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Bear & Ragged Staff

Bear & Ragged Staff

The room count in Cumnor has just increased by another 125% with the opening of the last five of nine rooms at the Bear and Ragged Staff in December 2012. The Bear is just 2 miles away from the A34, 4 miles West of Oxford and without all the city centre parking issues and outside rush hour, is just a 12 minute drive away. Park and Ride facilities are just a 5 minute drive.

  • Address 28 Appleton Road, Cumnor, Oxfordshire, OX2 9QH

One review of “Bear & Ragged Staff”

    Matthew Wright

    2nd November 2017

    The first French Revolution started in 1789, by which time The Bear had already been going for over 200 years. Fast forward another 200 years or so, and a second French Revolution is just about to get underway, although fortunately the chopping here is of a culinary rather than a bodily nature!

    The Head Chef, Flavien, arrived at The Bear & Ragged Staff in August 2017. Flavien was previously the Pastry Sous-Chef at Hartwell House, and prior to that, worked as Sous Chef at The Feathers in Woodstock and at Silky Oaks Lodge in Australia . Flavien’s new menu, launched in late September, is his first attempt to bring his style of cooking and personality to this part of Oxfordshire.

    First things first though, a visit to The Bear & Ragged Staff wouldn’t be complete without an initial detour to the bar to take in the atmosphere (and a couple of drinks); the crooked beams and sloping floors date back to the early 1600’s when it served as a pub and provide a real sense of occasion for any evening out. The restaurant annexe is rather more recent; a modern wing stretching out from the bar, seamlessly transitioning linking the old and the new.

    Talking of ‘new’, we kicked off with Cornish Scallops and a Rabbit, Orange & Green Peppercorn Terrine. Both were fresh and inventive – I particularly liked the little pot of homemade chutney on the side for dipping alongside the cream cheese scone, both combining attractively on the black slate plates. All the food here is locally-sourced wherever possible; well, the seafood is obviously from slightly further afield, but the duck comes from Aylesbury, the pork hails from Witney, and…you get the picture, right?!

    Ah, the duck, the duck! After debating at length whether we should sample different mains for ‘review purposes’, we couldn’t decide who would retain ‘ownership’ of the duck…so we both had it. Good job too, as it was mouth-wateringly delicious and definitely not for sharing; two large pink tranches flanked by a central stack of sweet potatoes dauphinoise, surrounded by a rich meaty jus. Flavien informed us afterwards that the dauphinoise was a particular speciality from the restaurant in Girona he had worked in, whilst the jus was inspired from the kitchens of Joel Robuchon.

    Dessert (not usually taken, but again for ‘review purposes’ only!) revealed the delightful ‘deconstructed lemon meringue’, whereby the component parts were taken apart and re-layered in an ice cream cone – an absolute winner!

    The menus are set to change here every 10 weeks, so if you do want to sample any of these dishes, best get along here quickly before the Dec/Jan menu comes into force… wow, Christmas isn’t all that far away after all!

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