Archive for the ‘Oxfordshire’ Tag

Bell Inn, Ducklington, Oxfordshire   Leave a comment

Pub #1967:

With Witney pubs all but completed, I veered off trail on this lunch run to the wee village of Ducklington for the first time since 2010.  Since then, the Strickland Arms has been converted into a private residence leaving the Bell as the only pub in the village.  It is a bit hard to find and even when I asked an aged dog walker where it was it took her a moment to remember that it was only 100 meters back down the road from which she had just emerged.



It is a fine and ancient inn.  I sat next to the roaring fireplace which was big enough to roast a calf in (or, given the time of year, burn some Catholics).  A ballistic-glass cover over a hole in the floor reveals an old well.  The smoke from the fireplace made it seem quite homey and I wish I had hit this house lo those many years ago (or indeed years before that).  If you are only going to have one in town, you could do a lot worse than this one.



Posted November 3, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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The Blue Boar, Witney, Oxfordshire   Leave a comment

Pub #1966:

But for the need to get back to the lab, these lunch runs could be so much more elaborate.  The Blue Boar is supposed to do a fine, wood oven pizza but it takes an hour to run to Witney and a ½ hour to bus back so I was pretty much limited to the pint.  The house is atmospheric and sprawls out behind the front bar.  The cobwebs are some sort of Halloween decoration, by the way (the place is tidy and the staff conscientious and professional…and perhaps a tad too friendly).



As is typical in the smaller towns at lunch time, I was the youngest male in the house.  Near me sat a guy old enough to be my father and near him a guy old enough to be his (which is to say, about my father’s age were he not — choose your favourite — either a) sitting in an urn on a shelf in my whore sister’s house OR b) burning in hell … a) is definitely true but I prefer c) both despite not believing in hell or, more to the point, being certain that he isn’t in the lab.  Ah, but then again, you never escape your demons, do you?

The younger buck of my two compatriots was having a post-meal Stella after a bottle of wine.  “Can I get you anything else, my love?” chirped the thin, young, middle-class woman behind the bar.

“Ooooh, I think some ice cream would do nicely,” he intoned in the voice of radio legend Geoffrey Whitehead.  They negotiated 3 scoops of a variety of flavours and she disappeared to the kitchen.

The older man tutted, “ice cream and beer…I’ve never seen such.”

“It’s quite nice,” assured the hungry fellow, convincing me we might actually share ancestry.  When the bloke I assume to be the young woman’s husband appeared with the flute packed with gelato, I was very jealous but I saw my bus arrive outside and had to down the remaining ½ pint and dash.


Posted November 3, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Eagle Tavern, Witney, Oxfordshire   1 comment


Pub #1965:

The Eagle Tavern is my favourite pub in Witney (which I can now say with authority having visited almost all of them).  Flagstone flooring, good music on the tannoy (I heard Echo Beach as I sat down with a pint of Old Hooky and along the way got Bowie, Iggy, and Lou songs you NEVER hear unless you’ve put an album on), nooks and snugs, and a friendly landlady…damn near perfection.



It also seems not to have been redecorated since 1962.  Love the Gents sign: stand closer to the bowl, you twat!  And, what’s with the full trousers drop?  And, speaking of “drop,” the Ladies features a woman I suspect needs the toilet brush after her deposit:



Ahhh, to linger here and continue talking with the first Witney denizens I’ve ever met that neither were on nor needed strong mood altering medication.  But, this visit was only the end of my lunch run and I had to rush back.  I wish I’d found this years ago.


Posted November 2, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Smarts, Witney, Oxfordshire   Leave a comment


Ah, lunch in Witney at the bus stop, waiting with the old age pensioners and mental patients for a bus toward Oxford, in Autumn, after a long run, and a pint at the Eagle Tavern.  Life doesn’t get much better than this.  And, the fish from Smart’s Takeaway was good, too.  I must be doing something right with my life.


Posted November 2, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Fish and Chips, Food

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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.




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 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.

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

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