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Isis Tavern, Iffley Lock

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user reviews of the Isis Tavern, Iffley Lock

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Appleford Brewery's Power Station from a barrel went down superbly at this well judged spot on the towpath near to Iffley Lock and after a few miles' trek from Abingdon. The food options also looked great and the beer garden is a marvellously bucolic spot. Inside, wood aplenty was piled up in readiness for the winter. An extremeley good pub that is shapping up to be a truly outstanding one.
BoehmBawerk - 7 Sep 2013 18:57
Brilliant location. The gravity dispensed beer was excellent although only 2 barrels were available during our visit. This pub is still a work in progress, but don't let this put you off.... Look beyond the fact that the redecoration hasn't got to the walls yet, and just soak up the atmosphere of a real old fashioned pub. We loved it.
The_Saxon - 13 Jun 2011 20:40
Now called the Isis Farmhouse. Check opening hours before make a special visit to avoid disappointment because the pub has restricted opening hours.
Mona_Growser - 10 May 2011 19:06
We stopped about elevenses yesterday on our Oxford - Culham walk. The welcome was friendly and helpful, the beer was good (Appleford Brewery's Power Station), and the others enjoyed ginger beer, coffee and tea. We didn't try and cakes or the beans on toast - Tyrells crisps were fine!
zorrodp - 16 Aug 2010 09:12
TH, you're not even worth the keystrok......
BillyBhoy1888 - 14 Oct 2009 15:40
Given your original posting, I think was entirely within my rights to assume you were trolling.
thomashenry - 5 Jun 2009 16:13
Thomas Henry, how dare you dall me a Troll, you ignoramous.

I've been visiting The Isis since childhood, and drinking in The Isis since the tender age of 18 years, I'm now 52. I've seen The Isis going from a little gem of a pub to what it is now! It's an absolute travesty at what has happened to it! It used to be filled with memorabilia of all sorts from all the Universities, some dating back to the early 1900's, and as a local it used to be a real pleasure to sit by the bar listening to the laughter, watching bar billiards, hearing the sound of wood against wood as people played Aunt Sally out the back, yes it used to be lovely sitting there supping a pint in those lovely surroundings.

Not any more! It's now a pitiful broken down empty shell and completely lacking in feeling, and I only wish that someday someone will take it over, see it for the gem of a pub it really is, and change it back to it's former glory.
BillyBhoy1888 - 7 Apr 2009 11:06
I can only assume that the last comment was written by a troll. As for the the Oxford Mail article he links to, that is a farcical review. The author rants and raves very angrily about nothing inparticular, whilst conceding that the food is well priced, home made and tasty. Her gripe seems to be the lack of table service, and the requirement to order things at the bar! Ever *been* to a pub before, sweetheart?

Anyway - back to the point. I recently visited on a Sunday afternoon and found it to be a most pleasant experience. The decor is somewhat dilapidated, but in a homely and pleasant way. The staff were extremely friendly and helpful. The selection of bitter is not the widest, but they make an effort - I was served a very good pint of a summer bitter by gavity (no handpumps - barrels are mounted on the bar). My g/f enjoyed some tea and homemade chocolate cake. The foodboard looked very enticing (wild boar and beer meatballs), and I'll be returning to eat here next time I get the chance.
thomashenry - 6 Apr 2009 15:19
The Isis (now the Isis Farmhouse) changed hands in February 2008. It's now run by a pleasant couple, who are a breath of fresh air after the dreadful brewery tenure of recent years. So ignore all comments below from pre-Feb 2008.

It's still, however, not a great pub. There's a very limited range of beers and food service is poor. The food itself is perfectly nice and inexpensive, with typically 3 or 4 dishes to choose from.

The location is lovely by the river and it's a good end for a rustic walk from central Oxford. But you're better off stopping for coffee and cake than beer and a meal. Here's hoping the new landlords continue their good work of improvement.
Rodster - 4 Aug 2008 21:33
This pub is of a type that I didn't think existed anymore - very much a spit 'n' sawdust type of place which has the atmosphere of a run-down officers' mess or a university sports club bar. If you remember the pub called 'The Crow' in 'Withnail and I', then it's a bit like that.

Now, don't get me wrong - I consider this very much a point in its favour. If you want a pub with lots of shiny blue drinks in bottles, widescreen TV and brown square leather pouffes, then you have pretty much every other pub in the UK to choose from.

But this is a pleasant change of pace in a great location by the river. They had perfectly good local brew in barrels above the bar (which is quite a rare site nowadays), a small selection of wines and spirits and some odd local lager. The building is a shabby-genteel Georgian country house with lots of interesting pictures and stuffed dead things on the wall, and the beer garden is peaceful with a nice view of the river.

I really worry however that since it's so unlike most pubs, that next time I visit Oxford this will have become some kind of generic beige-painted gastro-bland lager vendor. Let's hope not.
Hugh1971 - 5 Jun 2008 15:21
This pub used to be my local back in the 70's, 80's, and 90's. It was a great pub back then when Tom and Caroline ran it, but now it's just an absolute hovel, and it really does break my heart to see the terrible state it is in now.

