Archive for the ‘Abingdon’ Tag

The Broad Face, Abingdon, Oxfordshire   Leave a comment

 

Pub #1962:

The website for the Broad Face filled me with dread: fine dining was implied while I was running there from Oxford in a light rain.  But, I arrived and the bar area still seemed enough like a bar not to discourage the likes of me (ie, the dedicated alcoholic)…result!

 

 

The last time I ran past this place, I thought it had just closed down but now I think it was then just getting ready for the grand opening after a refurbishment.  Either way, on this visit the music was nice enough, the beer was good and cheaper than I expected, and the bartendress was lovely and weird.

 

 

 

I was starved, having skipped breakfast, but didn’t feel like it was right to settle in for the two course set lunch (which looks magnificent and is quite a bargain).  I really had to get back to the lab, though, and the dry shirt and jumper did little to make up for the saturated shoes and trousers.  I drank up my pint and went looking for fast sustenance to break the fast.

 

 

 

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Posted October 27, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Crumb’s Sandwich Bar, Abingdon, Oxfordshire   1 comment

 

Forget that the blurry photo looks like Mr Hanky on chips and onions.  Ignore that it took 15 minutes to cook when my bus was due in 10 (and, blessedly, 6 minutes late).  Dismiss the seemingly exorbitant price.  This was the best hunk of lamb and chips I’ve had in a couple of years.  Thank you, folks at Crumbs (I can’t decide if it is plural or possessive).

Oh, it BECAME Mr Hanky the next morning.

 

 

Posted October 27, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Food, Kebabs

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The College Oak, Abingdon, Oxfordshire   Leave a comment

 

Pub #1925:

The Wednesday lunch run was scheduled as a 5 miler but the prospect of closing the ledger on Abingdon pubs was too great a draw so I extended the distance a couple of miles to the College Oak which, like the Boundary House last week, is a Greene King and therefore has a steak special Monday through Wednesday every week.  Yum, I guess…chewy but the flavour is right.

The girls behind the bar were friendly enough, even giggly.  From the looks of my dining room neighbours, I was by far the youngest customer there and perhaps that was the attraction to the staff: I’m sure I smelled a fraction less like wee than the pensioners creaking around the joint.  Or, they may just be nice.

Beer was a Timothy Taylor Landlord and spectacular.  Bus stop was an easy-to-manage (even stuffed with lunch) half mile away.  That’ll do.

 

Posted September 21, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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The Boundary House, Abingdon, Oxfordshire   1 comment

 

Pub #1919:

I did a lunch run to Abingdon and, with a wrong turn, wound up with a little over 8 miles to log before arriving at the Boundary House as the rain started to fall.  Already soaked with sweat, I stopped by the children’s play area to change to a dry shirt before entering.

“Was that you doing the strip tease just now?” asked the old man at the bar as I approached.
“That was meant to be PRIVATE, sir. Get an eye full, did we?”
“Is there a problem?” asked the bartender.
“Nothing a rare piece of rump won’t fix,” then to the sage of the bar, “am I right, sir?”  He grinned and took a sip of his stout.  Turning back to the tender, I pointed to a steak on the menu and added, “I’ll have the 8 ounce special please.”

 

“I’m 94-years-old,” non-sequitured my admirer. This statement stopped me and the help, cold.

After what felt longer than the couple of seconds it actually was, the bartender said to him, “you’re never…I would have put you at 70, certainly, but that is amazing. Where are you sitting?” I realised he had returned to me so I pointed to a table without taking my eyes off the ancient one. “And, to drink?”

Pointing to something on the ale pump line called, ‘Starry Night,’ I added, to the old man, “he’s right. It must be the tonic qualities of the Guinness, sir.” A conversation ensued about the health claims of the Black Stuff and how expecting mothers are once again being advised to, maybe, have the occasional one for the iron.
“Having the occasional one,” I noted with a waist-high forearm thrust, “is probably how they got into this predicament.”

The barman winced a bit and discretely shook his head at me. I grinned and the oldie pointed at me and said, “you know, he’s right.”

My steak was perfect but the prolonged stop at the bar meant I had to wolf it down to catch the hourly bus back to Oxford.

 

Posted September 14, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Brewery Tap, Abingdon, Oxfordshire (pub #1499)   Leave a comment

Brewery Tap Abingdon sign

 

From the Nag’s Head, the walk to the Oxford bus takes you near enough to the Brewery Tap as to be churlish not to enter for a quick one.  There was a line of pumps and a metal lined trough with even more taps to choose from, but as this isn’t actually the Tap for any eponymous Brewery, I settled on a Lilley’s Sunset Cider which had a vaguely (but not badly) medicinal aftertaste akin to that sort of mineral tartness PEZ candies have.

