Archive for the ‘Oxford’ Tag

Tap Social, Oxford   2 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

Tagged with , , , ,

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

Tagged with , ,

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

Tagged with , ,

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

Tagged with , , , , ,

Plaice and Chips, Biochemistry Café, Oxford Univeristy   Leave a comment

Plaice at Biochem

The departmental canteens are generally abysmal and I don’t know why I continue to hold out hope for a decent fish and chip lunch at them after the experiences at the Chemistry Research Lab, the University Club, or the PCR Café in Department of Physiology.   I was finally rewarded for my patience with the broiled plaice offered at Biochem Café.  Mind you, the chips and peas were still an abomination.

(Note: this post is a continuation of the 2014 Chippy Challenge, with all related entries linked to this map)

Posted May 27, 2016 by Drunken Bunny in Fish and Chips, Food, work

Tagged with , , ,

Hayman’s in the Covered Market, Oxford   Leave a comment

Herring at Hertford

It was a beautiful day out and I had a strong craving for herring but doubted (correctly) that I could find anything as scrumptious as you can get in Holland.  Still, with dreadful-to-ghastly offerings in the departmental and neighbouring cafés, I decided to brave the throngs of tourists and made my way to Hayman’s Fishmongers in the Covered Market.

“Do you have any herring?”
The poor guy looked anguished as he answered slowly, “noooo.” He sounded Dutch, so I was probably breaking his heart.
“Oh. Not even in a jar?”
Brightening, he pointed to a cooler inside. “Come around, there are some there.”

I really just wanted a little vinegar, salt and water but these would have to do. The ones I took were brined in sherry with a little blackcurrant for the acetic acid as a preservative, but at least there were some onions in there (although I would have committed all sorts of sins for some fresh, chopped onion).

I got some soft rolls from the baker down the hall and retired to dine in front of Hertford College whilst watching the tourists mill about. The fish were a little sweet, but my feast of loaves and fishes really hit the spot.

Hayman's in the Covered Market

(Note: this post is a continuation of the 2014 Chippy Challenge, with all related entries linked to this map)

Urban Heritage Blue Plaques in Oxford   Leave a comment

Spotted in a car park next to what used to be the Duke’s Cut (now the Lighthouse), this plaque commemorates some Dandelion blooms a couple of years ago:

Dandelion plaque in Oxford car park

Apparently there are several weed based Blue Plaques in the city:

Buddleia plaque on Oxford bridge

Posted February 15, 2016 by Drunken Bunny in Tourism

Tagged with ,