England > Oxfordshire > Oxford
imdownthepub (253) Banbury, England | December 11, 2012
58 AMBIANCE 5/5 SERVICE 6/10 SELECTION 6/15 FOOD N/A VALUE 3/10 OVERALL 12/20
Use this as number 3 on the Oxford City Pub Crawl. The oldest pub in Oxford and also the smallest, it can get packed. It has a famous collection of ties from Oxford Colleges which the famous Inspector Morse used to solve a murder, well fictionally anyway. Two rooms surround a tiny bar with a couple of serving areas, the beers tend to be from some of the UKís larger Brewers, but very occasionally Hook Norton Beers can be found. There is a small outside patio area but this is usually surrounded by bins from local Restaurants. There are ancient wooden floors and wobbly chairs and benches, but this adds to the ambiance. The bar is a rare pewter topped variety.
Update for 2012 - This remains a destination pub with a great history. There is often a guest ale now generally from the local Shotover Brewery. The Manager is keen to get in the latest seasonal Fullerís beers too, so still worth the visit.
lada66 (131) Savonlinna, Finland | September 26, 2012
78 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 8/10 SELECTION 10/15 FOOD N/A VALUE N/A OVERALL 17/20
A nice and small Fullerís place in the city centre (19.6.2009).
Boudicca (373) London, England | February 22, 2012
62 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 7/10 SELECTION 6/15 FOOD N/A VALUE 7/10 OVERALL 14/20
A tiny Fullerís pub packed with character.
The Bear is a tiny, lopsided place with just two small rooms. One has a very low ceiling with the bar and its six taps (all Fullerís) tucked into the corner; the other is a wood panelled room with bell pushes around the walls and frame upon frame of snipped off ties, all carefully labelled and signed, and mounted in glass cases. I thought at first they were all from Oxford colleges but on closer inspection it turned out that there are also ties from other colleges and universities, hospitals, the royal colleges and various clubs in America, South Africa and New Zealand.
It wasnít busy when we were there but Iíd imagine if you had more than about ten people in each room it might be quite uncomfortable, despite the seats and perches crammed into every available space. A guided walk stopped outside whilst we were there but fortunately they moved on. The Bear is reputedly Oxfordís oldest pub and I think it may have appeared on TV in ďLewisĒ.
(Visited 7 January 2012).
rosenbergh (334) Helsinki, Finland | January 11, 2011
60 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 7/10 SELECTION 8/15 FOOD N/A VALUE N/A OVERALL 11/20
Small, tight, incredibly hot and lots of smoke (and probably carbon monoxide too) from the fireplace. Quite expensive too. 5 casks. Surprisingly it was possible to find a place to sit on Friday night. Still worth a visit.
bnselby (11) San Francisco, California | August 16, 2008
70 AMBIANCE 5/5 SERVICE 7/10 SELECTION 9/15 FOOD N/A VALUE 5/10 OVERALL 14/20
This tiny, tiny pub is supposed to be the oldest in Oxford. Tucked behind ChCh. Ties snipped and tacked to the walls (and ceilings). Itís a very cool place, and if you can take some seats, you can really tuck in and have an enjoyable night. Definitely worth checking out if youíre in Oxford. Not a ton of tourists, as the location is a bit hidden.
Rune (319) TromsÝ, Norway | April 15, 2008
46 AMBIANCE 3/5 SERVICE 5/10 SELECTION 6/15 FOOD N/A VALUE N/A OVERALL 9/20
Located next to Christ Church, this small pub claims to be the oldest in Oxford (1252). A Fullers pub with four hand pulled ales. Polite service. Worth a visit. Be sure to bring a tie for donation - there must be several thousand ties decorating the walls and roofs (visited17.03.2008).
haddonsman (56) Derby, England | March 12, 2008
56 AMBIANCE 3/5 SERVICE 7/10 SELECTION 7/15 FOOD N/A VALUE N/A OVERALL 11/20
A tight squeeze on a Saturday lunchtime, the Bear was an endearing place. Decent Hooky Bitter, decent service, sitting outside by the bins wasnít the best but the pub itself was worth a looksie.
SilkTork (72) Rochester, Kent, United Kingdom, Wales | February 17, 2008
50 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 5/10 SELECTION 5/15 FOOD N/A VALUE N/A OVERALL 11/20
Small two roomed pub with 5 casks - Fullers/Gales and Hooky Bitter. Smells of chips. Glass cases contain the clipped ends of club ties signed by the owners. Nice place.
hughie (25) Bedford, England | February 14, 2008
46 AMBIANCE 5/5 SERVICE 4/10 SELECTION 4/15 FOOD N/A VALUE N/A OVERALL 10/20
My head touched the ceiling in the bar (Iím six foot). Felt distinctly claustrophobic in here. Presumably theyíve taken health and safety issues into account. Room for a dozen people if they want to be comfortable. Beer was in good condition.
Stine (74) Minneapolis, Minnesota | August 26, 2007
48 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 4/10 SELECTION 6/15 FOOD N/A VALUE N/A OVERALL 10/20
Visited in July 2006. This place is somewhat of a gimmick, but it has substance. Hook Norton ales on cask, and these seem to be very poorly kept. The barkeep was surly, but I am an American. An interesting visit, but without purpose as far as beer goes. Better pubs within a few minutesí walk.
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