Oxford Pub Crawl

This is the proposed route for the New Years Day Oxford Pub Crawl. Link to Google Map. I have short listed 15 pubs. I don’t suppose that we will manage them all!

The Bookbinders Arms

Even by Oxford pub standards, the Old Bookbinders Ale House is a bit out of the ordinary. Allegedly the Bookbinders was once one of eighteen pubs in the Jericho area of Oxford (not counting Walton Street), it is now one of only three. Enjoying a reputation for quality real ales, excellent pub grub and the odd quirk or two, we are well worth seeking out in the back streets of historic Jericho, just a short walk from Oxford town centre or a relaxed ten minute walk along the canal from the railway station.

17-18 Victor Street, Oxford OX2 6BT, United Kingdom, 01865 553 549‎
Open on New Years Day: ?

Jude The Obscure

Formerly Oxford’s only theatre pub. Now a medium-sized, average pub with outdoor seating in a suntrap courtyard. Sunday roasts.

54 Walton Street, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX2 6AE, United Kingdom 01865 557 309
Confirmed as opening on New Years Day: YES

The Royal Oak

42-44 Woodstock Road, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX2 6HT, United Kingdom‎ – 01865 310 187‎
Confirmed as opening on New Years Day: YES :-)

Eagle & Child


In the 1940s and 50s, C.S. Lewis was a member of a small group of like-minded friends called "The Inklings." They met the Eagle and Child Pub on St. Giles Street in Oxford to discuss literature, writing, religion and life. Another prominent member of the Inklings was Lewis’ Catholic friend J.R.R. Tolkien; discussions at this pub contributed to the final form of both Lewis’ Narnia’ books and Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series. A memorial plaque is on a wall in the middle of the pub near the bar, along with a couple portraits and a framed paper bearing the signatures of Lewis, Tolkien, and other Inklings, saying they had drunk to the landlord’s health.

In addition to its historic and literary value, the Eagle and Child is also a pleasant place to stop for a pint and good pub food. This long, narrow pub is where Tolkien, C.S Lewis and other Inklings used to drink for 30 years or so. Sunday lunches are excellent.

49 Saint Giles, Oxford, OX1 3LU, United Kingdom 01865 302 925
Opening New Years Day: until 8pm

Lamb & Flag


The pub is a favoured location of Oxford students and lies just north of St Johns College, who manage it. The Lamb & Flag Passage runs through the south side of the building, connecting St Giles with Museum Road, where there is an entrance to Keble College to the rear of the pub.
It is believed that Thomas Hardy wrote much of his novel Jude the Obscure in this pub. In the novel, the city of Christminster is a thinly-disguised Oxford, and it is thought that a pub that appears in certain passages of the novel is based on The Lamb & Flag.

12 Saint Giles, Oxford OX1 3JS, United Kingdom 01865 515 787‎
Opening on New Years Day: ?



Kings Arms

Dating from 1607, the pub is set among the university buildings of central Oxford and owned by Wadham Colledge, with students housed on the upper floors. Internally, a warren of rooms includes two bars and much wood panelling. A popular local myth has it that the KA has the highest IQ per square foot of any pub or bar in the world. Known as the KA to all who visit it frequently this is an Oxford institution. Fairly old Youngs pub complete with pictures of the Queen Mother and Prince Charles pulling pints in this very pub.

40 Holywell Street, Oxford, OX1 3SP, United Kingdom‎ – 01865 242 369‎
Confirmed as opening New Years Day: midday – midnight :-)

The Turf Tavern


7 Bath Place, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1 3SU, United Kingdom‎ – 01865 243 235‎
Confirmed as Opening on New Years Day: CLOSED :-(

White Horse

The White Horse has many claims, which include being one of Oxfords smallest, oldest and most famous pubs as well as Inspector Morse’s favourite haunts. Sir Winston Churchill and Bill Clinton are also reputed to have called The White Horse ‘their local’ when they have stayed in Oxford.
The Grade II listed 16th-century city centre pub has a single long and narrow bar and a small snug at the rear. The pub regularly features in Inspector Morse and more recently the Oxford Murders.

52 Broad Street, Oxford, OX1 3BB, United Kingdom‎ – 01865 ??? ???
Confirmed as opening on New Years Day: ?


With 13 international biers on show, it fails to disappoint many people. Unlike many of Oxfords posh bars this one tends to be well priced considering they import a lot of their beer and wine.

Only here as a backup.

Copa: 9-13 George Street, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1 2AU, United Kingdom‎ – 01865 246 906‎

Confirmed as opening on New Years Day: YES

The Grapes

nice place to go as opposite the New Theatre so if your off to see a show can pop in for a quick one. has real character to it, but can get heavingly busy. Not a wine bar, and is one of the few pub type pubs in the centre of town.

