The Albion (Morrells)
Hollybush Row, Oxford. 
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*	Morrells Varsity 1.90
*	Guinness Stout 2.20 (17.iii.1999)


For a long time, especially over the autumn of 1998 when Botley Road in 
general ground to a complete halt, it lay closed and I for one thought 
that it had closed completely. Fortunately it hasn't.

It has changed landlordship from the couple who ran it before, and it is 
now in the hands of a man in a moustache who puts on Varsity as well as 
Oxford bitter, but has unfortunately removed the magnificent wee stove 
there used to be at the southern end. Less of a family (and I don't mean 
this derisively) feel to it now than there was before.

There is now a surprising number of mirrors, and allegedly-old posters 
that weren't up before the refit in February, not to mention a presumably 
standard-issue Morrells chess table. Being able to borrow chessmen from 
the bar to play on the table is however a better bet than in the 
Rendezvous round the corner by Sainsburys.

The television has been moved from its previously less obtrusive position 
above the bar, to the northwestern corner. (17.iii.1999)

Juliet Kemp adds:
Rather nice, I thought. In a very quiet sort of way. It is Nu Morrells, 
but not excessively so, and the landlady was very friendly. And there's a 
blue stuffed elephant in the corner under the fag machine. (11.iv.2001)

Pete Gillin adds further:
The [Everards] Perfick was certainly nice, 4.5% and a good hoppy flavour, 
despite the silly name and cartoony badge. I've never had it before (only 
Old Thingum and that one with the tigers) but it seemed quite reasonably 
kept. According to the sign, they have one guest on all the time. I didn't 
try the Oxford Blue. There was a spare pump, too: I'd guess they normally 
have more than one Morrell's on, wouldn't you? I'm afraid I didn't get the 
prices: 5.15 for a 2 house double, a bottle of Pepsi, and a pint.

As for the rest of it, there was the traditional crap glued to the wall, 
but it wasn't too obtrusive; it had that dim red lighting which I approve 
of; the landlady was friendly; the were clientele the standard three old 
men, plus a girl with an absurd amount of eye make-up and a long zebra 
print coat reading a book; and there was a good selection on the juke-box, 
which is apparently free on Sundays. All in all, it seems a decent enough 
low-key boozer for a relaxing sup or so.

The chess table is still there, and the telly was so unobtrusive that I 
didn't notice they had one. (11.iv.2001)