Sunday, 9 September 2012

The Jericho Tavern and The Old Tom - Oxford

Periodically, the demise of the pub in Britain hits the headlines, reaffirming how difficult it is to successfully adapt to the changing demands of the market.
This month, The Jericho Tavern in Oxford plays host to a production of 'The Government Inspector', by the Oxford based Flintlock Theatre - a novel approach to bring feet through the door. Famed for it's first-floor music venue, The Jericho is no stranger to performances, but a play, rather than a gig, does have the potential to attract a different clientele. And with a capacity crowd of 65 watching on Friday, all able (and willing) to buy food and drink during the interval, it seems to be working.
The play itself was an excellent and engaging performance which made novel use of the venue's space, while The Jericho has revamped it's once dark bar and overgrown garden, and placed a greater emphasis on food and drink. With Brooklyn Lager (5.2%) on tap and such a good performance, both play and pub should be visited.
Food, rather than music, is the traditional differential for a pub. It seems that every day in Oxford another pub places a menu in the window to attract the gastro-dollars. The Old Tom on St. Aldates - a short walk from the pedestrianised Cornmarket Street in Oxford City Centre - has foregone gastro for Thai. At lunch you can buy a curry, rice, and beer for just under £10, with Greene King ales plus guests to choose from. If you're tired of the usual combos - burger and chips, sausage and mash - this is a worthwhile alternative.

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