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Royal Oak, Oxford

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user reviews of the Royal Oak, Oxford

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

This is a nice little pub with lots of nooks and crannies and a fireplace. There's a slight hipster ambience but not overly so. The location is central enough to be convenient but not too close to town to be a tourist magnet. The ale selection was alright but there seemed to be more summer ales than one would normally expect in January. Handle glasses/mugs were available. The food I had (full English breakfast) was one of the best pub meals I've ever had (and I've had a few!). Also it was good value at £8-.
Hugh1971 - 15 Jan 2014 11:43
Formerly the best pub in town, and still great for a nice pint of ale, or just drinking. However, their food service is appalling. I've been three times for lunches due to it being close to work. Once they pulled as pints of beer before informing us that there was no food, despite there being menus all over the tables, and then looked put out when we didn't want to pay for them. The next time I was in, the food took about 45 minutes to arrive (admittedly they were busy) and was cold when it did. Then most recently I went in and was unable to have my food of choice. Fair enough, however taking 40 minutes to deliver two burgers and some fishcakes when it wasn't too busy was unacceptable. Won't be going back, which is a shame as the set up is quite nice there and the beers are excellent
Oxford_Cully - 15 Sep 2013 20:57
Visted this many years ago and it really hasnt changed very much at all.Several small rooms with a bar in the middle serving just 2 ales on our visit. However both were well served and well kept. The rooms are all quite small and cosy - making a visit quite a personal experience. We had a meal from a 2 or 3 course set menu - priced at around £10 offers pretty good value in Oxford. The food was tasty , served quickly and all of our group were more than satisfied. Service was excellent with the bar staff bringing the drinks and opening a tab for us - quite unusual in this type of venue. Toilets were clean and although the pub itself was a little bit shabby - this tends to add rather than take away from the ambience. I recommend the five minute walk from the city centre - all round good stuff.
DiscoJoe - 15 Mar 2013 16:45
Labyrinthine pub. Friendly and helpful staff, great range of boozes, marred by smell of stale fish and fat (as so many pubs are these days)
EricOlthwaite - 27 Oct 2011 17:41
We eat here regularly, and the menu is frequently changed. The food is tasty but the prices have risen sharply recently and they've started using poncy wood boards to serve on. There is a good selection of wine, whisky and the beers are in general very good. They have frulli is you like something fruity, all the regular big names plus a rolling selection of real ales, including Ubu (my favourite) on ocassion. There's huge tables if you're with a big group but it can get very busy during termtime.
beerminx - 23 Jan 2011 19:01
Visited last night on one of our Oxford visits. Fascinating pub with lots of adjoining rooms, plenty of customers giving it a good atmosphere and a good outside patio area. The beers are of the safe variety, I had a Wells/Youngs Waggledance, not the beer it used to be! But the pub itself is comfortable and friendly, a pleasant young girl behind the bar put up with our banter and gave as good as She got. A definite re visit required.
imdownthepub - 12 Jun 2010 10:07
This used to be a regular of mine from my uni days when I had a friend living on the way out of Oxford on the Woodstock Road. I came here about a month ago on a visit to Oxford for the water polo Varsity match, and not a lot has changed, to be honest. The pub is still an interconnected warren of little rooms that leaves you feeling a little disorientated on your first wander round (or your last if you've been there for a while...), the beer is still decent and the food is still really good.

