This week’s Tasty Tuesday was a favorite of mine when I studied abroad in England. Though I mostly explored London since that’s where I was staying, we took a trip to Oxford for the day. Since I was studying English, our professor decided to take us to The Eagle and the Child for lunch and a few beers. The pub is on St. Giles Street, and is known for a more than just serving good food and a good pour.
The small, hole-in-the-wall pub served as lodgings for the Chancellor of the Exchequer during the English Civil War during the 17th century, and the spot served as a pay house for the Royalist army during the Civil War. A public house since 1650, the pub takes its name from the crest of the Earls of Derby.
photo via gohistoric
What does this have to do with Tolkien, you may ask? Well, The Eagle and Child was a regular hang out for the later famous author. Not only was Tolkien getting some writings done there, but the entire Inking’s writer’s group he was a part of got together here to exchange ideas, manuscripts, and material. The group included Chronicles of Narnia author C.S. Lewis, Charles Williams, and Hugo Dyson. They met Thursday evenings at the pub, and enjoyed lunch in the private room in the back known as the “Rabbit Room.” It was here where C.S. Lewis distributed the proofs for The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe in 1950.
Now, if you decide to visit The Eagle and Child while in Oxford, whether you’re a book worm like me or just in it for a good meal, you’ll be satisfied. I had the fish and chips, and was more than satisfied. Definitely some of the best fish and chips I had while I was there. One of the friends that accompanied me on this trip had a cheeseburger with fries, and said that it was one of the best burgers she had on the trip as well. I can’t remember what beer I had while I was there, but it was the waitresses recommendation and I was more than satisfied with her pick.
Another great part about this place is the atmopshere. It was cozy, but not too overwhelming and didn’t feel too cramped. Yet, if we went at a busier time, I can see why it would feel a little clausterphobic. Still, this is a definite must stop for all literature freaks and pub food lovers alike.