Bring back Tom and Caroline.

anonymous - 23 Apr 2008 12:16
This place should be among the stars of the Oxford pub scene. Perfect position alongside the Thames -- only accessible on foot. Instead it is a damp squib. The staff seem to resent the customers, the beer range is often pitiful and the food deplorable. The whole place seems unkempt and shabby. What a disappointment.
Braganca - 5 Mar 2007 21:56
Had never been here before until a walking trip last Saturday. Lunchtime food was excellent value, but I can see why one or two reviewers have called the place shabby. Very popular with younger people, some of whom were sitting around playing pub supplied games such as Connect-4. Considering there is no road access and all customers have to walk or cycle, it was surprisingly busy for the time of year. Could easily envisage enjoying a summer pint or two in the front garden watching the watery world go by. If I lived in Oxford this would definitely be one of my more regular haunts.
philanders - 5 Mar 2007 12:46
Quite a famous Thameside pub, this, but it was a big let down. Fantastic location and nice looking black & white building. However, run down inside and out with couldn't-care-less Ozzy bar staff and naff food.
Greshon - 14 Feb 2007 13:44
The Isis Tavern has recently changed management and whilst I used to visit it regularly, it had definitely gone downhill. Last month my friends took their beers back as they were off, as were their replacements. Last weekend, they had no handpulled beers on at all, and all the outside tables were filthy (absolutely covered in bird muck). The Sunday roast was ok but the portion size was very small. I'm afraid I can no longer recommend this pub.
ele_h - 9 Feb 2007 11:56
Very decent food in a superior setting. The only thing that let this pub down when I was there was the drinks on offer. Go for lunch and enjoy the view.
thedts - 5 Sep 2006 16:29

This is a nice friendly pub situated on the River Isis near Iffley Village. It was just lovely to sit outside in the front garden in the summer evenings watching the boats, punts, and people sauntering along the tow path.
MissBeverley - 15 Apr 2006 11:43
welcomming friendly pub, can get very busy, good location,
Alan_Key - 7 Sep 2005 18:06
I used to go here as a local up until a few years ago, and then it changed hands a couple of times. Only recently has it revitalised itself to its former glory!! The beer is good, and there are quite a lot of good options if you are planning a party or something as they can hire out a beer tent attached to the bar in the garden. Also a useful pub crawl if you live in Cowley or Littlemore and are walking into town - as you can go from Sandford Kings Arms to Iffley Prince of Wales then onto the Isis and finally then catch a bus from Donnington into town perhaps the Head of the River to complete your night!??
PrinceCharming - 16 Jun 2005 20:29
I visited here a couple of years ago as I was staying in the Hotel up in Iffley Village - we were advised that it was good place to hang around !
The staff were mostly pretty ok with us, but the Scottish guy that was in charge was not !!! and I say that as a fellow Scottish person - now I know where most of our bad reputation comes from. Nice location though.
rpw - 2 Jun 2005 12:43
I agree. Although on a sunny day there's a wait. So what? The size of the portions makes up for it and on a sunny day, why complain, when you can laze by the river and admire the view? This pub is definately by far the best I've been to in Oxford, which is surprising as it's probably one of the busiest on a sunny day. The staff are great and the beers good too. What more could you want?
SA_sweettalker - 1 Jun 2005 23:57
This pub is my local. As a South African from abroad, settling into a new country, I feel very at home. (Not least because practically all the staff are from SA). The beer is great, the food is great and you are welcomed by all. The brunette barmaid on her own is a good enough reason to visit this pub! But seriously, 10/10!
anonymous - 1 Jun 2005 23:49
I dont think this pub is average, I have been walking that way many a time and often stop by for a few drinks. Always welcomed whether with my dog or not and the staff and customers are very friendly.
So what if the bar staff are trying to boost averages (if they are!) at least it shows they enjoy their job and want to get their pub on the map!
DogsBestFriend - 27 May 2005 17:04
Ignore the last 3 comments, they probably all work there and are trying to boost the averages for an average pub
anonymous - 26 May 2005 19:02
Absolutely fantastic!! Staff, food, ambience, the lot. A little piece of heaven!!
sanwright - 26 May 2005 18:41
Fantastic pub, really good food, children's menu and portions are spot on!! Apparently the ales are good too, and so are the shots!! Really nice atmosphere, great parking, gret surroundings! Extremely good to see dogs are allowed, there are far too many pubs these days that DON't allow our canine friends!! Excellent staff, efficient service.
twiggytoo - 26 May 2005 18:27
Totally excellent!! Quality food for real prices!! Excpetional politeness and first class service from all staff!!

Extremely recommended!!
wendywoos - 26 May 2005 18:20
A beautiful pub in a peaceful and scenic location.
In summer there's lots of outside space to relax and enjoy the lazy river atmosphere with an excellent play area for the kids! In the winter there are real coal fires and a very warm welcome.
The Isis has a good range of decent wines on offer and my boyfriend advises that the real ales are pretty special too.
The food is good pub grub, and there is also a childrens menu. Overall one of my favourite places to visit and pass away a few enjoyable hours!
MarieG - 26 May 2005 16:59
Food is too expensive for what it is. Tends to be heaving in the summer and dead in the winter. Beer looked fairly average, no good cider.
el_capitano - 19 Feb 2005 14:33
I've been in here when it's been flooded. It was all right even then. Mind you the beer wasn't all that great even when you vould get proper Morrells.
Justin - 9 Jun 2004 23:17
The Isis has a great attitude to music and the first ever place where the request is to turn up!! Lovely venue, spacious, great garden for the kids round the back and we are holding a celebration of someone's life there!
Sue Smith - 4 Jun 2004 11:17
Friendly pub. Good in winter with it's open fire and sleepy dogs. Great in summer with it's extensive beer garden and river outside. Good ale selection, and the cider ain't bad too. The food is average - but beware the long wait in summer!!!
Ian - 8 Apr 2004 12:44
Nice pub, sexy bar staff: Alex, Warren, Ulritche and ofcourse ANDY!!!!!!
Litzi and Keanne - 19 Feb 2004 23:27
real ale, real food. bar billiards and a garden by the river. good in summer.
alex - 26 Oct 2003 02:05

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