Archive for the ‘Oxford’ Tag

The Man Cave, Oxford, Oxfordshire   Leave a comment

Gay bars seem to be closing at a faster rate than other pubs. I guess this is progress — every bar is now a gay bar.

But, despite what we’ve gained by updating to the mid-20th century, we’ve also lost traditional, gay bar names like The Toolbox or The White Swallow.

So, it’s good to see a new place open in Oxford called The Mancave (not too far in theme from “The Manhole”). I’m not too convinced by the barber shop theme (is this some sort of fetish house?), but I’ve seen worse…Christ, I’ve woken up in worse. Best of luck, boys, and godspeed.

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Posted October 13, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Made Me Laugh

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Work loos, stifling innovation   Leave a comment

Following a history of work loo stories (most recent, here), the urinals in the main lobby of our 10-year-old building (the huge cracks in the basement walls that leak copiously during heavy rain despite burial 15 feet below paved surfaces first appeared at least 8 years ago) have been marked “Out Of Order” for all but yesterday of the preceding 6 weeks.

 

The signage returned this morning.  Insult added to bladder injury came by way of the signs prohibiting an engineering remedy involving the sinks:

 

 

Posted October 10, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Made Me Laugh, work

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Home, Oxford, Oxfordshire   1 comment

Pub #1920:

By the time I got around to trying the Berkshire House it had changed to the Crooked Pot which I then tried on three occasions, finding it closed for the afternoon once (in between published hours) and not open two other times (that is, supposed to be open but locked with no sign of anyone there). It then re-rebranded as the Berkshire and I couldn’t get the fatty behind the bar to acknowledge my existence long enough to pour a beer or take my money. When she eventually left for a well-earned cigarette break, I left for more friendly — or competent — climes.

Now it is called “Home,” and specialises in locally sourced food…never a good sign for a pub.

Jackie hates bunting. She would not like this beer garden.

 

But, the house is lovely and my host helpful and proud of his beer selection.  I ordered the first Hoppelganger of the day and he pulled a wine glass full, sniffed, poured it out, pulled another, etc, until the portion left in the lines overnight had cleared a path for the better contents in the barrel.

And, it was good.

Clouds gathered and I made my way out for the run back to the labs via Donnington Bridge (and only getting caught in rain the last half mile or so…result).

 

Posted September 15, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Tap Social, Oxford   3 comments

tap-social-oxford

One of the problems with sharing strong opinions with the world is that someone who has some affiliation with the object of your passion may take the opinion as an affront.  It would probably sting less if the editorial commentary was delivered with a bit less smarmy tone, but the very few people who read this would be disappointed if it wasn’t there (especially in response to something like this).   Among the small readership, I usually get publicans and other business proprietors/proprietresses for an entry or two after they find out that their venue has appeared here.  Believe me,  my opinion holds no more sway here than it does at work (where the fuckers should actually listen to me).

tap-social-oxford-bar-back-and-brewery

 

So, if I gave the Tap Social a bad review it might actually be better for them than what I am about to lay down more concisely than that cryptic lead paragraph.  Better still are the ones about places that made so little impression on me that I just make shit up.  I can’t do that here.  The house is flawless.  Go there the next time they are open and you’ll probably make regular stops from then on (check the website…they are open tonight, and then again on the 27th and 28th of January 2017 with future dates pending).

tap-social-oxford-thirds

 

Now, it’s not a pub, per se … yet.  It doesn’t even have regular opening days, much less regular opening hours.  It is so open-plan that the warehouse blends into the 1000 liter brewery (yeah, it is a microbrewery, as well), and those are only distinguishable from the pubby area by a large carpet rolled out in front of the rudimentary bar.

 

tap-social-oxford-beer-plates

 

Their product is especially grand, too.  I was met at the door by the Head Brewer who enthusiastically described the set-up and the core beers that were on offer.  I got a flight of one-third pints (only the single pint, total, as this was roughly the mid-point of a 7½ mile run and I needed to get back to check on something in the lab before heading home) that included the oatmeal stout and the two sour ales — I would recommend all of them but do the Bleeding Heart Numbskull last as it overpowers everything in its path.

 

tap-map

 

 

 

Posted January 18, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Politics, Pubs

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Pint Shop, Oxford   1 comment

pint-oxford-bar

A couple of weeks ago, a work colleague sent me this note about the Pint Shop.  This is sort of a rare guest review:

“Had a couple of halves in the newly opened Pint Shop
on George St this arvo. Needed testing. Have you been
to its sister location in Cambridge? Good selection of
beer (~20 keg and 3 cask). A bit like Beerd. I suspect
in the evenings will be a hipster wanker fuckwit paradise,
if not also during the day. Recommend sampling mid-
afternoon after the lunch crowd have dissipated.”

I had been watching for this venue to open for months before we moved to London and now that I rarely find myself on George Street I had forgotten the place was due. I had to work late Wednesday to make up for my late arrival after the Passport Interview so gave it a go on my way to the bus station.  The music was nice (beardy hipster twats generally get that much right), and I really couldn’t fault the selection. My Anarchy Porter was divine.

This is the kind of place that is ripe for a drinking challenge. Running the taps from left to right in one day would result in 23 half pints down. It could be made more difficult by forcing the participant to go back for any taps that the beer changes on before they get to number 23.

pint-oxford

jts-and-pint-shop-map

Posted October 6, 2016 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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George Street Social, Oxford   Leave a comment

George Street Social Oxford

George Street Social was still a coffee shop when I passed by just a couple of months ago and the atmosphere on this visit was that of an independent coffee shop in the 1990s (that is, strangely retro the way everyone in there seemed to have a laptop fired up and not, for the most part, other devices).  The house was nearly fully occupied but only one table of three was actually engaging one another in conversation whilst row after row were intent on their screenplays, novels, or day trading deals.  Social, eh?

 

George Street Social Oxford not so social

 

At the bar, I was eventually served by a young woman who reluctantly broke off her conversation with a skinny little fellow with a goatee.  Despite that particular indication to the contrary, there is a hefty Hipster Tax imposed within the premises: Lagunitas IPA goes for £5.40 a pint while my choice — the much more gauche Amstel — comes at only £3.80 (and, I only got charged £3, so either there’s a Happy Hour price or my United Auto Workers t-shirt curried me some random favour).

The Muzak was especially good, I’ll grant them that.  This and others on the map, here.

Posted July 21, 2016 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Muddy run to Abingdon from Oxford   2 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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