Pubs & Bars, Oxford
O'Neills is a popular Irish pub situated in the heart of the City Center,a nicely decorated place serving all manner of drinks and food daily.We didnt eat here but from what we saw of the food and extensive menu looked very good indeed,we had drinks one pint of lager and one coffee which was reasonable at four pounds.
The pub was very busy and this was in the afternoon so i should imagine its very lively at night,with live music and a quizzies on various nights of the week.
Dress Code: Casual.
Raouls bar is a well known cocktail bar listed in the top 30 bars in Britain its reputation for classic and original cocktails is renowned.The bar is very modern and clean and the staff very chaty and friendly,some friends of mine who live in Oxford took me hear after they had heard great things about and we were not disapointed.We had 'Margaritas' and they were very good indeed though a little pricey at six pounds a go,looking at the menu though they were no more expensive than any other cocktails.Well worth a look in if its youre thing just dont start a tab.
Opening times:Sun-Wed:4pm till 12am
Thu-Sat:4pm till 1am
Dress Code: Casual,though no trainers or sneakers at night after 8pm.
Once one of the best-kept secrets in Oxford, now a popular, oft-overcrowded pub, filled with tourists and locals alike (and now, it seems, more and more tourists!), the Turf Tavern has a great little history (See my Local Custom's tips: St. Helen's Passage aka Hell's Passage 1 and 2 for more info!) regarding delinquent students and sneaky proctors! :-)
The Turf Tavern is one of the hardest pubs to find, as it is not lining one of the main streets in Oxford. It's on 4 Bath Place, near the Bath Court hotel, between Holywell Street (so very close to the King's Arms) and Hertford's College's famous Bridge of Sighs.
I would rate this place the second best outdoor drinking spot, after the Royal Oak. It's a combination of the liveliness of the King's Arms and the laidback nature of the Lamb and Flag. Definitely filled with more students than locals (as it is very close to a number of colleges, near Radcliffe Camera), it's beer garden is incredibly popular in the summer...popular = crowded and loud! Because it's so popular, it can be very difficult getting a seat or getting served and while I love the Turf Tavern, I prefer quieter, traditional pubs, like the Royal Oak or Lamb and Flag (if you haven't guessed, are my favorites...)
Central location in Oxford, popular with tourists and students alike, incredibly busy and lively, the King's Arm is one of the most popular pubs in Oxford. Located right on Holywell Street, it's a perfect little walk after a satisfying football game in the University Parks! THe King's Arms is both traditional and homey, but still lively and busy enough to satisfy the youngest, most hyper college student. Sometimes bordering on one big frat party, the King's Arms provides party (and alcohol!) enough for anyone willing. A great range of ales, wines and whiskies and a great selection of reasonably priced food make up a great experience at the King's Arms. Also, note, there is a no-smoking room available.
Tip: there's a picture of the Queen Mum with a purse in one hand and a pint in the other! :-)
Dress Code: Casual.
By far the best outdoor drinking in Oxford, in my honest opinion. Several outdoor tables lining Woodstock Road and an additional outdoor seating area around the side, mostly for eating. Great area right outside the city centre (close enough to the kebab vans and far enough from the tourist crowds), the Royal Oak is a favourite with the locals (town and gown alike). Decent prices on drinks, friendly and diverse crowds (sometimes you get tired of just student crowds) and nice, traditional atmosphere.
Dress Code: Casual.
Also known as the Bird and Baby, best known for its famous clientele (tolkien, lewis), owned by St. John's College, etc., etc....
You should make this one of your first stops on a pub crawl, it's across the street from the Lamb and Flag and down the street from the Royal Oak, just on the outer edge of the city centre. Personally, I think it's a rather average pub. They serve food and have an 'outdoor' seating area in the back. The staff is friendly, the clientele (unlike their predecessors) are a mix of locals and students, very low-key atmosphere, good to catch up with friends after a day of classes. I prefer larger, airy pubs like Lamb and Flag or Turf Tavern rather than the close quarters of Eagle and Child, but it's a nice pub and a must-see.
