OAKMAN INNS BUCKINGHAM RESTAURANT RESTORED
We are sharing in the excitement from the U.S, as one of our International customers – Oakman’s Inn has re-opened. With their stunning décor and inviting atmosphere they added a Wood Stone Mountain Series Oven to their kitchen.
On Bank Holiday Monday 2nd May, the doors of Buckingham’s historic High Street pub re-opened following a six-month, detailed restoration project. First built alongside the canal in the early 1800’s, it has reverted to its original name, The Grand Junction.
Owned by the award-winning pub company, The Oakman Group, The Grand Junction has been transformed as the result of an imaginative design which has captured and highlighted the essence of the pub’s historical connections with the canal systems of Georgian England.
In some respects, the entrance from the High Street into this magnificently refurbished restaurant and bar is like a door leading into the saloon of a canal boat. You cannot believe how much space there is inside. The redesigned bar area offers plenty of comfortable seating wrapped around the long bar and a cosy fireside alcove. Steps lead down to a spacious restaurant filled with light from the partial glazing where there is seating for up to 90 diners.
There is also a private dining room, and across the entire far wall, The Oakman Group’s hallmark theatre-style kitchen, where Head Chef, Tom Oxley and his team, freshly prepare each dish for service. Outside, a beautifully designed Mediterranean-inspired courtyard garden with a large gazebo and a choice of seating for drinks and al fresco dining is filled with an assortment of large specimen container plants, the tallest of which are a 20 ft magnolia and a 50-year-old pine tree.
There are clues everywhere to the history, customs and traditions of The Grand Union Canal: lacquered paintwork, hand-painted signwriting, creative lighting and wall art have all been chosen to reflect the traditional style of Britain’s narrow boats – and even the floor tiles in the restaurant replicate the contours of the former canal.
The General Manager is Buckingham local, Stevie Watts, whose first job in hospitality was at The Grand Junction when it traded under a different name.
After the first day’s trading, Stevie said: “What a buzz today has been. The first few days after you get a building back from the fitters and designers and start laying the tables and sorting out the kitchen equipment, you’re constantly on edge. But I have to say the whole team has been brilliant and everything has worked smoothly. Tom, our Head Chef, and his team, have produced beautiful dishes from our wide-ranging Mediterranean-style menu, the bar has been busy, and we have received a stream of compliments all day both at the pub and online. It’s even been warm enough for people to appreciate our garden!”
Head Chef, Tom Oxley, said: “We had some lovely comments about the service, and the presentation and quality of our dishes. Our menu has something for everyone including the kids and caters for all tastes and dietary requirements. Our sharers, wood-fired Neapolitan pizza and pasta dishes plus our burgers and steaks cooked over the coals have been popular. Hopefully our guests recognize our focus on sustainability – we have always prided ourselves on using only the highest premium quality, seasonal ingredients. Our suppliers have to meet our very high standards and to demonstrate that their ethos matches our focus on sustainability and ethical farming.
“An example is the chicken we cook for our Sunday Roast menu which is herb-fed, kept in small flocks and free to roam their Yorkshire pastures foraging leftover crops and herbage, a by-product of the harvest. The result is delicious meat that tastes the way it should.”
The Grand Junction is open all day from 8am to 11pm Sunday to Thursday and 8am to midnight on Friday & Saturday.
The Grand Junction, 13 High Street, Buckingham, MK18 1NT – T: 01280 731680 thegrandjunctionbuckingham.co.uk
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