The Royal Oak (Halls)
Woodstock Road, Oxford
Monday to Saturday 11am to 11pm
Sunday 12 noon to 10.30pm
Food: Sunday 12 to 2.30pm
Monday to Saturday 12 to 2.30pm, 7.30pm to 10pm
Pontus Lurcock writes:
Huge. On the inside, pleasingly labyrinthine. The
arrangement recalls that of the New Bodleian, with a bar area at the
core dispensing supplies to the various rooms ranged about it. There
are corridors and corners, inconspicuous nooks and wide open spaces.
A pub for all tastes, but perhaps a tricky place to meet friends,
unless they are tall friends with flamboyant hats.
Beer is fine: generally three real ales on, and I don't think any of
them is a permanent fixture. I've never had a bad pint here.
At the back there used to be a pool table in an alcove so small as to
necessitate ridiculously short cues. Now they have removed it and put
in some tables and chairs and a bar billiard table. The bar billiard
table is up against a wall, making it impossible to shoot in a
rightward direction. But that is my only complaint about this pub.
Expensive, but pleasant. Contains about seven either room sized alcoves or
alcove sized rooms, a wide variety of games (video games, pool, bar
billiards, table football) all of which contrive to be relatively quiet on
account of the architecture of the place.
There's two ends to it, one of which is dark, wood-panelled and reasonably
atmospheric, the other of which is light, airy, pinefloored, wallpapered
and curiously antiseptic. I don't know why they make these bits the
no-smoking bits myself.
Food looks expensive.
There's plenty of squiggly (but not that squiggly) notices up explaining
the history of the place and the surrounding area. You'll generally find a
place to sit, and the service is quite friendly and reasonably quick,
considering the amount of traffic. Two cubicles, one soap, fifteen
Owen Massey writes:
The Royal Oak 'contains about seven rooms'. Note the 'about'. I don't
believe that anyone has ever explored the whole of the pub and come out
again. This does mean that half the pub is quiet and dark and half the pub
is loud and bright (that part with the jukebox in). The dark part has a
particularly strange selection of pictures on the wall, even by pub
standards - if anyone has an explanation for the American soldier leaving
home I'd like to hear it. It also seems to have two separate bars.