Rose & Crown
North Parade Avenue
left off Banbury Road
going out of town
1 mile north of city centre
Check for times
Rose & Crown
North Parade is a small mid-Victorian terraced street of upmarket shops and the Rose and Crown, a distinguished pub. In 1954 the licensing authority's criticism of its toilets threatened the Rose and Crown's continued existence. Among its defenders was John Veale, composer, who described the pub as a home of flippant and witty conversation. Perhaps in tribute to this there is definitely no juke box or piped music, and, mercifully, no electronic games either. Don't be surprised if you are asked to pay for drinks in pre-decimalisation money. This pub is a Sycamore Taverns pub. The company was formed in 1992 with 240 pubs across most areas of England, from Lancashire to the south. The guest beers tend to be from Bass and Whitbread, though this is essentially a Carlsberg-Tetley beer pub. Beers are Burton, ABC bitter, and Dartmoor Best. Food is served every lunchtime between 12-2.15 and every evening (6-9.45 Mon-Fri; 6-8.45 Sat; 7-8.45 Sun). if you are just peckish for a nibble with your beer, then Pistachio nuts are sold by the beer glass. For more conventional appetites, there is a good range of homemade food including unusual items such as fidget (i.e. gammon and apple pie) and whole trout. Vegetarians are well catered for, though that ubiquitous lasagna is there. In the summer they also do barbecues on summer lunchtimes. There is no beer garden, but there is seating outside in the courtyard which can be covered by a rolling roof on rainy and cold days and heated by braziers like extraterrestrial mushrooms. There's also a small room beyond the courtyard which is open at lunchtimes. Children are not allowed. Disabled access is possible. Piano (and occasionally guitar) played Tuesday evenings. The pub sponsors the Oxford City Stars ice hockey team and also has a quiz and cricket sides. More idiosyncratically, there is also a tradition of dongola racing (six people paddle a punt and pretend to be hurrying to the relief of Khartoum)??????. There is no accommodation here.
Other Pubs to try:
The Wharf House, Speedwell Street/Thames Street. 4 beers plus Belgian selection.
The Hobgoblin, St. Aldates. Up to 4 ales.
The Bear, Blue Boar Street. 4 beers.
The Head of the River, Folly Bridge. Fullers beers.
Far from the Madding Crowd, Friar's Entry, nr Borders bookshop. 3 beers.
The Old Tom, St. Aldates. Greene King
The Oxford Blue, 32, Marston St, Oxford, OX41JU. 01865 723898
Hollybush Guest House
530 Banbury Road
Double en-suite from £50.