Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Bear

If you happened to be in Oxford anytime between 1242 and today, you could have stopped by this place for some ale or a meal. It's at the corner of Alfred and Blue Boar Street. It was originally a coaching inn, a place for coach travelers, named Parne Hall, then Le Tabard, then changed to The Bear in the 15th century. The present building was built in the early 1600s as a residence for the inn's ostler (the guy who took care of the horses). At some point it became the Jolly Trooper and in 1774 became The Bear. 

Robin and Maria approach The Bear.

Two American women at The Bear. This is obviously where the action is. And I'm willing to bet Bill Clinton stopped by here at least once. 

Ordering pub food and cider.

Heather served up cider, food, and local information. Including directions to The Turf Tavern.

The walls and even one of the ceilings of The Bear are covered with snipped-off neckties. In 1952 the landlord started a popular custom. For half of your necktie you could get a half-pint of beer. There are over 4,000 neckties here. Each one is identified with a note. Most of them are associated with a club, sports team, or school.

Our table has a nice view of Blue Boar Street.

I prefer real fireplaces in my drinking establishments. 

Another pub crossed off the list and we head towards High Street. Or, as they say here, the High.