A Cowley Road pub with a great live music space, The Bullingdon is home to all-comers.
The pub is all blue on the outside and you enter the swing doors to find a medium-sized boozer with a wooden floor and smelling a bit like stale sweat. It’s also kept fairly dark, which is maybe a godsend taking a closer look at some of its clientele. It’s open plan, there are pillars and seating at big and small tables on your left.
With the bar on your left you go through two more sets of double doors into the live music room, which is your ideal music venue at around, at a guess, 300 capacity. This is home to Oxford's Famous Monday Blues, a live music institution which has been going for more than 20 years. This area also has its own bar and a house DJ rocks the crowd on a Friday night.
The crowd here is a jumbled mass of office staff with undone ties, tipsy chaps with short hair and stripy T-shirts, foreign girls with pony-tails and rock chicks with dark eye make-up. It's no wonder the crowd is eclectic with such a mix of music and most of them come here for the live band whatever they're playing. Oh, and the friendly bargirl.
The Food and Drink
You’ve got Guinness, Kronenbourg, Foster’s, Stella and John Smith’s on tap and in bottles you’ve got a choice of Budweiser, Corona, Peroni, Heineken, Beck’s and San Miguel. Food-wise they stick to simplicity (always a good sign) and just do pizzas with all the different toppings from the classic margarita to chargrilled vegetables all at £3.55 a slice.
The Last Word
It’s hard to know where to place The Bullingdon in the general scheme of things. Probably somewhere in the middle, although when there’s a rocking band playing in the back room it’s the best place to be in the world.