Newest Review: ... quite literally no other people in there. It was so lonely we had to talk to the barman. Apparently it was dinnertime at Christ Church and ... more
The Oxford Bar Reveiw
Bars & Entertainment
Member Name: Duncan1
Bars & Entertainment
Date: 21/04/01, updated on 21/05/01 (198 review reads)
Advantages: Bars have their own individual character
Disadvantages: No centralised student venue
After attempting to drink at as many college bars as I could (for research purposes of course) I came to the conclusion that without a reliable guide a new student might find themselves rather lost. So I took it upon myself to write this article just in case someone should be tempted by the false delights of St John's bar. The other opinions on the thread are slightly out of date as well.
Each college has its own bar. Since there is no central student union the bars are the focal points of university and college life. The quality varies, but in general they offer cheap beverages and a friendly atmosphere. Most of the bars open at about 6pm but don't expect to find anyone in them until about 8pm. All the bars close at 11pm but they sometimes get extension if they have a bop going on (a bop is a stupid oxford word for a party, a college might have 3 every term. The Wadham and Baliol bops are probably the best around; avoid the Hilda's bop whatever you do).
This bar, set in one of the most impressive colleges, is itself quite impressive. There is more seating then any of the other colleges, a cheap table football table and friendly bar staff pulling cheap pints. However when I visited the bar there were quite literally no other people in there. It was so lonely we had to talk to the barman. Apparently it was dinnertime at Christ Church and everybody ate together. Avoid this bar between 7pm-8pm. I find the college itself quite unfriendly but as yet I'm unqualified to comment on the atmosphere in the bar.
Having been refused service at this bar for not being a member of the college my opinion of this bar is not particularly high. From what I remember of that night the bar was quite nice... but I’m not going back anyway.
Balliol has a nice cheap bar set underground. It is quite large and features a pool table and a footy table. The bigwigs in the Ox
ford Student Union often frequent it. Tuesdays night are the best nights as they do drinks promos, doubles for £1.35 and cheap pints before 8pm.
St John's is the richest and one of the largest college, it seems, therefore, to have no excuse for its bar. The John's bar is one of the smallest and least frequented in the university. The prices are more expensive. Probably one to avoid.
Keble college itself is probably the most unattractive of all the Oxford colleges with its nasty multicoloured brick design. However the bar is modern with a space age design. It has a sweeping glass wall, which makes it very nice for drinking in during the summer. The prices are reasonable.
Probably the busiest bar in Oxford and it always seems crowded. You will need someone to let you in and out of the college as well. Avoid bop nights, as it gets very busy. Bar prices are in the middle of the spectrum.
A smaller bar but with cheap drinks and some beers a pound a pint. Not usually busy but a friendly atmosphere is guaranteed. Set underground which is a drawback. Has a nicely maintained pool table. Attractive bar staff, if my memory serves me correctly.
This is a modern spacious bar. Friendly bar staff and clean toilets add to its appeal. Earlier in the evening there is usually somewhere to sit. Wadham's open door policy is another advantage as you never have to let your friends in or indeed even know anyone at the college. It has a friendly atmosphere and the prices are reasonable.
St Hugh's is the least central of all the colleges and is therefore one of the least visited. I briefly visited it's bar which was quite big with reasonable bar prices. However after leaving the bar at around midnight I took a wrong turn and instead of walking back to the Town Centre and my college I walked towards Summertown. Upon arriving in
Summertown I realised my error and was then left facing an hours walk to get home.
Admittedly I am biased with this one as I am a student here but I think this is one of the best bars in the university. Prices are middle of the road as they were raised a couple of years ago to encourage more study (I don't think it did much good, the bar bills just went up). Until last year it did not accept cash but it does now. It has one beer on tap and most of the regular beers on draught. It is in the crypt of the old college chapel (1379) and its subterranean feel is its main drawback, although in the summer term there is some natural sunlight. The bar is quite big and it never feels crowded although there are usually quite a few people in the bar as the 2nd years live in the college. The bar boasts a Who Wants to be a Millionaire machine and a two racing game as well as table football.
This is by no means a complete list. As I make my way round the other bars I'll post my thoughts here but these are probably the best ones anyway.