The Wheatsheaf (Whitbread)
129 High Street, Oxford OX1 4DF.  Tel. (01865) 243276

Ridley's Witch Finder GBP 2.50
Moorhouse Witch's Brew GBP 2.60 (2003-10-10)

Colin Batchelor writes:
Still much the same on my last two visits in August 2005 and March 2004.  
I haven't mentioned the pool table, or the chalkboards in the Gents.  The 
first time I noticed the chalkboards they had all of the shipping 
forecast areas on them, including Finisterre, which just goes to show how 
long they've had them.

Pontus Lurcock writes:
The gravity-fed casks are gone, but there's always something
interesting on the handpumps. They had Harviestoun Schiehallion on
once. Otherwise, same as ever. There's nothing wrong with the
downstairs bar that I can put my finger on, but it somehow lacks that
comfortable aura that can have you staying till closing when you'd
just popped in for one.

The upstairs room is good, and does a pretty decent line in gigs as
well as the regular jazz night. The entrance fees tend to be
reasonable, and while the upstairs bar doesn't have real beer, they
always (in my experience) do readmission so you can fetch some from
downstairs. Casks and live music are a rare combination in Oxford
these days, so this pleases me.

Colin Batchelor writes:
Two cask pumps, a Hoegaarden font, and six gravity-fed casks behind the
bar.  This is good.  Do not be misled by the address.  It's actually down
Wheatsheaf Yard opposite Gill's the Ironmonger (the sort of place where
you ask for a thingum, you know, about so big with a [gesture], and the
assistant, who isn't actually wearing a Ronnie Barker brown overthing but
should be, morally, goes into the back and emerges with a tray containing
exactly the right thing.  You could go in there, saying you'd lost your
front door key, and the assistant would say 29A Born--Oppenheimer Drive,
Hucknall St Mick, and you'd say "yes" and he or she'd reemerge with all of
the keys to your house) and next to Ma Belle, which used to be the Blue 
Boar (2003-08 and is now closed awaiting new management).

The upstairs can be booked, and is regularly used for jazz.

Inside it's disturbingly like a darker version of the Turl bar, on Turl 
Street.  The television and doors in the same places relative to the bars 
don't help.  Was better, apparently, before renovation.