Near the heart of Oxford is the White Horse Pub, at cellar level, which made for a slightly cooler atmosphere in the summer heat. We had lunch here, and it seemed like the first time we had a pub lunch more in line with a traditional pub food, rather than gastro pub food.
We had a coronation chicken sandwich, which is a curry spiced chicken salad in a baguette, and a more simple chicken and ham sandwich on buttered granary bread. The latter was exactly like the pub sandwiches I used to have. Good stuff.
Ted had a nicely pulled pint of Brakspear ale, an Oxford ale. I probably had lemonade, I don’t remember.
This pub was used in the filming of Inspector Morse, a crime drama from the 1980s. It’s been used in other filming, but Morse is more memorable for me.
The White Horse
We’d an hour and something to kill before catching the train back to London. A cream tea was on the cards, but surely that wouldn’t take 90 minutes. Liquid refreshment by way of a real ale was sought from a pub with character, preferably also with free wifi. Mac recommended the Old Thatch Tavern.
Ted selected the Purity Ale. I was warned that the wifi signal wasn’t so great and they were right. Oh well.
One item to note: this pub was a Football Free Zone.
The Old Thatch Tavern
The primary purpose of this trip was to attend a wedding. We’d set off to the Cotwalls Friday morning after breakfast, arriving in Evesham around lunchtime. We were picked up and driven the rest of the way to Inkberrow, a very small town in Worcestershire where the wedding would take place.
We spent the afternoon with the groom and his friends catching up, or in my case, getting acquainted. And what better way to do that than over a pint of real ale from the local pub.
The Old Bull might be in a very small town, but does have a small claim to fame. This is the pub in the fictional British radio series ‘The Archers.’ Despite its requistite Archers memorabilia, there is undeniable charm to a wonky standing old pub with giant fire places, old rafters and real ales on tap.
Phooooaarr, just look at the creamy effervescence slowly settling. That’s a nicely pulled pint and must sit for a couple minutes before it’s ready to be quaffed.
And don’t forget, Simon plays on Sunday!
The Old Bull Pub
I’m not Irish. I don’t expect anyone to wear red for Chinese New Year if they’re not Chinese. So what’s up with a threat of getting pinched for not wearing green.
I knew it would be best to avoid State Street and its CBD bars, but some friends did want to have a swift half somewhere. A pity Telegraph’s tasting room is more a weekend thing, but we made it work at Dutch Garden.
It was a great surprise to learn some of my bar enthusiast friends had never been there before. Friends that love an old school atmosphere at that. Dutch Garden has that in spades, being 50+ years old and those teensy little bar chairs and the corrugated metal roof that makes you feel like you’re kicking back in a garage.
Its patrons are fiercely devoted. No matter that they love German food, they love *Dutch Garden’s* German food and will hardly think to patronize this town’s only other German restaurant just a little ways down the road. It’s amusing, and a testament to how endearing Dutch Garden can be, but also a little disappointing. There is so little German food in Santa Barbara, why not spread the love around and keep more German restaurants in business. But I digress.
We went for a beer, to pay a very casual homage to St. Patrick, but more to enjoy a good beer. I had Belgian Piraat, a triple fermented ale. Potent, and flavorful.
I was with two vegetarians. Pescidarians, actually. You’d think this German restaurant would be the last place to provide vegetarian fare, but DG actually got back on my radar because another veggie friend considered it one of his favorite restaurants. There is always a fish dish available, but more simply, a basket of rye, a salad and a bowl of soup is a satisfactory meal and meat-free.
Tonight’s soup was carrot and almond. Oh dayum, it was really good. A fellow sitting next to me at the bar, a fiercely devoted type, said he loved German food and this was his favorite restaurant in town. Stated with friendly but strong conviction. He enjoyed the soup, and his serving was actually what put the rest of us over the edge and we ordered it.
Getting into late afternoon, we were migrating away from food and towards beverages. Magnolia was our last food stop, although it was primary to sample the beverages. One thing was certain, though, this place won the award for the best designed menu. The prize…was getting its picture taken. Um, not that you can see it in the small version. Since these are not my photos, I do not have the easy flickr links to the larger images. You’ll just have to trust me, or simply ignore this rambling sentance.
The boys had some lovely beers that were fragrant and flavorful, I had a root beer, which they also brew in-house, and we shared a small platter of oysters that we nearly cried over, because we were so full from all our feastings earlier, yet could not stop eating because they were so delicious.
Please, admire the carnage.
(photos by Ted Mills, of course)
It’s a bit murky, a bit smelly, a lot loudy, and gosh darn it, I liked it.
Not a hint of CBDs in sight. (CBD = cougers and douche bags)
Beer is served at a good temperature to bring out the best aroma and flavor – not freezing cold to numb the taste buds of dire piss water that passes as beer at sports bars.
But…the bathroom. I have to complain about that. Someone scrawled graffiti of “OXNARD RULES” just above the toilet. They need to get rid of that. Misleading.
(photos by Ted Mills)
Toronado (Lower Haight)