Vine, reopened recently after a winter break following a successful stint as a popup last year. The wine shop, cafe and bar is now for business from Tuesday – Sunday each week, offering an evolving wine, spirits and beer menu, a house-blend coffee from Missing Bean, Barefoot Oxford cakes, plus brunch and dinner menus. Other local suppliers to feature include NBC bread, Jericho Cheese, Alden’s Butchers, Loose Cannon Brewery, Mayfield Eggs and SaltPig cured meats.
The brunch menu is served from 10am – 2.30pm, with a small but well-curated selection of Eggs Benedict (£8), Avocado Toast (£6), French Toast (£6) and Coconut Oats (£5). Bloody Mary’s and Kir Royals are available for £6 each if coffee doesn’t quite cut it.
For dinner, the menu switches to ‘boards’ at £6.50 each, where you can select things like Roll Right washed rind cheese from Chipping Norton; Finocchia salame and toasted sourdough; mackerel pate with crispy shallots, chives, lemon and toasted sourdough; roasted squash with feta, honey, thyme, seeds, chilli and spelt bread. For dessert, pick up a magnificent slice Barefoot cake from the counter.
I popped in last week to sample a couple of the brunch offerings – Eggs Benedict and French Toast being the obvious go-to’s. The Benedict was an elegant take on the classic, featuring pancetta for the bacon, perfectly soft-poached eggs and a well-rounded hollandaise. The French Toast hit a very pleasant note with vanilla-speckled mascarpone, banana, strawberries and a drizzle honey. Proper, grown-up brunch, and well suited to a postcode littered with students and yummy mummies – the latter will just need to wait for a changing table to be fitted, but a limited number of high chairs are available.
As for the future, the team behind Vine are hoping to offer small plates in the evening, alongside specials and seasonal menus. From an environmental perspective, Vine won’t be using straws, and bag-in-the-box wines are available to fill 750ml bottles at £7.50 a time – bottles are available to buy there at £2.50 each. 500ml bottles will soon be available costing £2.50 to buy and £5 to fill. On the same note, KeepCups are available to buy in the cafe and you’ll get 25p off every hot drink if using your own cup.
Check it out for yourself from 10am – 11pm Tuesday – Saturday and 10am – 4pm on Sundays, and follow them on socials @VineOxford.