Now The Duke's Cut.

Rosie O'Grady's (Morrells) Park End Street, Oxford Used to be the Queens Arms. Guinness GBP 2.20 (22.i.98) Colin Batchelor writes: The name is enough not to leave you in any doubt about the interior, and unsurprisingly they have more taps for Guinness than any other pub I've seen in Oxford and the Guinness is well served. Oh, and the folk behind the bar were actually Irish when I went. This isn't as bad as the more recent Irish theme-pubs in Oxford---it's part of a chain called "Gaelic Houses", and is tied to Morrells. It's got a fair amount of Irish baraphernalia about the place and has a darkish and cluttered feel to it, but it's probably ignorable if you've had a few drinks before hand. The piped music (which, oddly, is less diddly-dye-flavoured than, say, the jukebox in the not-explicitly-Irish Black Swan in Cowley St John) will get on your nerves, especially since it appears in the facilities. It's tied to Morrells, but the only thing of theirs they seem to do is the Oxford Bitter. And to settle any arguments, this was the Queen's Arms, a posh restauranty sort of place until the end of 1994/beginning of 1995 when the woman who owned it started her chain of "Gaelic Houses". (22.i.98) Pontus Lurcock updates: No cask beer any more, just a mysterious tap marked "house bitter". I had the Guinness, so I can't comment on it. But they do have the widest selection (as far as I know) of Bushmills whiskeys in Oxford, which is very good if you like that kind of thing and can afford it. And the staff are still Irish. And there's a pleasant little terrace jutting out over the canal, which is handy for taking the air and avoiding the music. Among the thoroughly Irish quotations enlivening the walls are some lines from Flann O'Brien's At Swim-two-birds: "When money's tight and hard to get / And your horse has also ran. / When all you have is a heap of debt / A pint of plain is your only man." That's all very well, but of course they don't serve plain and neither does anybody else. Perhaps they're just taunting. (x.2003)