The Randolph Dining Room

Address: Macdonald Randolph Hotel, Beaumont Street, Oxford, OX1 2LN, United Kingdom
Telephone: 01865 256400

- Expensive

4.5

Dine in true 19th-century Oxford splendour.

The Randolph Hotel was built in 1864, introducing neo-Gothic architecture to a city that was quite happy with its plain neo-classical terraces. Keble College followed, equally controversially, in 1870. The dining room of Oxford’s Grand Old Lady is dark and lofty, recalling the subdued splendour of the senior common room in a superior Oxford college. Views out on to the Martyrs' Memorial and the Ashmolean Museum only add to the sense of being in awe-inspiring surroundings.

Food and drink
4.2
90%
Service
4.1
90%
Food and drink
4.2
90%
Value for money
3.3
90%
Ambience
4.6
90%
Location
4
90%

Food and drink

The Randolph’s restaurant has two AA rosettes, both the work of head chef, Tom Birks. All the ingredients – beef, oysters, scallops, salmon – are sourced from the best UK suppliers, which accounts for the high price. The cheese trolley tries to be entirely English. It's not a cheap restaurant, but one with a great sense of occasion. Birks has reintroduced the idea of flambéeing and carving at the table. This is one of the places that parents and grandparents take their student offspring.

Ambience

For the sense that you are getting a taste of the authentic Oxford experience, dinner at the Randolph is a must. Real academics do not dine in such an ostentatious manner, but this is how you feel they should.

Service

Polite and friendly.

Location

The Randolph’s immediate neighbours are the “Ashmo”, the colleges of Balliol and St. John, the Oxford Playhouse and the Martyrs' Memorial, which is where tour groups tend to congregate. Beaumont Street on which it stands was named after Beaumont Palace, the birthplace of Richard the Lionheart and John, his less impressive brother. The palace was donated to the Carmelites by Edward II but destroyed after the Reformation (1536-41). Much of its stone was used to complete Christ Church. When Beaumont Street was built in 1829 it was the first new street in Oxford in 300 years.

Price advice

If you want to do the place - and its food - justice, bank on £50 per person for a three-course meal.

Tables to book

Ask for a view. In either direction you get a slice of historic Oxford.

Recommended for

  • Business travellers
  • Couples
  • Culture vultures
  • Mature travellers
  • People watching
  • Shopping
  • Art
  • History
  • Design and architecture

Details