Into the home strait now, and along lovely St Giles for the pub I’d have recommended to any visitor before today.

Lamb & Flag.PNG

I know the detail is important to you, so I should add that before that Mrs RM headed for a flat white in Blackwell’s Café Nero.  It’s a good place to people watch.

Name the book

Like everywhere else on Saturday, Café Nero was heaving.  It was inevitable that the Lamb & Flag would be packed, but also that our group would somehow find a table for seven (unreserved, of course).

Having captured someone seemingly from the 18th century on camera (above), it’s inevitable that my shots of folk from 2018 are so blurry.

Lads. And ghost

Not just dark, but also so busy I struggled to read the handpumps in both bars. But Paul Mudge knows his BBBs, and told me to go for the Palmers IPA.

BBB land

As with the 6X earlier, this was a classic but overlooked family brewer beer in top condition (NBSS 3.5). What could Oxford have done with an Arkells, or Batemans, or Harveys ?

Palmers IPA

Cool and fruity, and also very cheap, say my notes. I suspect “very cheap” means £3.30 rather than £2.70, mind.

And the pub is a proper drinkers pub, free of table reservations and other fads.  I’d still come here if I could go to just one pub in town.

Pub Curmudgeon has posted an excellent summary on the Oxford trip here.

As he notes, all the pubs were full, and with plenty of younger people.  And they seemed quite happy with traditional pubs serving a range of cask beers not a lot wider than I remember from trips to away games at Oxford United 20 years ago.

And the keg didn’t seem much different either, unless I’d missed a crafty white back board somewhere. On the keg font facing me I noted Guinness, Becks, Peroni, Fosters Kronenberg. Which of those is craft ?





33 thoughts on “PUBS AREN’T DEAD

  1. You obviously didn’t spot my cunning table-grabbing manouevre. A large table had just become vacant, and a tourist couple were headed for it at the same time as me and one of our party. “Go ahead,” they said, “there’s room for all of us there.” Then seven of us piled on, leaving no room for them 😉

    There were more seats at the front, fortunately.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The book isn’t Charles Dickens’ A Tale Of Two Cities is it ?
    Not many people know that it was original serialised in two local newspapers before being printed.
    It was the Bicester Times,it was the Worcester Times.

    Wahaay !

    Liked by 3 people

      1. “Three, if you include “The Original Swan” at Cowley.”

        Is that in reference to the third B that RM forgot to add? 😉


    1. Definitely Fremlins as it has the India style rug on it.

      Otherwise it could be Carlsberg, Delerium or Chang (Tusker or Twin Elephant if it was just a head shot).



  3. Nice piece, you’ve reminded me I went to Oxford many years ago, how long I don’t remember but we started off in the Magdalen Arms with some Stinking Bishop and then went on a tour of indeed very full pubs, sampling what seemed like and endless supply of varieties of (unsurprisingly) Breakspeare beers.

    Then we were that drunk, don’t tell Mudgie, that I ended up in Jamie’s Italian. It was shit and everything was overly salted – so at least I have a basis for not liking that chap, even if I did line his pockets.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. “Name the book”

    The heck with the book; what type of bloody makeup does she have on?

    “Lads. And ghost”

    Just noticing (not judging) but the blokes at that table look like they’re from Oxford, and ready to solve the riddle of the double helix. 🙂


    PS – “a proper drinkers pub,”

    I’m sure they’re should be an apostrophe in there somewhere. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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