Oxford’s Quirky Pubs and Bars

Oxford is known as a city of creativity and that extends to its clubs, pubs and bars. So we explored the streets of Oxford in search of the city’s most unique haunts and drinking holes in search of the best. So join us as we run down some of our favourites!

The Mad Hatter

Tucked on the corner of Iffley Road and Circus Street, this Alice in Wonderland themed speakeasy may be one of the strangest cocktail bars in all of Oxford. The unique experience starts directly on arrival, as the doorman will ask you to answer a riddle before they’ll let you into the weird world of the interior.

Inside you’ll find a monument to English eccentricity. With an oddly decorated bar that features retro-phone based table service, optical illusions and cocktails served in teapots and teacups. The bar also hosts a weekly karaoke night, regular drinks mixing classes and is available for private hire.

If you’re looking for a unique night out, you’ll be hard put to find a stranger place than The Mad Hatter.

Freud Cafe

In the historical Jericho section of Oxford stands St Paul’s Church, a Greek revival church built in 1835 and, for the last 30 years, home of the Freud Cafe. With its pillar-clad exterior, high ceilings and opulent stained glass, drinks at Freud is a unique social experience and a firm favourite of friends, families and students alike thanks to its unique setting.

The Bear Inn

The Bear is Oxford’s oldest pub and has been serving guests since 1242. This small pub seats only two-dozen in its cosy, low ceilinged and wood-panelled interior, but what it lacks in space this traditional inn makes up for in personality and atmosphere. The Bear does also feature a heated garden, meaning that even if you can’t squeeze inside, you can still enjoy the wide range of traditional ales and delicious food available from this traditional British establishment.

Tap Social Movement Taproom

Founded in 2016 by three criminal justice workers, the Tap Social Movement Taproom is more than just a bar. Launched as a craft beer brewery that focused on developing marketable and transferable skills in those struggling to find work for reasons outside of their control, the mission of Tap Social Movement is not only creating and sharing great beer but also helping the local community.

The open taproom and community space plays regular host to live music and, being based out of Oxford’s industrial sector, offers a uniquely industrial decor. If you’re looking for a combination of great live music and locally produced craft beers – which can all be enjoyed while making a positive change in the community – then the Tap Social Movement Taproom is for you.

Oxford is jam-packed full of great pubs and bars and we’ve only talked about four of them! There are plenty more ales to sample, wines to taste and unique venues to experience. Hardwick Parks is located just 12 miles from the centre of Oxford and is the ideal place to relax after a day (or night!) out in Oxford. To learn more about Hardwick Parks and to book for the 2019 season, visit our website.

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