NHS_Martin on Twitter regularly updates his retiredmartin (Travel, Pubs, Music) blog with posts about his visits to pubs in connection with his mission to visit every pub listed in CAMRA's Good Beer Guide. Martin's posts always include a catchy title eg 'Tottering with Tim Thomas to the Turf Tavern'- an inspiration for the title of this post. If only I could adopt Martin's admirable ability of posting in a timely fashion instead of waiting until many relevant details have escaped my memory.
Pony Bikes, called for a photograph.
Oxford Castle, also deserved a photo.
Swan & Castle, a contemporary Wetherspoon pub opposite the new Westgate shopping centre and beside an access route to Oxford Castle Quarter.
Friends have told me that a Wetherspoon breakfast is the best way to start a pub crawl but today was the first time I graduated from a bacon roll to a full breakfast. Complemented with a 'bottomless' cup of coffee, my brunch cost less than £5.
I was already on my second Flat White when Martin and Christine (aka Mrs RM) arrived to join me for coffee.
We walked to the Victorian era St Aldate's Tavern via Bonn Square and past Oxford Town Hall, the venue for CAMRA's Oxford Beer and Cider Festival in October.
Wild Weather Ales Pirate Captain 6.5% ABV Jester IPA. As the narrow bar area downstairs was full we headed upstairs to 'The Blue Room' where Winter Olympic coverage was on the flat screen TV prior to the Six Nations Rugby.
We made ourselves comfortable and were soon joined by the rest of our erudite companions - Peter (Twitter's Pub Curmudgeon) whose The Pub Curmudgeon blog includes a link to the Beer and Pubs Forum. Other contributors to the Forum who joined us were Paul Mudge, Jon Benger, Michael a.k.a Citra and Oxford resident, Tim Hampson. A photo of the group appears later in this post.
Ullage - the West Berkshire CAMRA magazine, which includes a regular Curmudgeon column by Peter. I was also able to give Peter a proof copy of his column in the Spring issue. Martin promised not to set fire to his copy after an incident when a pub's candle had this effect on a previous issue. Martin confessed to this atrocity with a photo as evidence in a blog post!
See Martin's post about our visit to St Aldate's Tavern for more details of Saturday's visit.
Skinner's Porthleven Pale Ale that I had ordered. After a dash to locate my beer, which Martin had taken and was about to drink, I returned to the bar and authorised a top up of Pedigree IPA which was the beer Martin had ordered. Of course, the full pint did not survive being carried up the stairs but a napkin was found to dry the outside of the wet glass and we were both reunited with our respective pints. Porthleven is a beer that I will look out for again. Thanks go to Martin for spotting the 20% discount, for CAMRA members available at this Nicholson's pub, in time. The main group ordered lunch here but after my brunch I only needed a pint. See Martin's blog post for more photos of the Chequers and its courtyard.
Covered Market for their lunch, I headed back to the mock-Tudor style Castle pub, near the Westgate shopping centre, which is Hook Norton's first pub in the city.
Oakham Inferno guest ale had the right flavour but was not as cool as hoped for. Martin and Christine would soon join me here. See Martin's blog post for photos of the Covered Market and the Castle. On our departure, while Christine made a detour to visit Uniqlo, Martin and I took a circuitous route to the tucked away and historic Turf Tavern, which is overlooked by the Bell Tower of New College.
post (with my name in the title!) includes interesting photos taken en route.
There was a limited choice of beers at this Greene King pub and my choice was the indelicately named Daleside Old Legover.
We were able to rejoin the main group at a good sized table near a window in the busy pub.
|L to R: Paul Mudge, Jon Benger, Peter (Pub Curmudgeon), Michael (Citra) and Tim Hampson.|
See also Pub Curmudgeon's blog post on this Oxford Day Out.
My second ambition for this trip was to visit Tap Social Movement on Curtis Industrial Estate near the A34. With a tagline 'Criminally Good Beer' an unusual feature of this brewery is its focus on social justice. The brewery provides training courses for people serving prison sentences, o ffering courses in brewing and business start-up, and providing one-on-one support in securing permanent employment to assist in e ffective rehabilitation.
Hugh Pryor's bottle chandelier suspended from a BMX wheel.
Moliendo Café by Fanfare Ciocãrlia and the jazzy sound of Elijah's Remedy by TRI-Force.
The second half pint I enjoyed here was Hops off the Press a 5.1% ABV American style IPA with tropical flavours.
|Waiting for the bus back to Oxford station as the sun set|