The Royal Blenheim is that wonderful mix - a proper, traditional pub that's also moved with the times, making it an excellent choice for an evening out in the heart of Oxford. Patrons can drink their pints of real ale, courtesy of the White Horse Brewery, but also enjoy the pub's quietly classy decor (I particularly liked the pineapple wallpaper, which sounds like it should be ostentatious, but was actually very elegant).
headed to the pub for a pre-theatre meal, and was very impressed by their menu
- there's a wide range of dishes catering for all dietary requirements. The
Royal Blenheim has clearly made an effort to provide delicious food for
everyone, particularly in the non-meat department. Although I chose the fish
and chips, I was tempted by options like the Vegan Doner Kebab or the BBQ Spare
'Ribs' made with seitan. I'd be happy to take my vegetarian partner and vegan
in-laws along to The Royal Blenheim, knowing they'll get more than their usual
pub choice of 'chips and a field mushroom in a sad-looking bun'.
My fish and chips soon arrived - a very hearty portion size, with crispy chips and perfectly-cooked fish. The Royal Blenheim makes its own beer batter, which is crunchy and golden with no sogginess. I'd chosen mushy peas instead of garden peas, which turned out to be the only drawback of the meal; they were a little dry, rather than having the pease pudding consistency that I would have preferred. Even so, they were clearly freshly-made and full of flavour.
The Royal Blenheim was relatively busy for a weekday night, a testament to the quality of the food and drink it serves, but it was still easy to find a table, and service was quick and attentive. I'll definitely be going back to try more from their eclectic menu.