"The chop house tradition is about hearty eating, good company, fine wine and ales" writes Johnny Pugsley

So it was four years ago today that we opened the doors of Jacobs & Field in Headington. And after all that time we are in the middle of a building site again! By the time you read this our new venture in Headington, Jacobs Chop House will be open. They say these projects get easier the more you do – they don’t, it appears to be more blood sweat and tears with each one!

So lots of people have asked us what a chop house is? The chop house tradition is about hearty eating, good company, fine wines and ales.

Chop houses are a great British tradition that date back hundreds of years.

Originally, they were men-only establishments where businessmen gathered to hatch deals over plates of traditionally-cooked meats washed down by wine and ale.

At their height in the 19th century, they remained stubbornly British in the face of the new wave of continental cooking that was sweeping the country and, eventually conceding that women might be a welcome addition, a few of the best have survived.

Men at that time (1921) suddenly realised that a feminine companion enhanced rather than detracted from a Dover sole.

We’ve all moved on since 1921. Jacobs Chop House will keep the essence of a traditional chop house which is based on recipes dating back hundreds of years, with the more interesting cuts of meat but with a relaxed modern approach. I’m sure the chop house owners of yesteryear would turn in their graves if they knew we were doing vegetarian dishes too – they will never know! We will open all day, so as well as having great cuts of meat and fish from the chargrill for supper, we will also serve lunch and breakfast and proper coffees.

We intend to carry on our ethos of using ethically sourced produce. We source our meats from local independent farms and butchers. Some of the pork on our menu will be from our Saddlebacks, raised in our garden at Jacobs Inn.

Time for a holiday almost, but first it’s the Oxford Literary Festival, with Blackwells and The Financial times.

So you will see a pop-up Jacobs & Field running around serving our usual fayre to 100,000 festival goers over nine days.

Then it’s definitely time for a holiday.

An unknown author writing in the age of Dickens summed up the essence of a chop house: “What a haven is this place on a cold, hard winter’s day, when business perhaps has been bad and the world seems full of Scrooges. How the meat on the grill whistles you a welcome as soon as you open the door and chirps, ‘Try me, only try me! I am the most succulent! I’ll cheer you up!’”

Jacobs Chop House, 3 Manor Buildings, Osler Road, Headington, Oxford
01865 764486
info@jacobs chophouse.com