Oo, way too many recommendations! Not sure how well you know the city, but I used to live in Cowley, which the grittier end (if Oxford has one): there are lots of good little places as you walk up Cowley Road from St Clement’s roundabout.
• Kazbar. A cosy, if slightly over-themed warren of a bar that does Moroccan/Spanish tapas, usually complete with hareem pant-clad waiters.
• Hi-Lo. When it comes to late-night Red Stripe drinking, Hi-Lo is a bit of an institution. The Jamaican owner is certainly a character; Channel 4 once interviewed him about how David Cameron used to babysit his kids…
Back into the centre:
• The Grand Cafe. A small but beautiful bar with a rather regal feel about it. Good cocktails and afternoon tea.
• The Turf. Super-touristy pub that’s a bit hard to find, but still fun for a pint of Old Rosie.
• The Bear. I reckon this is the best of Oxford’s traditional pubs: small, rickety and – from what I remember – covered in dusty displays of old ties.
Jericho is a little more picturesque than east Oxford, and has a load of slightly smarter bars and restaurants. There’s a Freud in London, so I’m a little loathe to recommend it, but the Oxford branch’s setting in an old church is gorgeous. Oh, and if it’s sunny, head out to The Trout ‘gastropub’ where you might just find peacocks wandering between the tables out by the river.
Hope that helps!
Fantastic, thanks Ellie. I don’t know Oxford particularly well, so these tips will be really useful. I especially like the sound of Hi-Lo and The Bear!
The Kings Arms at the end of broad street is also really good- they do amazing food which comes really quickly. There are quite a few nice places on Little Clarendon Street in Jericho and generally in that direction- quite a few cocktail bars and nice pubs. The Eagle and Child is always a favourite- so is prone to get quite busy. But definitely worth it. Well known for being the meeting place of J.R.R Tolkein and C.S Lewis.