Nice to find a proper city pub outside of the great range you find in London. Traditional interior, proper range of beers and ales and the food is not only excellent but really well priced. Split into booths and with the lovely woodwork and leather this is a great find in the city centre and is just opposite the theatre who’s parifinalia deck the walls of the grapes – Fab

Only here as a backup.

The Grapes: 7 George Street, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1 2AT, United Kingdom – 01865 793 380
Opening on New Years Day: ?






The Turl

“Access Turl Street down that ‘market’ alley way.”

Turl Street is a street in Oxford, England. It is located in the city centre, linking Broad Street at the north and High Street at the south. It is colloquially known as The Turl and runs past three of Oxford’s colleges: Exeter, Jesus and Lincoln. It meets the High Street by the early 18th century All Saints church, now the library of Lincoln College. To the west are Ship Street and Market Street, north and south of Jesus College respectively, both leading to the busy Cornmarket, a pedestrianised shopping street. To the east is Brasenose Lane, between Exeter College and Lincoln College, leading to the historic Radcliffe Square.

According to Wikipedia: Turl Street is the subject of an obscure ecclesiastical joke, based on its location. "In what way is the Church of England like the Turl? It runs from the High to the Broad and goes straight past Jesus."

17 High Street, Oxford OX1 3DR, United Kingdom 01865 244 563‎
Opening on New Years Day: YES




The Bear Inn

“It’s down that street.”

The Bear Inn (or just "The Bear") is one of the oldest public houses in Oxford, England, dating back to 1242. It stands on the corner of Alfred Street and Blue Boar Street, opposite Bear Lane in the centre of Oxford, just north of Christ Church.
The original Bear was a coaching inn on an adjacent site, closer to the High Street. It had previously been called Parne Hall and Le Tabard, but adopted its present name in the 15th century, after either a bear pit on site or the bear and ragged staff on the crest of Richard Neville, the Earl of Warwick.
It was especially fashionable in the 17th century, when judges and royal commissioners were among the patrons. The heir to the throne in Denmark visited in 1652. When it closed in 1801, there were over thirty bedrooms, with stabling for a similar number of horses.
The present building was built in the early 17th century as the residence of the inns ostler. It was converted into a separate tavern, The Jolly Trooper, in 1774, and took over the name of the Bear when the other inn closed.
A distinctive feature of the Bear is a collection of over 4,500 snippets of decorative ties, started in the 1950s, and given by customers (some famous) in exchange for a pint of beer. These are displayed in glass-fronted cases on the walls and even the (low) ceiling. The ties mostly indicate membership of clubs, sports teams, schools and colleges, etc.
Note: The courtyard outside is an excellent spot for people watching/perving over the totty in late summer.

6 Alfred Street, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1 4EH, United Kingdom, 01865 728 164
Confirmed as opening on New Years Day: YES :-)

The Wheatsheaf

“Down that alley in between Starbucks and Northern Rock” (Northern Rock could now be something else!)

They quite often have gigs or comedy shows or something going on. On these nights it can be very busy. Try and check whats on before going. The beers and lagers are good as there is a large-ish selection.

morse voor een voor engelse begrippen redelijke Oxford is een mooie stad en het bezoeken zeker waard, op zaterdag is er ook de inspector morse tour. na een pint (halve liter)beer te hebben besteld kregen wij toch wel honger, dus bestelden wij typisch engels eten oa ham and egg’s.

129 High Street, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1 4DF, United Kingdom‎ -01865 721 156‎
Opening on New Years Day: 3pm – 8pm

The Old Tom


If you look around for a classic pub in Oxford, The Old Tom has been sitting in that spot since the 1700’s. It look like an English Pub, smells like an English Pub and has the history of a true English Pub. But walk in and you’ll find that the menu isn’t quite what you expect. You’ll find that the fish & chips are there, but not much else in terms of your hearty pub food. Instead you’ll see that the majority of the food is Thai.

101 Saint Aldate’s, Oxford OX1 1BT, United Kingdom 01865 243 034‎
Opening on New Years Day: ?

Head of the River Pub

Head of the River is a very popular traditional inn, bar and restaurant set in a stunning location overlooking the River Thames.

1 Folly Bridge, Oxford, OX1 4JU, United Kingdom‎ – 01865 721 600
Opening on New Years Day: YES

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“It’s ok to slap your wife”

The first post in a series of weird stuff that happens in the Middle East. To quote 7 days, a local paper:

A Saudi judge has told a seminar on domestic violence that it is okay for a man to slap his wife for lavish spending.

Jeddah judge Hamad al-Razine gave the example of overspending to buy a high-end abaya as justifying a smack for one’s wife, Arab News newspaper said. “If a person gives 1,200 riyals ($320) to his wife and she spends 900 riyals ($240) to purchase an abaya from a brand shop, and if her husband slaps her on the face as a reaction to her action, she deserves that punishment,” he said.

The judge’s remarks sparked an outcry at the seminar on the role of judicial and security officials in preventing domestic violence, the paper said.

