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The Plough, Oxford

Pub added by Graham Mason
38 Cornmarket Street

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 5 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Tris C left this review about The Plough at 38

Closed for 95 years, the Plough reopened in early 2019 as a collaboration with XT and a much-revised interior, though with the impressive staircase to the restaurant floor retained. Where once there were plate glass windows to St. Michael’s Street, there are now sets of near full height bifold windows which were closed on a very hot evening. The interior features a tiled frontage, thereafter worn looking herringbone parquet flooring which must have been retained from the former shop. It’s long and thin with a curved bar at the end and much copper pipework, which punctuates the enormous shiny copper brew tanks in a room to the rear. The interior features some white bare brick with otherwise grey walls with some ductwork to the ceiling. Furniture is either fairly traditional or very modern with tables running parallel to the aforementioned windows. At the other side of the ‘aisle’ is a grey suede banquette with yellow girlie scatter cushions and square tables, seemingly made from dark granite. It’s quite brightly lit and with all the hard surfaces, the acoustics are very poor, not helped by mindless music emanating from some popstrel coming out of the speakers, competing with cacophonous chatter.
My early evening visit clashed with customers, who mainly appeared to be tourists drinking coffee, finding a place which was very full. Despite all the cupric plumbing, there were three ales, all from XT, with my half of 4 coming in at a very reasonable £2.00 and not half bad it was too; real ales are served at 12C from a temperature controlled cellar with the three 1,000-litre brewing tanks being called Tom, Dick and Harry.
This is ok for a drink if necessary and the food may be genuinely good, but it’s a bit like drinking in a branch of Caffè Nero with a bar at the end; the unavoidable interaction with society’s less fortunate make this a less than appealing proposition, given its Cornmarket Street/George Street location, which is the epicentre of Oxford’s homeless crisis, so I don’t envisage a return visit, but all credit for bringing a pub back from the dead.

On 29th August 2019 - rating: 4
[User has posted 982 recommendations about 967 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Komakino . left this review about Plough

Soft-launched in December as a pub again after almost 100 years (it originally closed in 1924 and spent most of its life inbetween as an Austin Reed tailor's outlet). This is owned by the team in charge at the 1855 Bar at the Oxford Castle quarter, with three cask ales and three keg taps provided by XT, although it is technically a free house. The USP will be three metal tanks beyond the bar through a carved stone arch (the tanks named Tom, Dick & Harry) which will house XT/Animal beers to secondary ferment. Large street-opening windows give a vista to the arse-end bustle of pedestrian-only Cornmarket, as well as providing a decent inside glimpse to passing footfall. A lino-tiled entrance leads to a herringbone parquet floor with a zigzag bar at the far reaches. A dark, wooden staircase to the left leads to a restaurant area (entitled "The Malting Hall") which was, on this visit, having finishing touches applied to it ("another 2 weeks", I was informed and would offer "modern British cuisine with a twist" from a former chef from The Fat Duck). Two ales in the form of XT's session ale 4 along with Animal one-off brew Flounder which was superb, although £4.25 for a pint. The three keg taps offered 'XT Oxford Lager' (AKA XT Eisbar) and 'XT Oxford IPA' (AKA XT Snake Oil) along with Animal Polar Bear (a milk stout). A welcome addition to the central Oxford drinking scene - it remains to be seen how it will pan out for them (Heart FM in the background was a big no-no, and the male and female toilets are a shared space) but any pub resurrection, however long in time it has taken, is to be applauded, and I can certainly see myself revisiting this place when back on one of my frequent visits to the dreaming spires.

On 28th January 2019 - rating: 6
[User has posted 966 recommendations about 966 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Quinno _ left this review about Plough

Due to re-open December 2018, in collaboration to XT Brewery

On 5th December 2018 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 3997 recommendations about 3985 pubs]