When Ross Drummond signed the lease on No 1 Ship Street two years ago, he knew he was taking a massive risk. The recession was ongoing, the Westgate’s endless restaurants had opened up a few weeks before, and he’d left a good job at The Crazy Bear in Stadhampton to go it alone.

Would a brand new independent restaurant up a cobbled side street in central Oxford take off?

Yes was the answer, in a major way.

Against all the odds, he and his gorgeous partner Alexia, now his wife, took on the old News Cafe, transformed it into the plush, relaxing, gourmet restaurant it is, complete with a champagne and oyster bar, enrolled head chef Owen Little as a partner, and opened the doors.

Two years down the line, they are in the mood for celebrating and tonight’s the night. From 4pm-8pm tonight the team are celebrating in style with a champagne reception and buffet banquet. Tickets cost £40 a head.

No 1 Ship Street, Oxford. OX13DA. no1shipstreet.com

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