The Black Boy in Headington already has an extensive history, and during lockdown new owners Samantha and Simon Stonehouse have added to its backstory by turning it into a real community hub.
The snug was turned into a shop and The Black Boy also offered food deliveries. Then came the takeaway options.
“We made it our mission to offer the best possible fish and chips and we sold 50 portions a night. We did the same with pizzas and that is how we kept going through lockdown. At one point we were also doing 30-40 deliveries a day!” Sam says.
The Black Boy has also become a hub for local events, and its community coffee morning regularly attracts around 60 people and raises funds for local charities.
With Bottomless Brunches on the last Saturday of every month and plenty of seasonal events in the pipeline, Samantha, Simon and their dedicated and hard-working team are really are on a mission to be a big part of their local community.
It is easy to see why so many people are enjoying the new look Black Boy. It has had a gorgeous makeover and now boasts five en suite, large rooms upstairs which have been totally remodelled to provide beautiful accommodation.
You can also expect some truly relaxed and stylish modern dining, which is why we raced down there to try the new autumn menu to see what the fuss was all about.
The welcoming and lovely staff made sure dinner was a treat, while being super conscious of social distancing.
We kicked off with a creamy, hot baked camembert with garlic and honey roasted peaches, house made chutney and rustic breads. Absolutely delicious and perfect on a blustery autumnal evening.
A trio of the crispiest and most flavoursome bruschetta was next up, one with smashed avocado and seeds, another spread with tomato, basil and onion, plus a mushroom and tarragon pate this was a delight. A feast for the eyes, I loved it and would be perfect for a great quick lunch as well as a perfectly light starter.
A second starter of wild mushroom arancini with butternut squash puree was a big hit with lots of delicious flavours. So far so good, it was a real treat of a weekday dinner.
Onto the mains and it was a roasted half corn fed chicken for Inspector Morsel and a sundried tomato torte with heirloom tomatoes for me. The food looked fantastic, tasted exceptionally good, and a huge amount of skill and effort had evidently gone into making it.
The tomato torte was more like a souffle; crispy on the outside but fluffy, hot and cheesy in the middle – perfect.
The cornfed chicken was also perfectly cooked, served with lashings of wild garlic fries and so generous Inspector Morsel had to quietly request a takeaway box so he could finish his chicken later.
Needless to say, we had to skip the enticing looking puddings because we were just so full, but we will be back to try those out very soon.
As well as a brilliant evening menu, the pub offers a fantastic £15 fixed price lunch menu too, that includes two courses and a glass of wine, or a pint of Everards Tiger or Pravha Cech Pilsner available from Monday – Saturday 12-2.30pm.
Seriously folks – book a table you will not be disappointed.
The Black Boy, 91 Old High St, Oxford. OX39HT 01865 741137