changes daily - always lots of seasonal produce, and they do a lot of slow-cooked stuff. I had slow-cooked lamb there last week and it was SO GOOD) so if you're not in a tearing hurry it's a very good option in my opinion. If you like Chinese food, do try Sojo,
I've always had good experiences there.

GingerPCatt Fri 17-May-13 07:24:35

Pierre's is awesome and they do a good pre theatre menu. If you want a takeaway, il principe on cowley does the best pizza I've had outside of Italy. There are loads of restaurants on cowley. I've heard magdalen arms (pub on iffley) is good but it look ver ver posh so never tried it. Fishers is good for seafood and moya across the road is good Eastern European food.

Mondrian Fri 17-May-13 07:27:58

If you have a car to get around Blenheim palace might be fun and they usually have some summer events, my DCs loved "Crocodiles of the world" which apparently is the only crocodile zoo in uk or at least was a couple of years ago when we visited.

Climb one of the church towers - you can look out over everything? Not necessarily a must-do but nice IMO.

If it were me I'd do the deer park at Magdalen(e? I really have no clue) rather than Botanic gardens.

This thread is making me hungry. smile

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 17-May-13 07:55:56

"e" for Cambridge, no "e" for Oxford, LRD...

Yes, the Botanic Gardens aren't that big really.

There is no way I am going to remember that, but thank you!

Mondrian Fri 17-May-13 08:05:14

Vaults & Garden is a nice lunch venue on a sunny summer's day.

Thanks everyone (particularly OP) for a trip down memory lane.

rootypig Fri 17-May-13 08:25:49

oh yes Turl Street Kitchen! can't believe I didn't think of it - ate there last time I was up, a few months ago. it is lovely atmosphere and good food with, irc, an ethical slant (local produce). A bit homely in the sense that 1. service is madly slow and the staff seem to think you're nutty if you have somewhere to be afterwards so bear in mind if you have a babysitter - we booked a table for 8pm and (including not being sat down til 8.30) struggled to leave by 11 and 2. they didn't know how to make a martini! (they do advertise cocktails) 3. our waiter seemed to think we were interested in his life story hmm

but then maybe I am being all twatty and London about it. It's a local place, the food was good, the room is lovely and it's in the middle of town. You would defo need a reservation.

Oxpops Fri 17-May-13 21:21:14

Mondrian" I even remember eating banana splits at Wimpy and later took my first job there, only lasted 2 nights before I started working at Maxwells."

I used to love Maxwells. A friend and I used to pop in for the delicious Pecan pie whilst at uni.

Oxpops Fri 17-May-13 21:24:50

"any other Oxford kid must dos?"

There's the Story Museum nr Pembroke-not been there though.

Museum of Modern Art has a very child friendly cafe

Museum of Oxford usually has kid friendly activities going on

Woodstock Museum also good

My dd loved the Open top bus and we could get on and off and visit other places in Oxford

Mr Simms sweet Shop is obviously kid heaven though not exclusive to Oxford

joanofarchitrave Fri 17-May-13 21:37:02

for kids - have a look at the story museum


leaflet for activities across oxford museums

Mondrian Sat 18-May-13 03:51:16

Oxpops My fav was the lemon cheesecake at Taylor's. Along with the rasberry cheesecake at Harveyniks they were the best - light & fluffy not sure why but they both stopped doing it sometime in the 90's.

CrowmarshGibbon Sun 19-May-13 11:00:00

Hi all
This has been a fascinating thread for me to read as the Local Editor for Oxford - what are my chances of persuading you all to pop over to MN Oxford's Restaurants, Cafe or Pubs & Bars listings to post listings and reviews for these venues?

It would be so helpful for people needing the same information as the OP in the future.

CrowmarshGibbon Sun 19-May-13 11:04:27

Oh - and here's some Family Friendly stuff that's on at the moment!

XBenedict Sun 19-May-13 15:37:43

Wow what a fantastic response thank you all so much smile

Mondrian Sun 19-May-13 19:01:44

Crow - didn't even know that section existed, will definitely start to post reviews upon each visit from here onwards.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Mon 20-May-13 17:27:46

I think you hit a rich vein of nostalgia OP!

OliviaMMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 20-May-13 23:05:23

And we will move this thread to MN Oxford, too because it would be a terrible shame to lose this thread as it was started in Chat.
<fond memories of Oxford from carefree days of yore>
<NO use whatsoever on anything family friendly winkgrin>

CrowmarshGibbon Tue 21-May-13 08:52:30

Thanks Olivia!

There are less family friendly areas - ie: The going out section

Want to add a few nightclubs Olivia? ;)

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