Historical version 12 of Radcliffe Arms
- 67 Cranham Street
- OX2 6DS
- Food served from midday to 2:30pm and 6pm to 9pm, seven days a week. Sundays is roasts and salads only. open 'til midnight apart from 11:30 on Sunday
White building with black beams on the corner of Cranham Street and [Cranham Terrace]?. The other Radcliffe Arms in the country are mostly in Yorkshire, with two in Hitchin and Kidderminster. The beer on offer is Marstons Pedigree, Old Speckled Hen and Theakston XB, and they often have Hobgoblin. All sparklered by default, but they don't mind taking them off.
As of August 2007, the Radcliffe Arms is to be sold, and there are no details yet on who'll be buying it.
The RA has got slower. Once upon a time, you could order your food (a cheeseburger and two slices of garlic toast on white, please. There's your three quid forty, the name's OxIRC, we'll be in the garden.) and pay for it, and find it waiting for you by the time you get to your seat. Now there's about two or three minutes wait for food. They also now have a computerised system which annoyingly insists on table numbers.
The great thing about the RA is that it's absolutely consistent. You can go in, order food and you know it'll be as good or as bad, as fast or as slow, as it was last week. The food is insanely cheap. I mean, really, really stupidly cheap. Raptor has a transcription of the menu from a year or two, but to be honest, it hasn't really changed since then. [Well, it appears to have increased in price. For example the cheese burger is now £3 rather than £2.40, and the pizzas are no longer available, however it is still reasonable value] I don't know how they do it. And, of course, it comes to you pretty quickly.
If you're eating here, head for the "garden" - the conservatory area right at the very far end of the pub. Come in and follow the bar round to your right, then pass through the TV room and turn right into the conservatory. If you can come in and tell the bar staff that you're eating in the garden, you'll sound like a reg. These days, though, there's no much point as their new computerised order system means they insist on being given a table number when ordering.
The beer is variable. It's usually bad, and I end up drinking Guinness or cider for lack of choice, but once in a blue moon there's a guest real ale. But this isn't really a place you go for beer; you go for cheap food and good hacker meetspace.
Update 23/10/08: having spent so much of my student time there we went last night and had the worst evening ever - the garden was closed and the service had gone from incredibly fast to incredibly slow - my (not-great) food arrived after 45minutes and several prods, one of us didn't get what he ordered (chips came covered in gravy!) and others in the end gave up and cancelled after >45minutes and too many 'it'll be there in 5 minutes' assurances. It was loudly full of football too and they didn't seem to understand the concept of a pint and served halves instead. I really hope this was just a one-off evening.