The Black Boy Inn
91 Old High Street, Headington, Oxford, OX3 9HT
Simply irresistible'. Not the words of this writer, but those of none other than The Observer's food critic, Jay Rayner. It isn't hard to see why Fleet Street is getting excited about The Black Boy Inn: the pub simply exudes charm and sophistication in spades. And then there's the food. The Black Boy Inn strikes that balance of providing great grub, but at very fair prices indeed. Before taking the reins of this pub, proprietors Chris Bentham and Abigail Rose had the pleasure of working with the likes of Raymond Blanc and Paul Heathcote. By coming together and pooling their experience, they have put together a menu full of stirring dishes. Starters can be simple (soup of the day, The Black Boy Caesar salad), or maybe a little more intricate (red mullet and tapenade parcel, with spiced tomato chutney). Like the appetisers, the mains are never overwhelming. There are plenty of familiar dishes to choose from, such as good old rump steak, an 8oz pork T-bone steak and even the pub's own beer-battered fish and chips, as well as some more exotic cuisine. There's a neat array of desserts to choose from, and you'll struggle to find a tastier homemade tiramisu than the one served here. Along with its charming decor, exceptional food and bustling atmosphere, the pub has many other facilities. Those wanting an overnight stay will not be disappointed with the hotel service provided; themed evenings are a common occurrence, and younglings can receive a hands-on experience in the pub's kids' kitchen facility. These classes run every Sunday, and demand is extremely high. At The Black Boy Inn it's not just the price that is right - everything about this place is splendid. A must-visit local in every sense.