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Big Society, St Clements, Oxford

95 Cowley Road
Oxford
OX4 1HR

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 6 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Tris C left this review about Big Society

Big Society: "integrating the free market with a theory of social solidarity based on hierarchy and voluntarism". Quite how this relates to the former Elm Tree is anyone's guess, but this was my first into a pub close to where I lived for several years in a none too desirable part of Oxford.
It is indeed opened out with a three-room format with the bar in the middle section, a table tennis rig taking up the whole of the left room with the right room occupied by tubular steel and plywood furniture with a dartboard. The middle room is quite large but has no furniture other than a few tall stools to deep drinking ledges in front of the windows which have modern secondary glazing, presumably to reduce noise pollution with the windows shaded by makeshift curtains made from old hessian sacks. Paintwork is all white, there's much pale wood with shiny white tiling behind the bar and shaded metal hanging lamps along with hipster filament bulbs in cages, all of which gives the impression of drinking in a TB sanatorium from the 1920s. Bogs are located in an outhouse which is just beyond the largely covered beer patio which is also now home to the table football. There's food here in the form of a 'pulled mushroom burger', whatever that may be, to be consumed with the contents of all the sauce bottles which litter the tables. Customers were certainly young, though given the holidays, I'm not sure if they were students or not.
Ales: five keg and cider taps from chrome founts and an obscured pump delivering Big Society Pale Ale (Shotover) which I missed, plumping for the keg Siren Sound Wave at £2.00 a half which is a bargain considering that a pint cost £4.50. It was quite nice by keg standards.
This isn't a bad place by local comparisons, but with great pubs in Jericho, I can't see why anyone would want to drink on this street.

On 29th August 2019 - rating: 4
[User has posted 988 recommendations about 973 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Quinno _ left this review about Big Society

Recent (2012) change from a pub called the Elm Tree, this is now a good students boozer. Enter to an opened-out main room, dimly lit on my evening visit with better than average ‘alternative’ piped music. Another area is to the right, leading out to a roofed-over patio area that clearly bothers the smoking ban but I liked it. A games room to the left of the main bar with table tennis and table football, well frequented on my visit. Food (American diner-style, burgers etc) and WiFi offered. Two ales at the bar - a house pale ale from the local Shotover and Wild Weather Coaleition. On requesting a half the efficient barman produced a glass from a large fridge…assumptions that it was to disguise a warm, lacklustre beer were unfounded as the resultant ale was in rather good shape. If you're out this way and can cope with students, this is a winner. I know I'd use it if I were one and I was really rather impressed.

On 6th May 2014 - rating: 8
[User has posted 3997 recommendations about 3985 pubs]