Oxford pubs shortlisted for Real Ale prize

Six city establishments have been included in the shortlist for the Oxford Camra (Campaign for Real Ale) pub of the year award.

This year’s shortlist is made up of The Chequers in High Street, Far From the Madding Crowd in Friar’s Entry, the Lamb and Flag in St Giles, The Royal Blenheim in St Ebbe’s Street, the Rose and Crown in North Parade Avenue and The Mason’s Arms in Quarry School Place, Headington.

The winner will be decided by members of Camra’s city branch based on six criteria; service, quality of beer, mix of clientele, atmosphere, style and décor, sympathy with Camra aims and good value.

Last year’s winner was Far From the Madding Crowd. The city centre pub took the award from the Mason’s Arms in Headington after coming second in 2010 and winning the award in 2009.


The managers, Lauren and Dave, told  The Oxford Student that they were delighted to be in the final six pubs considered for this award.

Lauren said: “This is a family owned free house which allows us to order a vast range of beers. We have six different guest ales on each week, which gives our customers an opportunity to try great beer from all over the country.”

Ian Liddle, the manager of the Royal Blenheim, was also very happy about the recognition from Camra that this nomination signals.

He said: “The 23rd October is the pub’s fourth birthday and we have been nominated for this award every year we have been open. Oxford is such a Mecca for real ale that even to be considered for this award is something to be proud of.”

When asked to describe what made his pub particularly special, Ian said: “Cheese, Chuck Norris, The Bar Tailed Godwit, the number 42 and the Dutch Antilles.”

Martin Saggery, Manager of the Lamb and Flag, said that the number of city pubs nominated for this award shows what a great range of choice there is for drinkers in Oxford.

He also believes that what makes his pub stand out is the diversity of the  clientele: “Our customers are a third students, a third tourists and a third regulars. This is a pub for everyone and the mix of people makes for a friendly atmosphere for anyone who walks in.”

Members of Oxford Camra will be visiting the nominated pubs over the next couple of months, filling out voting forms that will be stamped at each hostelry. The winner will be announced in December.