Archive for the ‘Oxfordshire’ Tag

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.

 

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Posted September 21, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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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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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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The Company of Weavers, Witney, Oxfordshire   Leave a comment

 

Pub #1915:

I thought it was Steak Day at the Company of Weavers but it was actually the day before.  The food theme of the day was still promising and I ordered a “pulled chicken” sandwich with chips and peri-peri sauce and a pint of SA.  The SA was good.

The chicken was just a handful of frozen white meat chunks boiled long enough in unsalted water to warm up but not so long as to soften the tough flesh.  The peri-peri was tasty if mild and fortunately there weren’t enough chips to really deplete the meagre portion.  The SA was good, though.

 

 

The decor is nice, too.  I served a brief time as a lint head (cotton mill worker) on a graveyard shift while I was in High School and a lot of the items evoked nostalgia like the hanging lights fashioned from bobbins with yarn on them.  There were items from across the industry: 30-year-old spindles to 100-year-old looms.  Pretty cool.

But, I also used to work in bars and restaurants and I am appalled by what was allowed to exit that kitchen.

 

 

Posted September 7, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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The Three Pigeons, Witney, Oxfordshire   Leave a comment

 

Pub #1914:

A long, lunch run brought me to Witney.  I blew through the water I brought along about halfway between Eynsham and Witney and arrived at the Three Pigeons parched.  Pointing to the centre pump I asked for “a pint o’ that one” and was soon on my way out to the garden to let some of the sweat evapourate and maybe convince it to cease as my body cooled.

 

 

They have an Aunt Sally pit with lighting for the earlier and earlier sunsets.  The home team seemed to have gotten their asses handed to them.

 

 

The garden is spare but suitable for purpose.  On this overcast, early Autumn day it was also a bit nippy.  Job done there, then.

 

 

I had about a half-hour before I needed to catch the bus back and I rushed out to grab some lunch.  An old guy dressed like a model for a Vermeer-paints-Emmett-Kelly one-act play…long, brown overcoat over waistcoated suit with a hat that says artist or hobo or both.  He grumbled something in his hobo-artist tongue as I approached the door.  “Yeah, I’m leaving,” I answered and he growled something else with what sounded like the English word “door” in it.  “This door? Why do you ask? It’s the one I came in, is all I know.  I’m not from around here.”  I lifted the latch and headed out and he snatched it as it was closing and propped it open.  I think he wanted it left open, but I was under time constraints and moved along.

 

 

Posted September 7, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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The Wheatsheaf, Chinnor, Oxfordshire   1 comment

 

Went for a bit of a jog through the countryside near the Lewknor bus stop Thursday with the intent of stopping for a beer at the Crown in Sydenham then looping back but the Crown closes mid-afternoon and wouldn’t reopen for the evening for another 15 minutes … shit.  I adjusted my trajectory to Chinnor although I was pretty certain I had already ‘done’ all the pubs there.  Wrong: the Wheatsheaf still remained!  Hooray!

 

 

Half the building was under construction/refurbishment so everyone was packed into the area around the bar.  They all also knew each other and were in the midst of an animated convo that only slowed momentarily when I burst in drenched with sweat.  I needed to cool down a bit and took my golden ale (a very good one) out to the Aunt Sally pitch (a phenomenon I haven’t encountered in over a year) in the empty beer garden.

 

Odd place.  There seems to be an old street lamp in the middle of the midst of the garden (did the street once pass through right here?).  The Aunt Sally pitch has its own lighting, too, so check the schedules on your sport channels for televised matches.  And, they specialise in, of all things, South African food (which looks amazing, by the way).

 

Posted August 18, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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The Eagle Vaults, Witney, Oxfordshire   Leave a comment

 

 

In Witney there are 6 buses per hour back to Oxford so I figured I had time for a quick lager at The Eagle Vaults. Having run from Eynsham, I could see how sweaty I was in the bar mirrors and it seemed a bit stifling inside so I took my beverage out to the garden only to find it overrun with children and mums.

One non-mum suddenly jumped up and was doing a very odd and twitchy dance, idle for a moment then suddenly jerking a limb akimbo à la the Elaine Benes samba. When she finished I resisted the temptation to applaud but she had noticed me and several others watching the weird display. “I was trying to avoid a wasp,” she explained.

Riiiiigggghhhht. SURE you were,” I said before turning back to my beer and looking to see if any venomous flying insects had landed in it. “Whatever gets you through the night.”

 

Posted August 16, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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