The Harcourt Arms (Fullers)
Cranham Terrace, Oxford OX2 6DG. Tel Oxford (01865) 310630.
Arms - Gules, two bars or.
Crest - Out of a ducal coronet or a peacock close proper.
Supporters - On either side a lion rampant or, gorged with a collar gemel
"Le bon temps viendra."
A. Broom reports:
Gone downhill since John [ed: the benign barman referred to below]
retired. Still has ESB and at least one Scrabble set but no Picasso or
Smallish, split in half by pillars, and lit by pink light bulbs under red
lampshades, this pub is cosy and dark. The service is friendly (barman who
should probably be the illustration for "benign" in dictionaries), and
board games like Scrabble (there's two copies of it) and copies of
Private Eye are available if you ask nicely at the bar. In fact, this pub
is so good that bar staff from other Jericho establishments (Jude and
Bookbinders) have been spotted coming in here for a drink.
Two fireplaces with actual fires in, one of which has one of these
almost-illegible histories of the local area above it, which helpfully
explains the street names in Jericho. No quiz nights on alternate Thusdays
Excellent condition London Pride and ESB, with bottled Fuller's 1845.
Can't speak for the Chiswick Bitter, however. Over the Christmas period,
they generally have a polypin of Golden Pride behind the bar. It's 7.4%
and really more of a barley wine than a beer.
Apparently this pub was entirely refitted about six or seven years ago.
Whoever it was did an excellent job and, some of the tat on a shelf above
the bar notwithstanding, it is entirely convincing.
The pub is particularly strong on Kandinsky and Picasso. Some of the
seating is a trunk that can hold an entire 6'4" rower and still be sat on.
Liz Beaumont Bissell writes:
This is one of the nicest pubs in Jericho. Warm dark interior with
authentic fireplaces and board-games. Much frequented by Goths.
The Oxford Goths stopped coming some time ago, but they have now been
supplanted by the Oxford Heavy Rock Society.
Pontus Lurcock writes:
I can speak for the Chiswick bitter, and I have only good words for it
(though it doesn't seem to be to everyone's taste). I'd also like to
add: New Scientist behind the bar, jazz at the perfect volume, good
cheap snacky food (soup and lots of bread for a pound), pistachios by
the half-pint, and beer by the half-gallon. There is a quiz machine,
but it doesn't make noise.
I really like this pub -- mainly, I think, for its integrity. Nothing
here seems out of place (except, perhaps, the quiz machine). There is
Picasso and jazz because (I'm pretty sure) the landlord likes Picasso
and jazz, not because he's decided there's a niche in the market for a
Picasso-and-jazz-themed pub. I know very few pubs with such a lack of
artifice, and it's a wonderful thing.
Same as ever.