The Masons Arms in Headington is back open for business; I caught up with Landlord Chris Meeson on re-opening.
The Masons is neatly tucked away in Headington Quarry, so make sure you know where you are going if you haven’t visited before! It is a local community hub for locals wanting a decent pint, and although no food is served, the bar snacks and beers are always on point. Chris has been at the Masons for 24 years, celebrating this anniversary Saturday just past. In his tenure, the Masons has won the CAMRA City Pub of the Year 6 times, most recently in 2019.
Happy to be open again
Chris is delighted to have the doors open again, well the garden anyway. Some modifications to the garden needed to happen, prior to opening, with gravel being laid. This got rid of some grass, so you can stay ‘mud free’ while drinking outside. The garden gate opened at 5pm on the 12th – please see their website for official opening hours. They provide 19 outdoor tables, most of which are undercover, to protect you from the elements – especially with the craziness of this snow we have been having. That being said 50% of the sides will be open, due to current restrictions, so remember to wrap up warm. The pub is usually closed Monday and Tuesday, but will be open this week. Chris wants to have some flexibility on this, so keep an eye on their socials to see if this changes.
Full table service is offered, in line with government guidance, and provides a very well stocked bar with familiar favourites. These include: Big Smoke, Rebellion and Harvey’s as well as guest beers from West Berkshire Brewery and Timothy Taylor’s. Keg favourites from Tiny Rebel and Camden will be on as well. Chis will be rotating the guest beers, as usual, on a weekly basis but likes to have some local breweries on. He mentioned Little Ox being up soon. A good selection of cans will also be on offer with the likes of Brewdog featuring.
Booking is a must for the usual busier days of Friday and Saturday, especially as he is already full this week. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for sunnier, warmer days.
As guidance allows, the hope to open indoors on the 17th of May will be on the cards. Looking further ahead there are tentative plans for the brilliant comedy nights to start again from September, and who knows we might even get the Headington Beer Festival this year!
A community thank you
Lockdown seems to have gone on forever, and for such a community pub like The Masons Arms, Chis certainly felt it. One amazing thing that Chris did for his local community were the weekly Pub Quizzes. These were hosted on ‘The Masons Arms – Your home from home’ Facebook page. Chris pulled together 34 quizzes of 5 rounds to keep the Masons community going. I think anyone who took part in these knows how brilliant these were and such a good laugh on a Saturday night – thank you Chris!
The Masons Arms – 2 Quarry School Place, Headington, Oxford, OX3 8LH – 01865 764579