Dress Code: Anything goes, mostly casual dress (it's a pub after all)
Love Raoul's. Great location off Little Clarendon Street (across from Freud's...which I would NOT recommend), FANTASTIC staff. The staff is really helpful, friendly, eager to please, quick to suggest, very servicable, and just lovely. Cute as well, but I couldn't admit that at the time as I was on a date. We got prime seating in the corner, lovely plush seats, very romantic, trendy, but comfortably laid-back, good music, GREAT drinks. It can get a bit crowded as it is very popular, but rather than being really annoying (like Que Pasa) it just makes for a better party! Love Raoul's and it's always a stop on our bar crawls...
Dress Code: They're really relaxed about dress code, but to fit in, dress to (sorta) impress, meaning no sneakers/trainers/tennis shoes, if jeans, then make them nice ones, no flip flops...trendier than most.
Not very impressed with this place, though you should at least go to see it. It's a deconsecrated church turned into a live music venue and bar/restaurant. From the outside, you really cannot tell it's a restaurant/bar, that is, if there aren't drunk uni students hanging on the pillars outside of it. The drinks are unspectacular and its very dirty and run-down inside. If you can imagine an outdoor market...abandoned...with junk littering the floor, random drunks littered around the room and some really bored bartender attending to average drinks, then you have Freud's. It's interesting in concept (drinking in a church?), but quite unimpressive once you're there.
Dress Code: Like any other Oxford pub/bar, ANYTHING goes.
I love this place, like Angels across the street, because it definitely has a NY vibe to it. Classy, modern, great selection of drinks (try the Orchard Martini, it's absolutely yummy!), lovely, cushioned, plush seats, great for romantic little evening of snuggling, cuddling and close conversation, but also great for groups and a nice night out with friends (if you're tired of beer and boozin').
Dress Code: Little classier than most Oxford bar (meaning less students, probably because they aren't exactly student prices), and while they are really relaxed about dress code, if you want to feel like you fit in more, dress a little better than you would to a frat party, meaning no tennis shoes/sneakers/trainers.
I come here when I want a taste of New York. Definitely take your drinks downstairs, which in the summer is deliciously air conditioned (unlike the rest of Europe...). Decent music, a downstairs bar, and an impeccable, friendly, social, helpful, eager-to-please staff! The staff is really great. I went here with a friend and we were planning on ordering the Pimms Fizz, but our bartender recommended against it, saying that it wasn't popular at all with most people and wanted to save us from a bad drink and instead recommended the typical Pimms & Lemonade (very typical, popular british summer drink) which was incredibly complex and impressive to watch her put it together. Then she insisted on us waiting downstairs and she brought it straight down to us. Great service, good music, chic, NY-setting, one of my favorite places in Oxford.
Dress Code: Anything goes really, but generally, stray away from tennis shoes/sneakers. You'll find those dressed to impress and those coming in straight from class in jeans and flip flops...
Oxford, a city of spires and students, a place where anything can happen if inspired enough.
WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG.
I was born and raised here , moved to the cotswolds but come back now and again.
yes, i am sure you have a picture of punting boats and litrerati , reading literature on the side of the road. maybe you have a picture of middle to upper class people strolling the streets in the latest london fashion.
a place of dreams?
sorry to burst the bubble but you really are in for a reallity check, violence, drugs and skanky opposite members of sex gagging for whatever you offer. tramps(bums) are also a massive problem in this city, begging never stops.
if you are to go out on a night out in oxford, centre of the city is diabolical, riddled with all the above and more. you are probably best off sticking to walton street and the high street or maybe even going to a suburb.
i really hate to be the bringer of bad news, but stick to day times if you are visiting from oversea's.
seedy and violent does not cover what happens here. london would be a much better choice, or even cheltenham to taste middle england.