The tables out the front of the pub never seem to move, but are a nice spot to settle in on a summers evening (it was definitely a bit too cold when I was there to contemplate using them). The bar staff are always friendly and attentive, which obviously adds to the charms of the place. And I would agree with the earlier poster who mentioned that the toilets are pretty nice - definitely a differentiator between a good and bad pub.
steej - 10 Mar 2010 15:46
Standard Spirit Group semi-gastro pub - but what a difference from some of the London houses. Good attitude from the staff and a friendly atmosphere all round. Beer quality good - food decent. For an Oxford pub this scores well.
meurglys_iv - 28 Feb 2010 11:14
Standard Spirit Group semi-gastro pub - but what a difference from some of the London houses. Good attitude from the staff and a friendly atmosphere all round. Beer quality good - food decent. For an Oxford pub this scores well.
meurglys_iv - 28 Feb 2010 11:14
Dropped in here in May having for some reason always walked past it previously (all-too-likely due to being en route to the excellent Rose & Crown), and it proved well worth a stop-off.
1) Friendly service was experienced; 2) A fine range of real ales; 3) Beer sampled was well-kept; 4) The interior was comfortable, capacious, and exuded a warm atmosphere (despite being a quiet spell on a Saturday afternoon). Oh, and 5) Toilets in good nick: an area in which far too many hostelries lose points.
I shan't be ignoring this pub on my future Oxfordian ramblings.
TWG - 28 Aug 2009 16:56
A Proper Pub. Good beers, and lots of them. Light comedy touches everywhere. Good food. Far enough out of town to avoid the pleb quota.
toaster - 2 Oct 2008 21:35
Rambling pub with a vast number of interconnected rooms. Good range of beers on handpump, and an interesting collection of whiskies behind the bar.
There is a garden, but it was sunny so it was absolutely packed. There are tables out in the street as well.
twm_sion_cati - 30 Apr 2007 14:43
As a student I was dismayed to only find this pub in my third and final year. Nevertheless I made the most of it and every time I am back in Oxford I always make an issue of returning to this old haunt of mine.

Superbly furnished, excellent food (it certainly caters well for those of a vegetarian disposition) and a splendid range of beers. A little out of the centre, its position gives it the unique character - in my mind - of being neither too "studenty" nor too "towny". Well worth a visit.
drewsy_uk - 14 Apr 2007 21:05
Nice pub - is much larger than it appears from the street. Nice variety of beers on offer. Always somebody about to play pool.
jorrocks - 2 Mar 2007 04:10
love this pub, good beers, lovely bottles especially the Chimay! Agree whole heartedly with the bar billards table though it has some que! Lots of nooks and crannys to sit in aswell, great for a quiet drink or a group can take over a whole area.
tabbycat - 12 Feb 2007 17:42
Friendly pub serving at least 3 Real Ales. And it has a Bar Billiards table - an all to rare site nowadays.
Well worth a visit and it makes a convenient triangle of pubs with the Eagle and Child and the Lamb and Flag.
Gar - 10 Jan 2007 19:46
Top pub with great Continentals and pretty good bitters. Sociable opening hours mean this place gets busy, even though it's enormous. Wonderful atmosphere most of the time. We played French Cluedo here. Hard to fault, except it's just a little out of town, but definitely worth the walk. Good gateway pub for Jericho.
thedts - 5 Sep 2006 02:25
Nice to see the bar billiards table. So often they've been ejected in favour of pool, which seems to attract tattooed chavs by the million.
Nice pint (or two) of Summer Lightning, served by a very friendly and welcoming young lady. There seemed to be an excellent collection of whiskies.
twm_sion_cati - 31 Jul 2006 15:52
Used to love the Roak when I was a student, was just about the nearest pub to our college (though still quite a hike). Great place. Gets busy in a nice way. Very divided interior.

Also has one of only two bar billiards tables in Oxford that I was aware of - the other was in the Angel & Greyhound. Once hustled two junior doctors from the JR, won 50 of them. That was in the days when we though junior doctors would be minted. I have since found out they are pretty poorly paid so, if you are that long haired dude and his mate, get in touch and you can have your fifty balloo back.
lecavendish - 20 Jun 2006 13:34
This pub is truly outstanding!
I used to work at the Radcliffe Infirmary and it was a great place to go for a pint after work or just to meet up with friends.

Heavily recommended.

Top quality cider.
Charlie_Daniels - 1 Sep 2005 21:47
Good space. Bombardier a bit off, bit ok.
anonymous - 1 May 2005 22:40
One of the best selections of Belgians in Oxford. Trying a bit too hard since the re-fit, but still a smashing pub with bar billiards.
AJM1978 - 14 Mar 2005 17:58
My favourite pub in Oxford. Good cider, decent bar meals, friendly staff. Worth the walk from the centre of town.
el_capitano - 19 Feb 2005 14:38
Really lovely pub with great little alcoves and rooms so you can have a more private space. Really lovely food and great staff.
Katie - 9 Nov 2004 10:01
A fine selection of strong Belgium beers, although expensive well worth the visit. Also has bar billiards and a beauty jukebox. Small but pleasant garden in the rear.
Greg - 4 Jun 2004 18:01
Refurbished a year or two ago. Not bad, but quite expensive and can be heaving at weekends.
Jason Holdcroft - 25 Mar 2004 11:29

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