 

Brewery Tap Abingdon cider

 

The Euro 2016 football was on and I watched as Hungary held Portugal to a 3-3 draw from a 3-1 halftime lead. Brilliant: my first soccer coach, Istvan Buczko, had been a Hungarian National Team member in the 60’s so they were my sentimental favourites; and, moreover, the looks on the arrogant Portuguese players’ faces afterwards was worth the time otherwise wasted in front of tele.

 

Brewery Tap Abingdon bar

 

I looked around the spectacular 17th century pub and felt quite at home.  Hey…isn’t the guy sitting on the left also on the pub sign?  (Here’s a map to both of them.)

 

Brewery Tap Abingdon

 

Posted June 23, 2016 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Nag’s Head, Abingdon, Oxfordshire (pub #1498)   1 comment

Nag's Head Abingdon sign

 

When I first started visiting Abingdon, the Nag’s Head had been closed down for a while, which is a shame.  In the centre of one of the oldest market towns in the country AND on an island in the midst of the River Thames is just the start of the boxes this venue ticks.  Too bad the staff are arrogant and rude, as this house and the beer garden are simply gorgeous.

 

Nag's Head Abingdon mild

 

I arrived drenched with sweat after nearly ten miles’ slog from Oxford, much of it along the Thames Path in high humidity and in what passes for high temperatures, here.  I carried the Black Prince mild — as rich and full-bodied as the pump clip boasts — to a quiet bit of the beer garden and exchanged as much of my wet clothing for dry as I could without complete nudity.  Boats mosied past and the early evening couldn’t have been more grand.

 

Nag's Head Abingdon by the Thames

 

With just a few sips left, I headed in to use the loo as a changing room and one of the staff followed along but she stopped and leaned against a handrail outside.  She was still there when I emerged in my clean, dry trousers…I guess she thought I was up to something because she then followed me back as I returned my now empty glass to the bar (without so much as “thank you” or “kiss my ass” or any other acknowledgement from either of the bartenders standing there).  What a bunch of assholes.

 

Nag's Head Abingdon

nags-head-map

 

Posted June 23, 2016 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Muddy run to Abingdon from Oxford   3 comments

2016-06-22 Abingdon run

With the sun setting at 9:30 and twilight lasting until well after 10 pm, the weeks on either side of the Summer Solstice are grand for evening running. I left work after a day of lower back muscle spasms (treated with long overdue glute stretches — my ass is taut enough to stop a bullet after last weekend’s runs — throughout the day) and headed along the Thames Path to Abingdon.

It was gorgeous out albeit humid like the jungle from the week of heavy rains. Some parts of the path required leaps or diversions to clear puddles and the section from Sandford Lock to Lower Radley entailed more than 1 1/2 miles of slick, viscous, and frankly hazardous mud.  This variation in the workout seemed to help the back pain immensely.

With the attention of imbibing some orally administered liniment in Abingdon, I managed to hit two of my three targeted pubs: the Broad Face appears to be out of business but the Nag’s Head and the Brewery Tap made up for this loss.

The bus back to Oxford was literally a treat: the ticket machine was broken so the driver didn’t charge fares. Then upstairs, a woman with a foreign accent was giving practical tips to some boys sitting in the back and girls up front (all of which appeared to be on some sort of language course); her heavily accented lecture (peppered with the word “guys”) was yelled out so all within several bus lengths could hear.

“So, guys, if de line is not moving in a section and space opens up you guys should ask dose guys dat don’t move if dey are still in de queue before you jump ahead of dose guys. Dese guys in England have strong opinions about how to act in line.” She had my attention.

“And, guys, anodder ting, guys…dis will be Oxford, not Abingdon no more, and it is more international and people speak many languages dere so you cannot assume dat saying someting in Italian or Portuguese or Russian is just between you guys. Dose guys will know if you say someting naughty and will not be happy wid you guys.” She saw me grinning and added, “see, dis guy knows it’s true.”

“Actually, I’m smiling because they’ll mostly be Brits and they really won’t give a shit. In fact, they’ll be happy to expand their vocabulary.”

“On second tought, guys, don’t listen to dis guy.” Teachers pet to class fuck-up in one go.

2016-06-22 bus full of foreign kids

Here are some of dose guys.

 

 

Posted June 23, 2016 by Drunken Bunny in Running

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