The Victoria (Banks's), Walton Street (entrance on St Bernard's Road), Oxford.

Monday to Saturday 11am to 11pm
Sunday 12 noon to 3pm, 7pm to 10.30pm (24.ix.1998)

Colin Batchelor writes:
Done out in red, this mansard-roofed pub used to be called "Victoria and the
Room Upstairs" (before that it was just the Victoria), and comes on two
levels, with a staircase round the back and a central well, on the ceiling at
the top of which is a mural depicting God and Adam, Michelangelo-style, with
pints in their hands bearing Banks's logos.

Cameron Strongarm is a slightly fruity session bitter from the North East if
you don't ask for the sparkler off.  It's fruity and full-bodied if you do.
And do you know, they have stopped serving it.  I'm not sure whether they've
stopped making it.  All there is left on cask is Banks's Bitter.

The usual customers seem to be a mixture of students and the fairly local and
fairly old.  There is a side room with a comfortable-looking sofa on the
ground floor and a pool table. That is all, apart from a big screen with sport,
and some old street maps of Oxford from before Oxpens was demolished.

Ed Turner updates:
Continues to do Banks's bitter at GBP 1.70 a pint, though it remains the only 
thing on cask.  New landlord has been in for quite some time.  Food served
mostly at lunchtimes---the veggie burger was perfectly adequate.  There was a 
controversy over the landlord's decision not to serve free tapwater from the
bar, which attracted a series of letters in the Oxford Mail, and a short
article in its comment column---the whole thing is documented in a frame by
the bar.  Friendly bar staff, stroppy pub dog (Tyson).  Nice place to watch
football.  (24.iv.2001)

Pontus Lurcock updates:
It seemed to be in a state of suspended animation when we visited
early on a Monday evening. It was decidedly quiet and murky
downstairs, and the whole upstairs was pitch-dark and unpopulated. The
low lighting was, apparently, a money-saving measure, since there was
barely anyone there. We remarked to the bartender on the emptiness,
and he said "Well, it's the Victoria, innit?" or words to that effect.
It transpired that another takeover and a major refurbishment are
impending. They're going to fill in the huge handrailed hole in the
first floor, turning it from an extended balcony to a normal room,
which is a bit of a shame.

But it's still a pleasant place even in this state: there's little
competition for the pool table, and the beer remains cheap -- on
Monday, they run a special offer whereby it becomes 1.50 or so. And
when Andy spilled his almost-full pint, they replaced it for free.

Appears in Kate Pugh's Vegan Oxford.

2002-07-13 / 2.v.2001 / 12.xi.2000 / / 27.xi.1997