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Beer of the Week (w/e 22nd May 2022) with ROBCamra on the Pub Forum

The Holly Bush, Osney, Oxford

Pub added by elizabeth mcgraw
106 Bridge Street
Phone: 01865242333

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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 The Holly Bush

Recently reopened - it was boarded up when I passed by two years ago - this pub has been dramatically smartened up since the previous review and is now part of the Charles Wells' Pizza Pots Pints branded subdivision.
Situated in a lovely scenic location on Osney Island by the Thames, there's a very new interior which is essentially modern fake 'Victorian' with lots of dark wood and some bare brick to the fireplace; furniture is conventional and traditional with some velour upholstered armchairs. The bar front is similarly woody with a tiled bar apron and a little modern shiny white glazed tiling to the bar back.
Due to the pestilence, opening times were reduced and typical protocols were in place. We got off to a bad start when the front door's mounted sanitiser dispenser ejaculated onto my shoe.
Once inside, a friendly barmaid took me through their electronic requirements, service only being available to those with a smartphone. First, select your drink of choice and size, then select the table number. Next, fill in the phone and email fields. Then of all things, I had to submit my bank details. I didn't feel comfortable giving this to a pub and couldn't in any event as, due to using my phone to make payments, guess what? I didn't have my card on me so as I couldn't comply with the pub's requirements, I had to leave - Hans Gruber had an easier time breaking into the Nakatomi Bank's vault.
For the record, beers included Directors' (£4.30) and 'Charlie Wells' Pale (this seems to be the hipster wing of Charles Wells); thereafter two unused pumps.
This is an adequate modern/traditional pub in a great spot, but it's a bit of a hike from the city centre so I don't envisage a return visit, even when normality returns.

On 4th September 2020 - rating: 5
[User has posted 1502 recommendations about 1481 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Quinno _ left this review about The Holly Bush

A massive refurb here after purchase by Charlie Wells, involving a huge amount of internal repositioning and the addition of a rear dining room. The current vogue of light wood planking and exposed brick is present and correct though thankfully done in a restrained and tasteful manner. Three ales on; Courage Directors, Adnams Ghost Ship and Marstons 61 Deep (NBSS 4). A massive improvement, hats off to Wells. 6.5

August 2014
Set back from the main road in an ostensibly pretty location, this is sadly a fairly beaten-up GK pub. Bare boarded, open-plan room with a white and oxford blue (painted quarter length wood panelling) colour scheme. A pool table dominates one side of the room, alongside a dart board. Fairly loud and charmless music pounded away throughout my stop from the jukey. Furnishings are, like the rest of the pub, pretty basic and quite battered. Oddly amongst the spartan decor was an upright piano and some sort of mini antique jukebox (for decoration only). Basic unkempt rear smoking patio with a large target and scoreboard but no indication as to why. Door marked B&B here, not sure if accommodation is offered. Two pumps with just Doom Bar (so-so) on, served by a very friendly barmaid. Could be so much more. Rated 4

On 5th March 2020 - rating: 7
[User has posted 4361 recommendations about 4347 pubs]