|In the back room after the family have gone|
I have massive respect for anyone who studies with the OU. For non-Brits, it's a university where the work is done mostly through home study in the students' spare time, with additional tutorials and summer schools. It's backed up with programmes on the BBC, too. It has the same standards as other British universities, but the way it's structured means people who can't study full time because of work or family commitments, or who might find accessing a bricks-and-mortar university difficult (eg people with severe physical disabilities) can get a degree, masters, even PhD.
|Another view of the Fox's back room|
The Fox's website says it's in Clerkenwell, but it's definitely round the back of Smithfield Market. Is Smithfield Market in Clerkenwell? I don't know! At any rate, you just need to walk round the meat market to find it. We needed somewhere easy to get to from the graduation venue (the Barbican Centre), as one of the party wouldn't have been able to walk far, with a traditional menu, as another was a fussy eater, and the Fox seemed to fit the bill. It's lovely inside, all dark wood panelling. At the back there are even little mirrored booths, where perhaps once upon a time Victorian blokes entertained loose women, or worked out a dodgy deal or two.
The food was jolly nice, though I hadn't realised you needed to order vegetables separately and my chicken-and-ham pie came all on its own so I quickly ordered some additional veggies. My brother ordered the pork pies with mushy peas, and they looked really good. The beers were excellent.
|The bar at the Black Friar – look at the frieze!|
|The back room at the Black Friar|