Oxford – Chequers

The entrance to this historic pub, via a rather atmospheric passageway.

An informative history of the pub which gives an indication as to just how old this site is. It notes that from 1260 until 1434 the original building here was a private residence, but it was used for business purposes by a money lender, which is represented by a chequer board. It had become an inn by the first few year of the seventeenth century and there’s an interesting story on the above sign about how the inn nearly became used as a zoo. Certainly a chequered history, but pardon the pun….

The real ale selection was adequate and the Half Mast session IPA with grapefruit and mango notes was very acceptable.

The external courtyard, all nicely set out, although this is also the access point to the outside toilets.

I found a 25% off food voucher on-line, so decided to go for the large fish and chips. Without being too critical, the fish was marginally over-cooked and the black carbon bits really should be removed (I did that for them before taking the photo). The tartare sauce was generic and not home-made and the mushy peas were bland, but the fish flaked apart and the batter had a pleasant taste. Given the price paid, it was perfectly reasonable given the portion size, although I do take into account the 25% off they gave in coming to that conclusion.

It’s a Nicholson’s pub and so is part of a chain, but I’ve been in some of their pubs before and they do have some interesting historic buildings. This was no exception and there’s plenty of space, with two upstairs areas with additional seating. The staff members seemed helpful and were dealing with the number of customers efficiently, with the staff member who served the food being particularly engaging.