Ale Drinking in Bicester

Easter is a fantastic time to travel, especially if you’re blessed with the kind of weather that we received this year.

Having spend much of the year hibernating inside, the promise of sunny weather and an opportunity to take the car down South arose, so I bundled the wife into the car and we headed down to a little town known as Bicester. Nestled in the Cherwell district of northeastern Oxfordshire, Bicester is a pleasant southern town that offers a slice of idyllic countryside charm alongside some truly civilised pubs to drink at.

During the days we took strolls out at some lovely places, including Rousham Gardens, Island Pond Wood and the Bure Park Nature Reserve. But when it came to the afternoons we both descended upon the local pubs in search of the best local ales that the area had to offer. Some nights we ate dinner, other nights we chose just to drink instead, thankfully our Airbnb wasn’t too far from the action!

These are our favourite pubs from the trip including our personal highlights:

The Sow & Pigs, Poundon

Known as ‘The Pigs’ by locals, this charming early 19th-Century pub is a perfect place to visit for any traditional pub lover. There’s everything that you’d expect from a pub here including excellently prepared classic grub and some lovely hand-pulled ales. Whilst we weren’t blown away by the range of ales on offer here, there was a lovely atmosphere accentuated by the lovely locals. Mike was a particular character who claimed to be Bicester’s expert oven cleaner – weren’t going to argue with him!

The Trigger Pond, Launton

This little gem was awarded Best Food Pub by the Best of the Best Awards in 2018, which ensured out expectations were suitably high before entering. Thankfully these expectations were met and then exceeded! Although we couldn’t describe this as a ‘classic pub‘, it’s a modern, well-presented place that provides a high standard of service throughout. We were only considering popping in for a pint, but the food looked and smelled so good that we couldn’t resist ordering some. We definitely recommend sharing some starters over a few pints here, the pot of sausages with honey mustard glaze was particularly good…

The Butcher’s Arms, Fringford

Licensed in 1735, The Butcher’s Arms has been keeping locals happy with their well-kept ales for centuries since. Obviously the place has changed hands a few times since then, but that has by no means led to a drop in quality.  The Butcher’s is just the kind of place that the wife and I love to visit. Woefully stricken with crawling ivy, it’s almost Gothic in its appearance and is notable for its disused red telephone box which is now home to copious amounts of vegetation. This is a superlatively homely pub, with some fantastic ales on offer, not to mention a good range of food on the menu.

Overall, we can’t recommend Bicester enough. It’s a lovely part of the town to visit and there are some fantastic pubs to get settled in at.