UPDATE 19 Feb 2015: It’s dead…RIP, http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/11740209.Landlord_to_close_award_winning_Far_From_Madding_Crowd/?ref=mr
Left work in time to see the 6:05 buses haul ass up Banbury and Woodstock Roads, respectively, so had a half hour to kill. I prefer the X5 over the S5 because the seats are plush and there are fewer stops between Oxford and Bicester on it, so I headed toward the bus station, picked up a sausage roll at a bakery, and ducked into the Madding Crowd for a try.
The place is very brightly lit and modern inside, sort of like a large loft apartment in a big American city has been converted into a pub. Still, it was quite comfortable and I got a pint of Elbow Grease (Summer Wine Brewery) for £2.10. It was bitter and astringent and had all the qualities you hope for in a late winter seasonal and I thoroughly enjoyed it, especially the way it abraded the last remnants of sausage roll fat from my teeth.
I didn’t really have time to settle into any of the papers so I scanned the opinions page of the Telegraph and was surprised that it seemed to be fairly liberal. There goes another of my preconceived notions (along with the ones about this bar). Very pleasant surprise…the newspaper AND the bar.