Yes, Oxford. No, not the Bullingdon Club with the pig “menu”. But close enough.
First time in our second University city since last year, music not pubs this time.
No new pubs, and nothing new in a city centre still clinging to the 1500s.
You were hoping I’d go back to the Lamb & Flag, weren’t you ?
Instead, here’s the City Arms, an ex-It’s A Scream in the heart of Studentville.
“Whatever possessed you ?” I hear you say.
Well, as Stafford Paul will confirm, Stonegate are a different beast these days.
Not just because of the Cherry Milkshake IPA that Paul swears by,
but a solid and pleasingly unexciting range.
I’m no Hobgoblin fan, but the Gold version was cool and crisp and would be a worthy addition to the GBG on that form (NBSS 3+).
Feeling very studenty, I went for the Michaelmas term special of Cauliflower Dhansak.
Again, surprisingly good and not at all ping food.
Plenty of older folk like our discerning Doom Bar drinker alongside the studentz, with a soundtrack of “Mirror In The Bathroom” and “Re-Rewind” to appeal to neither camp.
I even got to watch the first half of Bochum v Nurnberg in Bundeliga 2, the preferred league for Brasenose Undergraduates.
A real find that will never get in the Guide, which I can exclusively reveal puts it on a par with the tiny Brew Dog where I enjoyed a pint of Punk AF.
I’m determined to find a low/no alcohol beer worth drinking. Punk AF, which I now understand to mean Alcholf Free rather than the alternative, isn’t bad.
But it is fizzy, and I couldn’t face any of the craft in the Bullingdon.
I think Orchard Thieves was narrowly edging the battle of the blands.
Dull beer, decent gig, daft toilets. How very Oxford.