Dress Code: for oxford, the more exspensive the better.
This is one of my favorite Oxford places, a tiny pub edged into a corner close to Christ Church College. The Bear is famous for its collection of hundreds of "school ties" from all over the Anglophone world. (It's amazing how many "rep" patterns there are.)
Because it's small and crampt, you are cheek-by-jowl with other punters, making it easy to enter into conversations. I remember one night in particular getting into a long discourse with a group of advanced students about Lacan, Foucault and the psychoanalytic school of literary interpretation. Now, I don't know diddly about any of that, but after three pints of Guinness I'm willing to expound upon anything. The night turned into a real Symposium of higher learning and even-higher inebriation. After the bell rang for last call, our group repaired to the JCR (Junior Common Room) of Magdalen for some additional refreshment and some final expostulations. Since that summer, I've had great admiration for the typical Oxonian's ability to "hold his own" in conversation and in liquor.
This was the first physical fight I have ever been involved with and it occurred as follows:
We went into the bar and put our purses to the side of the dance floor where we could see them. The club was dodgey with men quite bit older and trashy women. I went over to our purse collection around 11:00 p.m. and couldn't find my bag....I was like WTF?! so I walked around asking if anyone had seen a purse (with my money and camera inside) nobody seemed to know anything about it. As I walked back to the purse collection I saw this girl ruffling through our things, I confronted her asking what the hell she was doing. She stated that someone had stolen her friends purse...
I thought that it was a little weird so I told her the same thing happened to me (the conversation was rational at this point) then out of nowhere this crazy girl comes up to me starts swearing and threatening me because apparently I had stolen her purse.
At this point I shouted back at her that my purse had been stolen as well. This is when she 'tried' to attack me (got out the cat paws..) Guys got a hold of her and so she didnt' really touch me. One of my buddies Cat was drawn into the fight and the crazy chick grabbed her by the hair and dragged her along the floor. It happened really quickly. Then the girls ran out.
I went to the bathroom and my purse was in one of the stalls with the camera and money stolen. I went outside and saw a cop car. I reported the theft to the police and described the girls who were fighting us, we waited, and they came back with my camera from the dumb girls.
We went to the police station to fill out a statement and leave evidence (which was my roll of film that they nicely developed for me and returned) This was around 12:30 and we waited around till 2:00 a.m. in the police station. All of the buses had stopped running and we had no way of getting back to Wycombe.
We had to be picked up by the 'head of the school' that we worked at 2:30 am in the morning :(
Dress Code: Don't bother going here!
As much as I like the buzz that the many thousand Oxford students bring to the city, it is very refreshing to find one late night bar (closes at 1am on weekends) that hasn't been completely taken over by students. Raoul's is an upmarket wine bar aiming at the late 20's/30's professionals. The staff (including the bouncers!) are courteous and treat the customers as welcomed guests. Their cocktail menu is to die for. Any downsides? It's a small venue and can get very busy during the weekend. The prices are slightly above average, but I guess that's the price we are forced to pay for a non-student hang-out. The fact that there's no cover charge perhaps makes up for the high prices...?
Dress Code: Don't believe there's an official dress code, but people tend to be quite 'trendy'. It's definitely a 'BSP' place (=Beautiful & Sophisticated People)
Old-fashioned, wood-panneled old town pub with a selection of small rooms and alcoves.
The beer isn't that well-kept, and the pub trades on its reputation as the haunt of the Inklings, the group of Oxford academic writers including C S Lewis and J R R Tolkien, who look down on you from the wall of their favourite snug.
Be warned, the B&B has taken to leaving a pot for tips on the bar. This is deplorable!Tipping in English pubs is just not done - if you really want to, the thing to do is to offer the barperson a drink. They have the choice of translating what you pay into a real drink - drinking on duty is generally discouraged except in the Retreat in Reading (qv) where anything goes and usually does!