“So many of the student bars in Southampton are in Bedford Place. There isn’t really anywhere for students to go that’s this end of town. That’s why we wanted to create a hub for students to use as their local or just for pre-drinks before they make their way into town.” – Dan Bricknell, owner.
Before you step through the doors of The Royal Oak, bare in mind the old dictum ‘Never judge a book by its cover.’ So, perhaps it’s not going to win any awards for Best Looking Pub in a city with so many glitzy nightlife venues, but you can bet that you and your friends will have some of your most memorable (or unmemorable, if you do it right) nights in the cordial, comfortable atmosphere that the pub offers.
Proprietors Daniel and Katy Bricknell took ownership of the pub during the summer months of this year (2015), and in that brief time have transformed it from your bog standard, dreary local into an energised sports bar teeming with students, but welcoming to all. The success of this years’ Big Night Out saw hundreds of hooch-hungry Freshers begin their bar crawl in the best possible way; by soaking up 3 Jägerbombs for £5, courtesy of The Royal Oak’s bargain booze. As a result of such success, the pub is now home to Southampton’s only Jägerbomb pop-up bar, where amazing deals can be found for Britain’s favourite shot.
If you’re worried about the morning after, fear not, for The Royal Oak has got you covered. Everybody, including Daniel and Katy it would seem, knows that a curry is undoubtedly the best remedy for a hangover, which is why we’re not surprised that The Royal Oak has a few to offer. On the menu is Chicken Tikka Masala, the quintessential British favourite, and a spicy Beef Madras for the more adventurous of curry-lovers. So, like an abusive pet owner who slaps his dog around and then eases it’s pain with his love and affection, The Royal Oak will get you no less than shit-faced, then cuddle you back to sobriety in it’s tasty tikka embrace.
The Royal Oak hosts something a little bit different every night of the week, offering something for everybody. For those that are living in halls, The Oak is perfectly situated on your doorstep. With drink deals that cannot be trumped (house spirit and mixer is only £1.50 between 9pm and 11pm!), the pub has become the ideal place for student pre-drinks before stumbling onto Bedford Place. Below is a rundown of the pub’s events so that you’ll need never spend another boring night in halls again.
Both a student raffle and giant jenga take place on a Monday (giant jenga!) Head down to The Oak on a Monday evening to purchase your ticket for the Student Raffle, only £1 buy in. Prizes range from shaving foam to alcohol – what more could a student possibly ask for?
Tuesday nights are notorious for being the cheap student nights in Southampton and Super Tuesdays at The Oak are no different as drink prices drop to save your bank account from a typical student’s fate.
House spirit and mixer: £1.50
Jam Jar Cocktails: 2 for £5
Test your general knowledge in the Wednesday night quiz for the chance to win cash prizes or pop down and play some free pool. Alternatively, you can pay £1 to enter yourself in The Royal Oak’s newest pub game ‘JUMP THE PUMP.’
The game is simple: If your raffle ticket number is called, you get 60 seconds behind the bar to pour as much beer or cider as you like. Anything poured when your minute is up is yours to drink. The current record sits at six pints, ready to be beaten!
Student loan not stretching as far as you’d hoped? For only £6.95 you can indulge in a burger and chips and trounce that hunger without beating your bank account into submission. Wash it down with a few bottles of Coors or Carlsberg at £2 each and you’ll be ready to hit the town again in no time, soldier!
Friday Night Live
If waiting in long queues to get into overcrowded and overpriced clubs doesn’t tickle your Friday night fancy, then you’ll be among friends at The Oak. They prefer to ease you into the weekend, with a more chilled vibe than the likes of Yates or Bedford Place. Live music from local bands starts from 8pm!
For the die-hard football fanatic, The Royal Oak is the place to be. With six big screens showing all Sky and BT games, you can rest assured that you won’t miss a minute of the game. On a Saints Saturday the air is alive with anticipation; all the usual football chants can be heard and the smell of the freshly carved meat baps on sale is mouth-watering.
Staff at The Royal Oak appreciate that Sunday is a day of rest and recuperation, thus it should ideally be spent watching sports or gossiping with mates about the previous night’s antics. They understand you’re probably feeling a little worse for wear and have the perfect solution for your alcohol-induced vulnerability: a hair of the dog! (Or a nice glass of Coke if you’re really feeling fragile.) Either way, Social Sunday’s offer a wonderful relaxing atmosphere, prepping you for the arduous week ahead.
The Oak is always looking for new events to host and have a few fancy dress nights on the horizon. If you have an idea for a themed night that you would like to make happen, just let the staff know! A free buffet for groups of over 25 people is on offer, perfect for those upcoming Christmas parties.
In the meantime, make sure to like The Royal Oak: Southampton on Facebook to keep an eye out for any upcoming events.