The Turf Tavern

The Turf Tavern was on our list of pubs to visit while we were staying in Oxford. On Tuesday September 13th late afternoon our tour guide dropped us off at St. Helen’s Passage to make our way to The Turf.

We got the lay of the land and found our table # so we could order our food at the bar. Fish and Chips for Dear and Steak and Ale Pie for me.

We found by the end of our stay in Oxford that this was the best run pub in town, in our opinion. We enjoyed a meal or an ale at the Turf Six different times while we were in Oxford. The Staff was always cheerful and the servers were efficient and ready to help with any requests.

Since Sticky Toffee Pudding was on the menu we ordered one for us to share for dessert.

To find one of the passages to the Turf find the Bridge of Sighs and then walk under it to a narrow passage way which will take you down another passageway to the property.

Their name drop board shows all the famous people who have been to the Turf. We heard about it in researching the Pubs from the Inspector Morse Series.

The Turf Tavern (or just ‘The Turf’ to it’s locals) is probably the oldest pub in Oxford. The pub was built in the Canditch (the most outside City Wall) as gambling and betting was not permitted inside the walls of the City.

It’s foundations and use as a malthouse can be dated back to 1381, noted by tax imposed by Richard II. Originally called the ‘Spotted Cow’ the name was changed as it’s reputation grew as a venue of gambling. Patrons would frequent The Turf to mee their “Turf-Men’ and although logic might dictate that this was primarily a horse connection, it seems they would take bets on pretty much anything.

Since then it has become a firm favorite for Oxford Dons, students, Tourists from near and afar and many celebrities all searching the streets of Oxford, to find it’s best kept secret.

This is one of the outdoor patios at The Turf. The ancient city wall and the Bell tower at New College you see looming over the patio. I zoomed up with my camera to catch the gargoyles.

After church on Sunday when most of the Pubs and restaurants in town were full with people getting their Sunday Roasts and other goodies we high tailed it to the Turf again and tried to find a seat. At first the only seat we could find was outside in the patio but when our food arrived we noticed an empty seat inside and asked our server if we could switch and he obliged us. It was nice to leave the patio as some of the patrons were lighting up their cigarettes. I enjoyed a delicious Lamb Roast with standard Yorkshire pudding and gravy and roasted veggies. Dear opted for Fish and Chips again.

Our final visit to The Turf was on Friday afternoon the 23rd of September. This was our last full day in Oxford.

A pint and 1/2 a pint. We ordered something way outside of our usual on this day. A Chicken Wings platter with different sauces, etc. We met a Canadian mom and daughter who were visiting relatives in Oxford. The mom was originally from England and went to college in Oxford. A fun conversation.

If you ever find yourself in Oxford follow the passageway to The Turf, quiet and off the beaten track.

Gathering Moments ~ Hidden August

For my August Gathering Moments – a month in photos post I decided to share what didn’t make it on the blog already. Linking with Cheryl at Thinking About Home on Saturday.

2014-08-29 August recap3Glimpses of the unfinished bathroom. We hope this project will be completed soon.

2014-08-29 August recap1We purchased some new patio furniture that does not involve cushions. I also wanted some chairs that rock and roll. We are pleased with these pieces.

2014-08-29 August recapIt’s been a nice relaxing time for Dear and I to watch more of Inspector Morse after visiting Oxford in July. We put the dvd’s on hold at the library and as they slowly become available we watch them. I’ve also been reading the Louise Penny Inspector Gamache series and just finished How the Light Gets In…so riveting. Now I’m splurging and ordering the new book that was just published this week because there are already too many holds on it at the library. In the meantime I checked out Surprised By Oxford from the library. It’s a Memoir written by Carolyn Weber. Here’s one of many praises for the book , “Carolyn Weber’s brilliantly written account of her conversion to Christianity at Oxford will inspire her fellow believers and provide intriguing food for thought for sceptics. It is honest, entertaining, and refreshingly free of superficial cant. I warmly commend it. Don N. Johnson, Senior Pastor, Montecito Covenant Church.

2014-08-24 Kt's 10yr + foodKatie and Andrew had fun dressing up to attend Katie’s 10 year high school reunion. They enjoyed their time in downtown Seattle last Friday.

2012-01-021I forgot to take a before before photo (yes, I did mean to say before twice) of this part of the house but then I found an obscure photo from the winter. Dear took the vertical siding off this part of the house and will be replacing it with the horizontal siding you see on the other side of the chimney. He’s out there working right now while I type away. This might be interesting to Vee’s John who is the master of siding.

2014-08-29 August recap2We had to move a few of the rounds of wood from the part of our yard closest to the street when we realized someone was helping themselves to our wood. To make sure most of the wood didn’t go to a thief we invited the boy scouts to take what was left to split and use for a fund raiser. Look at that early sign of fall appearing on our dried out summer lawn. The last of the purple in the yard is still hanging on.

The new siding project will be taking most of our time this weekend. I am thinking of stealing Dear away from that project to go to a Food Truck event at World Concern here in the Seattle area for lunch on Sunday after church. Our Daughter In law works at World Concern.

What’s better than spending a Sunday afternoon enjoying delicious food from Seattle’s favorite food trucks? Knowing that you’re helping feed hungry families at the same time! Worldwide, hunger kills more people every year than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined, but with your help, World Concern makes a lasting impact in the lives of the poor in Africa, Southeast Asia, and Haiti.
On Sunday, August 31 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., 10 of Seattle’s top food trucks will rally to fight global hunger at World Concern’s 3rd annual Mobile Food Fight for Hunger in Shoreline.

The very best thing about August is how it has brought our families together. The State of Washington is now the home of all our children. We have received the beautiful photos of my brother’s family bringing their new son home from the Ukraine. Mandy and Andrew arrived in Dallas this afternoon to the waiting arms of my brother (papa as Andrew lovingly calls him) and Big sister Hope. Oh what a happy day!