It’s easy to forget that tucked down on Abingdon Road is one of Oxford’s best little pubs – Tap Social’s White House.
Massively community focused and altruistic, (it’s part of Tap Social’s incredible prison rehabilitation programme), The White House has recently undergone something of a transformation with a revamped look, gorgeous murals, a new chef and a simplified, seasonal, locally sourced, yet predominantly plant-based, menu.
The departure of head chef Michael Carr is a blow, but with his prodigy – 27 year-old Michael Mensah – stepping into his culinary shoes, things look set to continue on an even keel.
As for pudding there was no contest, the almond and pear tart with vanilla ice cream was a bit of me
We popped in for a quick dinner before taking in Creation’s Much Ado About Nothing just up the road (on until August 19 (READ OUR REVIEW HERE) and it was the perfect stop for a casual dinner.
The weather being what it is at the moment (wrap up warm for the theatre, although Creation supplies blankets) we kicked off with a superb roasted root veg soup (£7) which was rich and flavoursome, accompanied by the delicious bread supplied by Tap’s PROOF Bakery in nearby Kennington.
We also nibbled on the spiced falafel Scotch eggs with a garlic and mint yoghurt dip (£7), another great veggie take on a classic, although the yolks were a little bit too runny (it always boils down to personal preference) and could have done with a bit more flavour.
‘Tap social’s white house continues to provide a fun, cheerful, bright, affordable space for Oxford come rain or shine’
Then burgers and chips – the beetroot, lentil and quinoa (£15.50) with a tomato and basil salsa, smoked Applewood cheese (vegan on request), beef tomato, gem lettuce, pickled gherkins, red cabbage slaw and some storming thick, chunky hand-cut chips. Generous portions, lovely baps from PROOF, the patty was a bit squidgy, but hit the spot.
We also ordered a side salad which came with home pickled veg and apple – an inventive and colourful, if slightly sour combination, which could have done with a bit more dressing.
As for pudding there was no contest, the almond and pear tart (another PROOF addition?) with vanilla ice cream (£7.50) was gorgeous, the pastry crunchy, the filling sweet, the pears just so, the crunch of the nuts. A bit of me.
And finishing up, we took a quick tour, the function room upstairs transformed by muralist Lisa Curtis, a huge, sunny, welcoming, fun event space for all manner of occasions.
And WHEN the sun comes out, it’s has a wonderful garden, with a huge bike rack to encourage you to cycle there.
And judging by the clientele; from students and mates drinking Tap Social beer to older couples having dinner, tourists chatting away and a meeting going on upstairs, The White House is continuing to provide a fun, cheerful, bright, affordable space for Oxford, come rain or shine.
Tap Social’s The White House is at 38 Abingdon Road, Oxford https://www.tapsocialmovement.com/pages/thewhitehouse
Creation’s Much Ado About Nothing runs until August 19. Book tickets here https://creationtheatre.co.uk/show/much-ado/