The St. Peter’s College bar is the best in Oxford

Bar none


You walk in. Or attempt to, as there is no room to really “walk” into this room without some form of obstacle, be it a random bin or equally random fresher, fighting you for the right to fulfill the meaning of this verb.

The first thing you notice is the constant buzz of chatter. The first thing your feet notice is the delicate balance between a vague stickiness and a questionable softness of the floor. The first thing your eyes notice is the sheer amount of people jam-packed into such a small pseudo-cubic space. You look up at the blackboard. Five pound sterling Cross Keys. Phrases such as “A good story never started with salad” which acquire a progressive degree of hilarity as the Cross Keys which almost spontaneously appear in your hands lose their taste equally progressively. You look around and fall in love with every single member that is in your vicinity. You are in the St. Peter’s Bar.

It’s in the perfect location

Pretty much directly underneath the first floor of an accommodation block in St Peter’s College (which is on New Inn Hall Street by the way), the Bar is one of the many sources of necessary insomnia for countless freshers. It is also close enough to the JCR to allow for simple bar to bop en mass pilgrimage whenever these spectacular events do occur. Not only is it close to the JCR, it is also within walking distance of Emporium, Bridge, and Park End (and Wahoo, RIP).

You never knew there could be this many varieties of Cross Keys

The standard variety of drinks, from pints of indeterminate, well-priced beers, to the exoticity of Sambuca, Tequila and Kahlua. Most importantly, however, is the unique availability of the Cross Keys: a fine blend of six shots of liquor and some form of fruity flavoured liquid.

Oh Cross Keys, you

Create stories of beauty

A Haiku can’t tell

Without the first-person subjective experience of the Cross Keys (especially of the mango variety) there is no way of understanding the gravity of this drink’s sub-cultural relevance. So here is a photo of one. And a menu. NB: The “Tropical” Cross Keys is, in my opinion, the riskiest, as, rather than tasting even remotely tropical, it tastes precisely like the colour blue.

You’ll see some strange fancy dress on a Bop night

Playfully irreverent. Jovially inebriated. Whether it’s a Wednesday night and you witness a respectable number of guys with a range of congruent objects on their heads, or a Bop night defined by the similarly congruent irrelevance of general attire, the St Peter’s Bar is defined by those inside it. Pseudo-tribal dancing and noise-making has often been sighted on the tables of the Bar, to the surprisingly astute indifference of would-be onlookers within the room. The Peterites you meet are friendly, but not too “friendly”, tipsy, but not (usually) too tipsy, and almost always fully dressed (this is not also true on Bop nights).

Theme of the Bop was ‘Tube Stations’

Most importantly, the people in this Bar produce an atmosphere which makes the alienation some bars induce utterly impossible. You don’t know anyone around you, but you’re already friends with them. You are in the St Peter’s Bar.