The Turf Tavern is one of Oxford’s best-kept secrets – but that could all change now the Good Pub Guide 2012 has placed it in national its top ten list.
Lauded for its “characterful” nature “hidden away behind the high walls”, the guide complimented the Bath Place pub for its “attractive walled-in flag-stoned courtyards” and the coal braziers in winter for “roasting chestnuts or toasting marshmallows”. The “knowledgeable young staff” were also praised for their ability to “deal quickly and efficiently with the wide-mix of customers of all ages.”
Guillaume Lefevre, a second year philosophy student at Teddy Hall, endorsed this welcoming atmosphere. He said: “It’s a frequent haunt of my college because of its proximity. It’s very convivial and honestly it’s a great place to hang out with my friends.”
Second year Queen’s lawyer Scott Tan said: “This latest accolade definitely gives me more reason to visit the pub. I’ve always liked going there and now I can see why.”
The Black Boy in Headington also gained a place in the Good Pub Guide. It was singled out for its “stylish and enterprising” nature with “good, enjoyable food and a useful summer garden. Mrs Abigail Rose, its “charming” landlady, said: “We don’t try to price ourselves out of anyone’s bracket and we make sure that children can come here and feel valued too.”
Oxfordshire contributed 138 pubs to the Good Pub Guide list and is the only city in England to have two listings in the national category.
Andrew Foo, a third year lawyer from St John’s said: “[The Turf] is definitely one of my favourite jaunts in Oxford – I love how hidden it is, like a well-whispered secret. I guess it’s not a secret anymore, but I’m pretty chuffed to know it’s now top 10 in the country. Oxford wins – again.”
The Guide lists the best pubs in the country for eating and drinking. Their judges carry out their reviews anonymously. Besides listing the top ten town pubs, the guide also honours the best pubs in specific categories, such as “Unspoilt Pub of the Year”, “Dining Pub of the Year” and “Own Brew Pub of the Year”. The top pub of 2012 was the Potting Shed, in Crudwell.