New openings, Hollywood in our 'hood, and a gorgeous swirl of gossip around Bucks & Oxon!
Comings & goings
Pass the tissues. I’m so sad that Boswells & Co. is set to close next year due to lack of profit. One of the oldest indie department stores in the world, it’s been a staple on Oxford’s shopping scene for 281 years, and will be sorely missed.
But as one indie closes, another opens – groovy urban coffee roasters Black Sheep (which has outposts across London) is opening on Oxford’s George St on 11 Dec. Huzzah! Expect specialty-grade 100% Robusta coffee and neon signage.
Also in Oxford, Muddy Award-winning bar and brewery Tap Social is bouncing back from the recent theft at the premises, and will be opening a pub on Abingdon Road, a few minutes walk from the town centre. The White House by Tap Social will be opening spring 2020, so watch this space.
Elsewhere, after closing suddenly over the summer, The Black Boy in Headington has reopened under new management after an extensive refurbishment of the kitchen, furniture, fittings, plus a brand new menu is launching next week. Similarly, in Ford, the Dinton Hermit (above) has reopened after a six year closure, with new, stylish interiors and menu.
Hollywood comes to Bray
Wanna play ‘spot Heston’s pub’? We’ve heard on the gastro grapevine that the super chef’s Michelin Star pub The Hind’s Head, in Bray will feature in the The King’s Man, next year’s hotly-anticipated prequel to the Kingsman series, starring man of the moment Taron ‘Elton’ Egerton. A new cast will slip into the Savile Row suit, with Harris Dickenson, Ralph Fiennes and Gemma Arterton starring. What’s this got to do with The Hind’s Head? This month the crew rocked up in Bray and transformed the historic pub into the King’s Arms. Michelin star meets Hollywood stars, it’s a constellation we’re loving.
View this post on Instagram
In gastro-news there are two hotshot chefs making moves in our locale. Crockers Henley (opening April 2020), has announced that Dean Westcar will be joining as one of the head chefs of the new foodie hotspot. Dean is joining Crockers from Michelin-starred Lucknam Park, where he was head chef, and will be running one of the restaurant’s Chef’s Tables.
Elsewhere, chef James Mearing has joined The Bear Hotel in Woodstock. James, who’s previously worked at The Wild Rabbit in Kingham and The Gainsborough in Bath, will be implementing a new menu that will change every three months.
Kings Cross rocks!
Into the Smoke, and Mumford & Sons keyboard player Ben Lovett is set to open a brand new venue on Goods Way in King’s Cross. Lafayette is the second venture for the musician who also opened Omeara in London Bridge in 2016 and will be a new hub for music and dining.
Elsewhere, a brand new five-star hotel will be opening in Holborn. The City hotel will have 382 rooms, restaurant, rooftop bar overlooking St Paul’s Cathedral and the largest living wall in Europe with the outside of the hotel covered in plants. It’s not just to look pretty either, the 400,000 plants will produce six tonnes of oxygen and absorb a whopping eight tones of the city’s pollution. Very cool.
You’ll never guess who’s been spotted in Bucks. It’s only flippin’ Hugh Grant! Calm down, unfortunately it wasn’t to film a Love Actually sequel (booo), rather he was in Marlow chatting politics and the B-word with independent candidate Dominic Grieve.