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BITE bites the dust???? with Quinno on the Pub Forum

Picture of The Plough
Image posted by Quinno _
Submitted on Friday, 24th September 2021
With picture contributions to 4188 other pubs
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The Plough, Oxford

Pub added by Graham Mason
38 Cornmarket Street
Correct details

Served areas

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

Pub SignMan left this review about The Plough

Blessed with a great central location on the busy, pedestrianised Cornmarket Street, opposite the tower of St Michaels North Gate, this is a small, gastro-style pub in a premises that was originally a pub but spent the best part of the last 100 years as a shop. We were met by a greeter on entry, who found us a seat and presented us with menus, which was fine as we were here to eat, although I did spot one table with people who were just enjoying a drink. The front part of the simple, single room layout is quite bright thanks to high windows along the front and right walls, making the front and right-hand side tables ideal for a bit of people watching too. There’s an attractive patterned tile floor, simple table and chair seating and bushels of hops lining the windows, whilst décor includes a few attractive lamps and interesting old photos. Further into the room, the tiles give way to floorboards, with some padded banquette seating down the left wall and standard tables and chairs to the right. More hops line the walls and there are lots of paintings of various Oxford colleges and other iconic buildings. The bar is at the rear of the room and has a nice modern counter, with a few interesting features on the bar back and a large upturned barrel in front. A decorative staircase to the rear left gives the impression of leading up to a first-floor seating area, but I didn’t try to explore, so may have this all wrong. Retro pop tunes played quietly in the background throughout our lunchtime visit and there is additional seating out on the pedestrianised street, where a few extra tables can be found under a giant umbrella in a compact fenced off space.
I think I saw three handpulls on the bar, two of which were dispensing XT4 and Animal, whilst the third was unused. My XT4 was in reasonable shape and the pub has rather unexpectedly found its way into the latest edition of the Good Beer Guide. We had some lunch, which we found to be quite tasty but maybe a little pricey. The staff were very friendly, if perhaps a little eccentric, and I was a little surprised that somewhere with such a focus on food was also dog friendly.
This was a pleasant place to stop off for a spot of lunch whilst out and about in the city centre, but whether it works well solely in a pub capacity is a little trickier to judge. For me, it felt like it could work for those wanting some cask ale in a café-bar type environment, but to get the most out of a visit here, I’d suggest waiting until you’re sufficiently hungry before dropping in.

On 7th February 2022 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2783 recommendations about 2783 pubs]

Quinno _ left this review about The Plough

The ‘new’ OX1 pub opened by (or featuring, I don’t really know) XT brewery, so I was expecting good things. Well. For a start it’s actually operating close to being a quasi-restaurant. 'Please wait here to be seated' says the board outside; a bad sign (pun intended). Weird all round with a camp hyperactive Arabic greeter and some bizarre old Oxford prof bringing the drinks. Inside is long and narrow with a nice Middle Eastern style bar back and copper tanks storing some of the beer. Two cask, XT4 (NBSS 2.5, a tad warm and listless - lack of turnover) and one from the XT-owned Animal brewery. Also had an XT Oxford lager for a laugh. Incredibly weird and uncomfortable all-round for a solo toper. They are clearly wanting to shift food but there were few takers from what I could see. Doubt I’ll be back in its current guise, which is a shame.

On 26th September 2021 - rating: 4
[User has posted 4347 recommendations about 4333 pubs]

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 1500 recommendations about 1479 pubs]

View more reviews of The Plough (5)
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Pub location see interactive map of local area
Map location corrected by Alan Hurdle
Oxford, 0.57 miles, 10 min walk (show)
Oxford Parkway, 3.66 miles, 1 hr 10 min walk (show)
Radley, 5.51 miles, 1 hr 46 min walk (show)
Latest updates View all updates for The Plough, Oxford
7th Feb 2022, 17:16
Review submitted by Pub SignMan
26th Sep 2021, 23:05
Review submitted by Quinno _ amended by Quinno _

Pub Details

Pub details supplied by members of this site to the best of their knowledge. Please check with pub directly before making a special trip.

  • Accommodation : No last updated 26 September 2021 by Quinno _
  • Bar Billiards : No last updated 26 September 2021 by Quinno _
  • Beer Festivals : No last updated 26 September 2021 by Quinno _
  • Beer Garden : Yes - pavement seating - last updated 26 September 2021 by Quinno _
  • CAMRA Discount : No last updated 26 September 2021 by Quinno _
  • Car Park : No last updated 26 September 2021 by Quinno _
  • Child Friendly : Yes last updated 28 January 2019 by Komakino .
  • Darts : No last updated 26 September 2021 by Quinno _
  • Dog Friendly : Yes last updated 07 February 2022 by Pub SignMan
  • Function Room : Yes last updated 28 January 2019 by Komakino .
  • Hot Food : Yes last updated 26 September 2021 by Quinno _
  • Jukebox : No last updated 26 September 2021 by Quinno _
  • Karaoke : No last updated 26 September 2021 by Quinno _
  • Live Music : No last updated 26 September 2021 by Quinno _
  • Live TV Sports : No last updated 26 September 2021 by Quinno _
  • Micropub : No last updated 26 September 2021 by Quinno _
  • Pinball : No last updated 26 September 2021 by Quinno _
  • Pool Table : No last updated 26 September 2021 by Quinno _
  • Quiz Night : No last updated 26 September 2021 by Quinno _
  • Real Ale : Yes last updated 26 September 2021 by Quinno _
  • Real Cider : No last updated 26 September 2021 by Quinno _
  • Wheelchair Access : Yes last updated 28 January 2019 by Komakino .
  • WiFi : Yes last updated 26 September 2021 by Quinno _
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