The Chequers can be hard to find, as it has no actual fronting on the High Street towards Carfax and the junction with Cornmarket, just a sign which directs you down a narrow cobbled alleyway where you will find the entrance and the beer garden. Inside is a cheery fire and a series of cozy rooms with comfortable chairs and settees. It is owned by Nicholsons, but it lacks most other annoying corporate overtones. In a city of old pubs, this is one of the oldest, acquiring its license in 1605. On offer are weekly guest ales along with Fullers, Timothy Taylor, Young's Bitter, Wells Bombardier, Marston's Pedigree, Greene King IPA, Adnams, Deuchars, Spitfire, Morland Old Speckled Hen and Abbot Ale - an excellent selection. On our last visit (Hallowe'en) there were pumpkins and outfits aplenty as early as mid-afternoon. One feature worth noting is that they have the shield of pretty much every Oxford college on the walls - we're not aware of any other pub in this city of the Dreaming Spires which matches this. Well worth the effort to find.
Reviewed by kentish_man
05 Jan 2011