By Noel White one of the new owners of HOME on the Abingdon Road, Oxford

We launched Home back in April and it has been a hectic, fun, and very rewarding eight months. And yes, it has been exhausting. Perrie (my brother in law), Tamara (my sister) and myself had our hearts set on the site on Abingdon Rd for many reasons. The Berkshire was not so much a rough pub, but it was definitely unloved and more recently seemed to struggle to find a place within the community.

When we told friends and family we were going to take on the pub free of tie and rename it Home, the first response was always ‘where’s that?’ Once we told them, the second response was always, ‘Your crazy, that will never work!’ especially when we explained how we were going to serve good wine, local beer and ale, and fresh food which would involve an ever-changing seasonal menu. People seemed to think there was no market for Home, and as the big day of signing the lease approached, even we began to doubt ourselves.

We removed the televisions, the dart board, and the pool table (I was sad about the loss of the latter, but we were on a mission to create a space in which people would enjoy each other’s company with no distractions). We designed and built the new interior ourselves over seven weeks, including new toilets, booth seating, kitchen, and a new bar. We even designed and built the tables and service stations ourselves. Yes, we do run a commercial design company, and yes, our mate Peter Moody did the electrical work, but it was still a hard seven weeks working twelve-hour days seven days a week. And Tamara and Perrie have two kids (Iroka 4, and Tate 6). Quite how they have juggled the last eight months I really don’t know. And I’ve been watching!

The great thing about building Home ourselves is that we love every part of the building and we have really invested in the space in the hope of creating something special. That’s what I told myself when I was on my hands and knees rubbing ebony oil into the freshly sanded wood floors over hundreds of square feet which now make up our Dining Room, Living Room, and Garden Room. It took me five days in case you’re wondering.

The other great thing, the best thing in fact, was the build afforded us the chance to get to know the community. So many lovely people (now regular guests) would peek in the door to see how we were doing and tell us how excited they were about the new venture. It was over that seven-week period we knew we had made the right choice.

And so now we have been here eight months already and I can honestly say time has never passed so quickly. Home is very much a part of our lives, as is the wonderful community in which we find ourselves and the amazing staff who work with us. We open at 10am Tuesday to Sunday and we get to hang out with the mums and laptop posse for coffee, breakfast and toasties in the week.

We have a lovely lunch menu which has its regulars, as well as folks from all over the world who stay in the myriad of great B&Bs along the road and the hotel across the street.

Our recently launched Sunday roasts are amazing and create a lovely Sunday vibe. Our chefs are truly talented (mad) individuals who design a new menu every four to six weeks with unique specials every weekend, and I love seeing the space in the evening full of happy faces enjoying great local produce and great British produce prepared and presented with love.

We want to thank all our guests from near and far for making Home the best risk we have ever taken.

01865 200055