The seminar was attended by officials as well as activists on domestic violence, including representatives of the National Family Safety Programme.

Although Razine acknowledged the depth of the problem of domestic violence he said some of the blame must be shouldered by wives for their behaviour.
“Nobody puts even a fraction of the blame on them,” he said.



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It’s been a long time

It’s been one hell of a year here. But I guess it started slowly.

I had been onsite at HSBC for around 15 months and it was getting a little old. My last day there came in February this year when I got placed on a really exciting project developing applications for Microsoft Surface, pretty cool, but bigger changes were in the pipeline.

At the end of March I proposed to my girlfriend of six years, you all know her, the lovely Jo. Just before this time Dubai was becoming a serious reality and our US visas were ending so we pushed for getting married in England over the summer on our way to Dubai. So now we find ourselves furiously planning for a large wedding and an international relocation with 5 months. It’s a push but we are excited and it all seems to be coming together. Touchdown in England is on June 26th.

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The dormant volcano

Check out this picture of the site today.

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The morning after

Police have sectioned off a large area around the burst pipe, a grid that is 3 to 4 blocks square, so that the clean up operation can begin. Jo’s work is within this area so her building is inactive today so she is working from home. The news is suggesting that the air is safe to breathe but the dirt and mud scattered around maybe contaminated with asbestos. They are still recommending that we don’t use our air conditioning and that the clothes Jo was wearing should be put into a plastic bag just in case. Jo is working from home today due to her building being inaccessible.

My walk to work was a bit strange. I had to take a detour around the inaccessible area. The streets were really really busy with people I guess having to walk to work instead of getting cabs, buses or subways. All the police and some people had masks on. There were many news crews interviewing people and having their cameras trained on the huge looking hole in the road. Although none of the public can get closer than 2 to 3 blocks away.

My office is fairly busy considering it’s only a couple of blocks from the inaccessible zone. There are quite a few people missing but I would say that around half the people are in.

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Tales from the blast zone

An explosion rocked midtown this afternoon. Jo’s commute is 3 blocks to work every morning and evening. The cross road that she passes over is now a large hole in the ground. It was an accident, not terrorism – but still scary.
Here’s how it went down. I left work at 5.40pm to catch a subway from Grand Central to play football uptown, I was safely uptown when it happened. At 5.56pm an explosion ripped apart the intersection at 41st and Lex. Jo’s felt the tremors on the 12th floor of her building on the adjacent block. Someone whipped up a panic by yelling "shit, we have been hit" and everyone from Jo’s floor – and most of the building ran out onto the streets to clear the area.
Jo said that the scene looked like a volcano for 15 minutes or to quote the news "a titanic geyser of scolding steam, earth and concrete". Earth and concrete was raining down onto pedestrians and cars as people scrambled to get just a few blocks away to safety to make phone calls. Rocks showered onto a nearby skyscraper’s window on the 27th floor.
We are both fine, the explosion was caused by a steam pipe that exploded. There has been a tentative warning that the steam pipe that was laid in 1924, was insulated with asbestos. But it sounds like a tenative warning. (We live 2 blocks from the scene).
On the pictures below the building she works in is the large black one. I got the phtotos from the NY Times website.
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Las Vegas

Last weekend Jo and I took a trip to Las Vegas with the aim of meeting OJ for a few hours towards the end of the weekend. He was planning to be there for a stag do later on in the weekend. Now let me tell you this is an amazing place, there is so much money here. The decor is incredible and you feel like you are on another world. I had heard stories about the casinos being designed to trap you in so that you can’t find a way out and they try in every conceivable way to rip money out of you. I didn’t find it that obnoxious, in fairness. You can clearly spend a lot of money there if you want to though. We gambled a little on the last night when we met up with OJ but didn’t go crazy. We certainly didn’t join in with any $300 black jack games!
We won’t say much else about the trip because what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Would really like to get a 3 month project contract there, that would really give me a good chance to check the place out properly.
And pictures from our flight over the grand canyon http://picasaweb.google.com/cashlance/GrandCanyonFlightFeb2007
Enthusiastic Rep on the street: "Hey are you two in love? You can get married here for $40!"
Jo and Alex: *laughter*
Enthusiastic Rep on the street: *smiles*
Jo and Alex: "No seriously, that’s way too expensive."
OJ is flying in for a stag do with some mates late on Saturday night, so we will get to see him for a few hours before getting our own flight home.
Alex: "I don’t reckon that OJ will be up for coming out after flying for 12 hours and his body clock being at "early morning"."
Jo: "I do."
Alex: "Yeah, so do I."
On the captive lions in the MGM casino.
Alex: "I think having captive lions in the middle of a casino for our entertainment is taking it a bit far."
Jo: "Agreed."
Alex: "However, that is the MGM Grand casino and their trademark is the roaring lion. So err, that’s ok then?"
Jo: "There are a lot of slappers around here."
Alex: "Yeah, it’s good isn’t it."
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