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Royal Oak, Winchester

Royal Oak Passage
SO23 9AU
Phone: 01962842701

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Pub Type

Greene King

Reviews (Current Rating Average: of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Moby Duck left this review about Royal Oak

The Royal Oak has claims to be the oldest pub in England,I'm sure that's very debatable,what's less debatable is that it's a rather run of the mill tourist pub, a purveyor of meal deals and ordinary beer, Hop Back Summer Lightning aside there was a bland lineup of GK Abbot ,IPA and London's Glory plus Westerham British Bulldog, which turned out to be poorly conditioned as well as bland. Obviously its an old building with a few hidden seating areas here and there but it's all a little to sterile and contrived to convince. Not a pub I would choose to return to.

On 14th April 2016 - rating: 5
[User has posted 1558 recommendations about 1539 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Ian Mapp left this review about Royal Oak

Interesting pub, playing on its history. Although, it seemed very modern inside.

They had Black Sheep Special on - which was a good find and in decent condition.

Less could be said about the food. I ordered the Steak - which I wouldn't have given to my dog. It had the consistency of a burger and very fatty.

Still, if you don't expect too much, you are not disappointed.

On 5th September 2015 - rating: 5
[User has posted 963 recommendations about 955 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about The Royal Oak

Supposedly "the oldest bar in England", according to the cantilever sign on the High Street indicating the entrance located up a small passageway. However, the semi-modern interior doesn't look that old despite some old timbers being visible (and the notice claiming that the "site" dates back to 1002 is probably more plausible). Various seating areas, but some a bit hidden away. As a Greene King house, IPA, Old Speckled Hen, Old Golden Hen, Abbot and the 'house' Royal Oak (£3.00) were available from the six handpumps along with Summer Lightning as a guest. (NB - Review dates from August 2012.)

On 10th February 2013 - rating: 6
[User has posted 7001 recommendations about 7001 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Quinno _ left this review about The Royal Oak

Claims to be very ancient, though the beams and cladding in the main room didn’t look 400 years old to me. Downstairs is the well-trailed ‘historic’ bit but there’s little history beyond a small section of wall behind a slab of perspex and the smell of damp. It’s a Greene King tied house, though with less of their usual corporate fanfare than usual. Ales were Wickwar Coopers, GK St Edmunds, GK IPA, GK OSH, and GK Abbot. My Wickwar was pedestrian though I’ve had better here previously. There are some booths to drink in and the atmosphere wasn’t too bad. I’d not make a beeline for the place again on my previous two visits experience as there are better options nearby.

On 15th July 2011 - rating: 5
[User has posted 4401 recommendations about 4387 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about The Royal Oak

For a pub that claims to have 'one of the oldest bars in Britain', I was surprised to find that more emphasis wasn't put on this aspect for the benefit of the tourists who must venture down the narrow alleyway from the main shopping street expecting a history lesson of sorts. The main bar is in fact, quite modern with what looks like new flooring, smart leather seats, multiple slot machines and dismal 'lift music’ playing over the speakers. The room has been opened out with just a couple of pastel shaded pillars breaking the space up. The overall effect was of a rather bland town centre chain pub - the sort which you might find just about anywhere in the country.
There are a couple of further rooms downstairs which are certainly a bit more atmospheric thanks to the low beamed ceiling, large brick fireplace and an intriguing section of old wall shielded behind a large sheet of perspex but with nothing by way of signage to explain what we might be looking at. The room smelt very musky and damp and was notably colder than the rest of the pub, but it was worth putting up with this just to get away from the music upstairs.
It's a Greene King pub, so we knew what to expect at the bar, although it was a pleasant surprise to find that the IPA, Abbot Ale and Old Speckled Hen were supplemented by St Edmunds and a guest - Wickwar Cooper's Ale. I tried the Wickwar which was a fairly average light bitter.
This pub has quite a lot of potential but it seemed to be missing a trick with its formulaic decor and what seems like a lazy approach to attracting custom. Whilst it is probably worth a look as part of an extended crawl, I would suggest that there are several better pubs within a minute or two from here.

On 13th July 2011 - rating: 5
[User has posted 2795 recommendations about 2795 pubs]

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Old Boots left this review about The Royal Oak

Popped in briefly one lunchtime to see if the place had changed any, it appears to be under new management as the screens have gone and the beer was in much better condition. Still has music playing from whatever source, but at a reasonable level, perhaps toned down a bit for lunchtimes. I also noticed cozy lower and upper drinking areas I missed last summer, certainly an improvement on last year.

On 7th July 2010 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2592 recommendations about 2360 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

richard Tyson left this review about The Royal Oak

Good pub pretty standard with a relaxed atmosphere. Food is of a good standard and has about 4 ales on tap at any time. unlike what old boots has said there is no jukebox (hasn't been one at least for 10 years) and also only one screen hidden away for sports (normally only internationals and finals)so one has to wonder if he has been there at all. it is also one of the cheaper places to sink a pint.

On 13th May 2010 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1 recommendations about 1 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Old Boots left this review about The Royal Oak

One of those that claims it’s the “oldest bar in England”, lots of light coloured “old” oak beams on display which combined with the open plan layout make it look and feel literally like drinking in a barn. Greene King’s normal range of kegs and casks plus a couple of guest beers, one from Hopback the other from Brewsters. The Hopback was pretty badly kept so I didn't try the other casks. There is an outdoor drinking and smoking area and the usual accoutrements, a loud juke box, sport on various TV’s, and lots of machines. It bills itself as “The No 1 meeting and eating venue in Winchester” so at least they’re not making any claims about the beer.

On 23rd November 2009 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2592 recommendations about 2360 pubs]