When you’re winning, you roll with the success and the guys from Jacobs and Field have certainly been winning recently with their venue consistently packed to the rafters with punters looking for great local food and drinks. However, in the last few months there have been whispers, that turned to chatter, that the owners had taken over the Red Lion at Wolvercote. The guys used twitter and facebook to communicate the progress and the curiosity from Joe Public has grown and grown around their new project, Jacobs Inn.
I was lucky enough to be invited by the owners to come and visit the project in its ‘nearly finished’ stage to get a flavour of what’s to be expected. Immediately on my arrival I was drawn to the two pigs in the garden. I discovered that they are sourced from a local farm in Tiddington, just outside of Oxford, called Sandy Lane Farm. The chap below is one of the pair of Oxford Sandy and Black pigs they have on site to keep and use for charcuterie. Also in the garden are chickens and a wood burning stove to cook food outside with plenty of seating to accommodate customers in this fine weather.
There is a careful theme of local sourcing and pride in restoration of foraged objects that runs through the very soul of Jacobs Inn. You sense that the J&F boys have a real handle on what will work here, and though quirky, an insight into the love and passion for those items from yesteryear is present not just in the restaurant, but in the water closets too. The men’s urinals in any pub can let it down, but I am confident this won’t happen. When you see the passion for Victoriana shared by the owners transmitted into the installation of magnificent urinals you know detail, subtlety and understated class will run through the whole place.
This shouldn’t be mistaken for a normal Inn. The pigs in the garden will enjoy an afterlife hanging as cured meats and the 70 covers in the dining room will be able to enjoy a range of hand-picked ales and lagers, rather than the standard taps we have become accustomed to. (The ones in the photo below were to be removed) The Bar in the front will now serve coffee and sandwiches, and you sense the place will attract different types of punters from all over Oxford.
The over-riding feeling is that is not a sister-venue to J&F but more of a bigger brother. It will serve some of the classic fare that makes its little brother such a hit, and I was assured that the Jacobs (The Ox’s best breakfast in Oxford) will be served ALL DAY! (phew!!). Favourites such as the pulled pork sandwich will also be available, as will the famous tomato sauce, available to buy. They will also be baking bread on site which will also be available to purchase. This truly is a holistic approach from the new owners, and I am sure it will prove great competition for the Trout and a pull to Wolvercote in its own right.
As I write the opening date has not been confirmed but I am assured it is very close, so watch this space.