Sunningwell, Nr Abingdon, Abingdon, Oxfordshire OX13 6RB
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8 reviews of The Bear Tavern in English
Lovely old-school pub in which, some years ago, I used to spend a lot of time ( I lived around the corner). Notable not merely for its tie collection, but also the timeless, cosy dark wood ambience; the perfect spot for a restorative afternoon pint should you find yourself Christmas shopping in Oxford, for example.
This pub serves pretty much the best pub food in town, no matter what other Broad-street located businesses claim. It's a very small place, so it is always quite hard to find a place to sit. The service is good and friendly, I never had to wait long for either drinks or food.
Packed chocka full of people, steam rising from the walls, cut-off old boy’s ties in glass cabinets around the walls and at least three different real ales to choose from? What more do I need to say.
This is a great little find if you’re new to Oxford, and if you’re and old hand, well worth returning to on a regular basis. If you happen in here on a night when the Christchurch crowd have some posh event they’re all lauding over you can laugh at them in their black tie. Catch it on a quiet Sunday and you can enjoy one of the benches in the front room or settle down for a decent chat around one of the more sizeable tables in the back.
They have McCoys, which is always important for me. The staff didn’t used to be so over-friendly, but I was in here the other night and was pleasantly surprised. I guess the thought of all those Christchurch folk heading home at the end of Michaelmas term cheers the staff. Don’t blame them.
If you’re lucky enough to be enjoying Oxford in the summer then try the outside seating at the bear. I’ve wasted many an afternoon here. The old hooky and the McCoys go down a treat.
A lovely little pub, this. Very small, with a low ceiling – I’m 6 foot 4, so this is a serious danger after a few jars – and very cosy, with a good range of drinks, decent staff, and a charmingly daft collection of cut-off ties over all the walls. There are lots of good pubs in Oxford and this is one of them – definitely worth popping in for a pint. It’s often busy (probably as it’s so central) but has an outside seating area if you really can’t find a seat. Probably too small and busy to stay for hours and hours, but a lovely spot for a quick pint.
An enduring Oxford classic that’s continued to do the simple things well, and has succeeded for it.
The cut-off tie collection which adorns every wall and ceiling in the back room, and most other spare surfaces, is what the Bear is most famous for; but it’s worth visiting for the wonderful atmosphere as much as that oft-cited curiosity.
The range of ales is magnificent, and there’s normally a guest or two on to make things more interesting; the small size adds to the charm (and in the summer is extended by the tables in the courtyard area behind the pub); and the food is more than adequate.
Although it occasionally gets filled by groups of tourists or by sports teams, they normally move on fairly quickly, leaving it to the regular mix of its regulars and some of the more down-to-earth students.
The Bear claims to be the oldest pub in Oxford, and it certainly feels delightfully vintage. Check out the display of old ties! Not much explanation or reason, but hey, who needs one anyway!
It’s a nice mixture of locals, students and the odd, intrepid tourist, but is difficult to find if you don’t know it already exists. It’s still always really busy, so expect to wait a while at the bar and for your food. Still, service isn’t unreasonably slow, and it’s nice on a cold evening to cram in and absorb the warm and bubbly atmosphere.
They do vintage ales and a reasonable range of soft drinks for the non-drinkers and drivers out there. The prices aren’t extortionate, but are sadly in line with central Oxford rates, so maybe best to pretend you’re paying a 'lovely old pub tax’ to soften the blow of an otherwise very down-to-earth place.
They used to do a quiz at 8:30 every Monday, which was very popular. It’s worth checking if they still do, as it was a real cracker. I definitely recommend turning up early if so though, and don’t expect it to be an easy win!
The Bear Tavern is a great pub - at least visit it once whilst in Oxford. It is pretty small and can be pretty busy so you have to time it right. If you are going for lunch get there around noon or just before rather than a little later when its so busy. The food is the typical burgers etc but they have some very good vegetarian options. And the menu isnt badly priced.
The atmosphere is very good, warm and homely and it reminds you that you are in oxford with all the different college and boating ties decorating the walls.
The feel of the pub is quite old and traditional. The ceiling is low, and there is a lot of old creaky wood about.
The ales are good as there is a large range of traditional ales to choose from.
I probably wouldnt eat here but i would pop in for one at the beginning of my evening out - or just during the afternoon.
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