The 44-cover venue, housed within two former gamekeepers’ cottages and an old pub that dates back to the 1800s, has been renovated since Ellis bought it last year and is seeking to combine its historical elements with what the team calls ‘modern practicalities and comfort’.
Once finished it will have a new kitchen, a 6-10 cover private dining room and ‘wine attic’ serving a ‘nose-to-tail’ tasting menu, a 16-cover outside dining area, and a 14-seat lounge for drinks.
The menu is set to focus on traditional British influences using established suppliers and French cooking techniques, alongside herbs and edible flowers – such as pansies, nasturtiums, chive flowers, marigolds and courgette flowers ‒ from the on-site herb garden.
Dishes will be along the lines of braised suckling pigs trotter with black pudding and crab apple; wood pigeon and foie gras pithivier; braised turbot with cockles; lemon sole chowder with mussels; and desserts such as burnt Cambridge cream, or apple parfait with elderflower gel.
There will also be a separate Sunday lunch offering, with roasts such as pork shoulder with crackling and Yorkshire pudding.
Average cost per head is expected to be at £50.
Ellis brings over 10 years’ experience within the industry, having worked under Clare Smyth at Royal Hospital Road, as well as with Andrew Pern at the Star Inn in North Yorkshire.
The Oxford Blue team will be made up of general manager Daniel Crump, along with his wife Margriet Vandezande-Crump as restaurant manager (pictured with Ellis), who between them have worked at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Trinity in London’s Clapham, and Petrus in Knightsbridge.