Pubs & Bars, Oxford

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  • The bar and comfy armchairs
    The bar and comfy armchairs
    by mickeyboy07
  • Steve sat near the bar
    Steve sat near the bar
    by mickeyboy07
  • Two pints of Amstel beer
    Two pints of Amstel beer
    by mickeyboy07
  • shutterlust's Profile Photo

    Pubs & Bars: Turf Tavern

    by shutterlust Updated Aug 20, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Bath Place

    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...)

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    Pubs & Bars: King's Arms

    by shutterlust Updated Aug 20, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Celebrating a football game at the King's Arms

    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.

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    Pubs & Bars: Royal Oak

    by shutterlust Updated Aug 20, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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.

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    The Fir Tree: The Fir Tree: Great place for a drink

    by King_Golo Updated Jul 10, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Fir Tree in winter

    "The Fir Tree" is a great typically English pub - decorated with everything that the owners could find, crowded, overheated and with its own special charme. Prices are lower than in the city centre bars. Fortunately, this place is just around the corner from where I live! Interestingly, "The Fir Tree" is also very international. It's rather uncommon that you do not hear at least one other language than English - and it's usually not tourists, but expats who live and work in Oxford.

    Dress Code: none

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    Head of the River: Head of the River: Another great place for a drink

    by King_Golo Updated Jul 10, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The best located pub in Oxford

    "Head of the River" is one of Oxford's biggest pubs with approximately 100 places outside and another 50+ inside. The reason why I mention the outside seats first is their prominent location. You can sit on chairs directly next to the river with no railing to prevent you from falling in. This is especially nice in the early evening when the sun sets behind the Folly Bridge next to you. The pub is slightly more expensive in contrast to other pubs, but the location is worth every penny.

    Dress Code: none

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    The White Horse: White Horse: If you don't overlook its entrance...

    by King_Golo Updated Jul 10, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The White Horse from above (at the very left)

    ... you'll be in one of Oxford's nicest pubs! "The White Horse" is squeezed between Blackwell's two entrances, so it is easily overlooked. Whoever does so misses a lot! This place is generally quite packed but very nice to sit and enjoy your evening pint. Prices are alright, and so is their selection of drinks and food.

    Dress Code: none

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  • The Bear: Oxford's oldest pub - est. 1242!

    by sabsi Written Apr 27, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The bear of The Bear

    I small pub with low ceilings and a very nice atmosphere. The fact that this is the oldest pub in Oxford still hasn't made it a touristy place, there are locals, students and tourists drinking here.

    Try to look as if you don't know any of the beers on tab and you will get a free sample before you order. At least they gave me one :)

    Dress Code: If you're tall don't wear high heals - or you won't fit in the pub in height ;)

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    Angels: Angels in Oxford

    by shutterlust Updated Aug 9, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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...

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    Duke of Cambridge: Duke of Cambridge

    by shutterlust Updated Aug 9, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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.

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    Raoul's: Raoul's

    by shutterlust Updated Aug 9, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Raoul's

    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.

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    Freud's: Freud's

    by shutterlust Updated Aug 9, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Freud's

    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.

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    Eagle and Child: Eagle and Child

    by shutterlust Updated Aug 9, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Eagle and Child

    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)

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    O'Neills: Taste of Blarney

    by mickeyboy07 Written Aug 15, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    O'Neills
    3 more images

    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.

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    The Trout Inn: By the River

    by mickeyboy07 Written Jan 25, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    View from Gostow Bridge
    4 more images

    Situated in Wolvercote,Oxford several minutes walk from Godstow Abbey on Port Meadow is this delightful pub/restaurant,which lies at the side of the free flowing River Thames.The inn is a grade 2 listed building,built in the 17th century with alterations in the 18th century.The inn featured in 'Colin Dexter's''Inspector Morse',which was written and filmed in and around Oxford.The pub has excellent facilities such as a large outdoor area were you can sit by the river on sunny days or under the patio heaters in the winter.The food is said to be very good and the service is great,drinks are reasonable depending what you have.

    Dress Code: Casual.

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    The Turf Tavern: The Turf Tavern: "An education in intoxication"

    by King_Golo Updated Jul 10, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Particularly popular with students (hence the pub's motto), the Turf might well be the city's most difficult to find pub. Every student will know where it is, so if you're lucky to find one of this rare species, just follow him or her and you'll sooner or later end up in this pub.

    The Turf Tavern is located in the backyard of a backyard which again is at the end of a very narrow alley branching off New College Lane. Nonetheless, it is generally very crowded. Perhaps it's its nice atmosphere, its history dating back to the Middle Ages, the numerous sorts of beer and ale they offer, the great pub food, the famous visitors (such as Bill Clinton who allegedly didn't inhale the smoke from his joint here) or simply the fact that the species "student" isn't actually that rare in Oxford... Just give it a try yourselves!

    Dress Code: none

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