An extremely cold evening in Oxford after a day in London and a lot of dashing around meant that the view through the window of The Adventurer Oxford was a welcoming sight indeed… a warm glow, a buzz of activity and the promise of somewhere to escape the cold.
Okay, the idyllic picture I have just set was ruined slightly by the fact the second I stepped through the door into the warmth my glasses instantly fogged up and rendered me blind but that is beside the point, at least I was warm. Once the mist had cleared I was able to appreciate my surroundings, the reincarnation of what was The Honey Pot on Hollybush Row (opposite The Jam Factory near the train station).
The interior of The Adventurer has been given a complete makeover giving off a colonial ‘Dr Livingstone I presume?’ kind of feel to it but without feeling over the top and kitsch, as is so often the case when a pub has a particular theme behind it. The refurb has been done to a high standard and there are enough nice little touches about the place that it feels like it was done a few years ago, rather than a few weeks ago. The little sugar bowl on the bar like the one my gran used to have for example, little touches but they soften the new edge to the place and make it feel like somewhere you can relax.
So, what does The Adventurer have to offer for the discerning drinker then? Well, you have all the usuals you would expect but with a twist; Brooklyn Lager, Birra Moretti, Symond’s Founders Reserve Cider, Amstel and Guinness so a bit more interesting than boring old Fosters and Strongbow. If, like me, you love a good real ale then don’t despair as one pump is in place and ready for Deuchars IPA from Caledonian Brewery and a second will be following soon after, with the plan to be to feature a series of craft and local ales.
I have purposely left the range of cocktails to last as the carefully curated list on offer looks really exciting. I was pleased to not find pages and pages of choice but a menu that has been split into sections to help make that all important decision…
- Adventurer – featuring a collection of authentic favourites from around the globe all at £6 and including the likes of a Caipirinha from Brazil, a Mint Julep from the USA and the Bramble from England which appeared to be very popular!
- Navigator – classic libations, vintage favourites and forgotten treasures such as the Sazerac, Hemingway Daiquiri and the Army & Navy
- Explorer – a collection of new discoveries, experimental and twisted classics aimed at those wanting to try something a little different including the Smoked Manhattan or Tristan’s Tractor.
Alongside these offerings is the aged cocktail for £9, the evocatively named Maiden’s Prayer No.2 which has been mixed and aged in a cute little barrel on the bar. Slushies and Hard Shakes complete the menu and if I hadn’t of been driving I would have definitely tried the Jagermeister Milkshake described as ‘a thick vanilla ice cream shake, infused with a double dose of Jager’. One of those drinks that sounds a great idea at 12am but not so much the next morning.
The pub itself is split into two sections with a scattering of tables opposite the bar, a nice comfy sofa against the wall with a couple of high tables and stools to the side of the bar. There is a second area behind the bar with more tables and with a more relaxed feel than the front bar. A door leads out to a patioed garden area that I am sure will be popular once the warm weather returns.
Now I can’t talk about the ladies loos, I’m not allowed within 10 feet of them after that incident a few years back *ahem* but I can speak about the gents loos. I am a big believer in function over fancy and while everything was clean and tidy seeing an old fashioned trough still in place made me smile, SO much quicker when things are busy.
At the moment The Adventurer isn’t serving food but with a fully kitted-out commercial kitchen on premises they are going to be looking for pop-ups to come in and provide food on their behalf which I think is a great idea. It keeps the menu varied and helps to promote whoever comes into the kitchen for their tenure. No details as yet but watch this space and once Bitten know more, you will.
Images courtesy of The Adventurer Oxford.
4:30pm to 12am – Tuesday to Thursday
4:30pm to 1am – Friday and Saturday
4:30pm to 10pm – Sunday