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St Aldates Tavern, Oxford

108 St Aldates
Phone: 01865241185

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 7 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Tris C left this review about St Aldates Tavern

This was originally the New Inn (the name can still be seen to a passage at the pub’s right) and amazingly dates back in some form to at least 1397.
Although I lived in Oxford for seven years, I only came here once before on our PuG Summer 2016 Oxford crawl and it’s largely as described below. There’s a Victorian-meets-hipster interior, with some details probably dating from the 1930s, along with bored games and TVs with the sound off, showing the tennis; piped music is a little loud for comfort. Probably due to its close proximity to an arterial bus stop, the pub seems to appeal as much to Town as it does to Gown but also to tourists.
The ale range varies depending on which day of the week you visit; visit early in the week (when footfall is lower), the range is limited. However, visit later in the week and you can experience a far larger range, including the likes of XT Animal, Hooky Gold, Tribute or Oakham Citra at a reasonable £2.40 the half and good, served by very friendly bar staff.
This is a worth inclusion on a crawl, but the dependence on TV sport is a bit of a minor deterrent; the Royal Blenheim down the road offers a more authentic pub experience with a superior ale range and is off the tourist and Town trail.

On 4th June 2022 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1532 recommendations about 1510 pubs]

Graham Coombs left this review about St Aldates Tavern

A pleasant old pub with a modern feel. There are high benches and stools tp one side, with lower tables the other and the bar beyond. A stone-floored room at the back leads to the kitchen, while a function room upstairs was signed as additional seating but was neither needed nor visited. Ales on were Tribute, Hooky Gold and Old Hooky, Animal Springbok and Oakham Citra. Quite respectable and would happily visit again.

On 2nd June 2022 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2676 recommendations about 2619 pubs]

Pub SignMan left this review about St Aldates Tavern

This is a cosy and compact single room pub with a good central location close to Christ Church College. The pub has a lovely herringbone patterned parquet floor, walls painted in a warm colour scheme and a high ceiling dotted with fancy light fittings. A row of tables and chairs runs down each side of the room, supplemented by a drinking ledge to the right with some high stools, and a short L-shaped banquette under one of the front windows. The room’s centrepiece is probably the attractive fireplace, which stands to the left, just before the servery appears midway into the room. The bar counter has a sweeping curved end, fronted by nice wood panels, all in front of a rather pedestrian modern bar back. The place has gone for a contemporary version of a traditional pub, and this is perhaps best reflected in the décor and furnishings, which include some very cool looking old lamps, lots of miscellaneous pictures around the walls, a trophy cabinet with various bits of sporting equipment next to it, several mirrors, some old barrel ends and a couple of TV screens, one of which was showing a muted football documentary for the benefit of absolutely no-one. The pub does run a way beyond the bar, but seating back here seemed to be pretty limited and no-one was sat back her. There was a good collection of board games stacked up in the front window and the clientele ranged from elderly ladies dining, young students reading in front of the fireplace and a few lecturer types. A decent indie soundtrack played at an unobtrusive level throughout the course of my visit.
A cheery barman greeted me and poured me a fine pint of Oakham Citra from a cask range that also included XT25, Animal Ice Kings, St Austell Tribute and Hook Norton old Hooky plus a Lilleys cider and an unused pump. The Citra was in excellent condition and was definitely befitting of the pub’s Good Beer Guide inclusion.
This seemed like a very nice little pub doing all of the basics pretty well. I felt very welcome and comfortable sat here with my beer and paper and could happily have spent longer here if the opportunity had arisen. I perhaps doesn’t quite have the ‘wow’ factor of some of Oxford’s more prominent historic pubs, nor quite the ale range of a top alehouse, but I enjoyed my time here and would definitely recommend it as a quiet bolthole away from the tourists and shoppers that dominate this part of town.

On 7th February 2022 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2826 recommendations about 2826 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about St Aldates Tavern

Attractive city-centre pub, albeit less interesting inside than one might hope with a heavily modified bar area and partially opened-out room beyond. However, the selection from the seven handpumps included Flying Monk Pendulum (£4.55), a couple from Loose Cannon as well as XT3 (one of the regular beers from that brewery).

