Review on The Magdalen Arms

The Magdalen Arms on Iffley Road was a spit-and-sawdust boozer situated in the University City of Oxford that had been closed for some eighteen months, before it was bought by Florence Fowler and Tony Abarno in October 2009. This duo know a thing or two about running gastro pubs, they were in charge of one of the most successful in London, the Anchor & Hope in the Cut, near Waterloo. During the refurbishment the kitchen trebled its size, the décor could be described as shabby chic, with mismatched furniture, a theatrical curtain divides the restaurant from the bar, where tables are simply laid with cutlery and small vases of flowers.

Tony Abarno heads the kitchen where they bake their own bread, including focaccia and they make their own ice cream. Abarno makes admirable use of local ingredients and nearby allotment holders are encouraged to bring in their produce in exchange for a lunch or pint or two. The crowd pleasing menu changes daily according to market availability and portions are generous. Mussels cooked with wild garlic or potted rabbit could feature among the starters. A popular option among main courses are the sharing dishes such as pot roasted guinea fowl which arrives at the table for you to carve yourself. Elsewhere there might be rib of beef with béarnaise sauce and chips or braised ox cheeks and mutton with horseradish dumplings. Desserts provide plenty of choice in the shape of a delicious chocolate cake with hot chocolate sauce or a Muscat caramel cream. The atmosphere is buzzy and welcoming, the food is very good, the friendly efficient service is overseen by Florence, so it's no surprise that The Magdalen Arms has been awarded a Bib Gourmand in the 2011 Michelin Guide.

The Magdalen Arms is also featured in: Michelin Guide, Hardens

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Gastro pub / Modern British


Tony Abarno

Restaurant Opening Times

Lunch: 12.00 - 2.30pm Wed-Sun (3.00pm Sat) (3.30pm Sun)
Dinner: 6.00 - 10.00pm Tue-Sat

Accepted credit cards

Visa, Master Card

Online Booking Availability for The Magdalen Arms

Facilities at The Magdalen Arms

  • Alfresco dining
  • Family Friendly


The Magdalen Arms
243 Iffley Road

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