Set just outside the scholarly city centre of Oxford, the Magdalen Arms is an impressive, yet charming gastropub.
You’re first confronted with a building painted in a calm and welcoming light shade of blue. Once inside, you’re embraced by an equally charming classic design.
Mismatched tables give a homely air, where one can sit back, relax and enjoy the fine food and drink on offer.
Expect to eat classic pub grub, served to the highest standard. One well known food critic, for instance, gave high praise to the pie he ate at the Magdalen Arms.
Though the dishes are classic, that does not mean there is a lack of creativity and movement on the menu. Quite the opposite, in fact.
The pub’s menu changes twice a day, and diners can also expect dishes to change throughout service.
There is the choice of eating in the restaurant – where reservations can be made – or in the bar which conforms with tradition and is on a first come, first serve basis.
If it’s warm and dry outside, there is always the option to dine on the terrace. f such a day occurs, then the Summer Kitchen BBQ will be rolled out on Sunday evenings.
From 10am the gastropub serves toasted sandwiches, toast, cakes, tea and coffees, before lunch service starts at 12pm, followed obviously by dinner and then the ‘Supper Club’ menu starts from 5.30pm.
If sitting for dinner, expect to start with dishes such as: crab soup, rouille and gruyère croutes; ham hock terrine, persillade and celeriac remoulade; and twice-baked goat’s cheese soufflè, quince and walnut salad.
Mains include the likes of: Hereford beef Wellington with greens; Maria’s capunti, puy lentils and ricotta salata; or slow cooked lamb, gratin dauphinoise and pickled red cabbage.
Finish with desserts including pear and almond tart with crème fraiche; white chocolate and vanilla cheesecake with caramalised blood orange; or a chocolate fondant and salted caramel ice cream.
A three-course meal won’t set you back that much either, at around £70 per-head including drinks.