On 29th September 2019 - rating: 7
[User has posted 7108 recommendations about 7108 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Bucking Fastard left this review about St Aldates Tavern

Modest sized interior which has a modern vibe despite the age of the building.On entering there is a long "scrubbed" refectory table in the middle where you may well share the space,a further long table,fitted bench seating below a window and a drinking ledge with associated high stools.Above the old fireplace is a flatscreen cleverly disguised with a picture of the area clipped on when not in use,a great idea.It appeared that currently only 6 nations rugby will be screened.The bar is to one side,while to the rear is another seating area down a step immediately infront of the opening for the kitchen.
Food is popular here,posh pub grub served on bread boards and slates with the chips in an enamel mug rather than builders tea.Most mains are over £10,but the quality looked good and the fish & chips were doing a roaring trade to the afterwork crowd with the interior quite busy on a Wednesday evening visit.
The bar sports 6 handpumps with regulars in the shape of Dark Star Hophead , Hooky Bitter and something from XT while on my trip one of the guests was from XT's occasional brewhouse Animal Brewing Bastard Bunny Brew Ha Ha,a 7% double IPA in such fine condition that a second pint had to be consumed as the big finish to a very good ale session.The keg selection also included something interesting from XT and Dogfish besides the usual suspects.
I found the service to be very crisp and efficient ,with a great steer to a very decent curry house close by.Although prices for both ale and food are at a premium,if the pub continues to offer a good range of ale strengths and styles in good nick ,with the sad passing of Far From the Madding Crowd this would now be my first choice for real ale in the city centre.Fully deserves it's 2015 GBG listing.

A change of vibe here ,more sports bar orientated and a greater student mix and odour,it's a bit scruffy.BT Sport was airing a Spurs Champions League defeat.However the ale choice and condition still make this one of the better pubs to visit in Oxford,a city not noted for real ale excellence.

On 8th March 2018 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2384 recommendations about 2384 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Ian Mapp left this review about St Aldates Tavern

In the GBG Guide. Initially quiet. Big fan of the XT brews but the number 2 I had was in quite poor condition. Not bad enough to take it back but I expected a bit more.

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On 27th July 2017 - rating: 4
[User has posted 277 recommendations about 276 pubs]

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Steve of N21 left this review about St Aldates Tavern

An attractive Georgian exterior houses a modern light and airy interior with wooden flooring and distressed bench seating as well described below. Decent beer range on offer which included Prescott Hill Climb and Brightside Brewing Co. Manchester Skyline but I also went for the XT2 and XT3 offerings which were in good nick..
Really enjoyed my visit here which I primarily attribute to the beer range, but may have had something to do with the fact that the couple of muted flat screen tele’s were showing England giving a drubbing to Pakistan in the cricket at the time.

On 12th August 2016 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1849 recommendations about 1785 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Real Ale Ray left this review about St Aldates Tavern

The main features I liked about this pub along with my excellent pint of XT2, were the antique glass widow panes, with some original bulls eye panels. The granite fireplace over on the left hand side of entrance and the parquet floor. The bar was modern with a painted front and pine counter. Large black lamps also featured hanging over the bar counter. A decent pub, so well worth a visit.

On 29th July 2016 - rating: 8
[User has posted 3126 recommendations about 3126 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Moby Duck left this review about St Aldates Tavern

Attractive exterior to the pub, once inside there is a more modern makeover with a mixture of styles and I found it to be a bit of a mish mash,however there are six pumps for real ale and although I managed to forget to note the beers on for some reason, I remember it to have been a a decent selection and my XT 3 was good enough.
Its OK here and will happily return.

On 25th July 2016 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1586 recommendations about 1567 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Quinno _ left this review about St Aldates Tavern

A quick stop-off to shelter from a passing shower gave me a good half of Dark Star Blockhead, a tough choice amongst the impressive line-up. Sneaks up another point.

November 2014
Two revisits have found truly excellent pints from the likes of Dark Star, Great Heck and XT. However on the first visit the world's stupidest barmaid messed up the change on both visits to the bar. This place really doesn't want me to enjoy it...but the quality of the beer means I'll be back again I suspect - it's come a long way in a short time. Rated 7

December 2013
A fairly new kid on the block and was recommended to me by the bar staff at the Grapes as a wildcard. It sports an attractive exterior on approach. Six pumps with four on (Late Knights, Black Iris, Dark Star Hophead and Box Steam Porter). An interesting range but claims outside of the “widest ale range in Oxford” perhaps overly boastful in context. Quality below-par; my Box Steam was OK but died quite quickly in the glass. The follow-up of Black Iris was flat. Modernised interior décor - a turquoise spectrum colour scheme, woodblock flooring and dodgy 'distressed' tables laid out in a canteen-style as mentioned below. Food offered, with Scotch eggs and 'hand cut chips' for bar snacks. Blue Room upstairs which is bookable for functions etc. A good solid outlet if somewhat less inspiring than other OX1 pubs on the ale quality front. Perhaps I caught it on a bad day. Rated 6

On 18th September 2015 - rating: 8
[User has posted 4423 recommendations about 4408 pubs]

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