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The Turf Tavern is one of Oxford’s favourite pubs, located down an alley near the ‘Bridge of Sighs’. Its website says, “The Turf Tavern has opened its doors to serve ales and appetisers to England’s literary elite, politicians, presidents and movie stars since 1831. The only one who never left is our Rosie, the resident ghost who still waits for her lover to return.” The foundations of the Turf are actually said to be medieval and it is claimed that it was established outside the city walls in order to be beyond the jurisdiction of the colleges.
The pub is also where future Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke set a Guinness World Record for knocking back a yard of ale in 11 seconds in 1963. Other celebrity drinkers have included (in no particular order) Thomas Hardy, Oscar Wilde, Bill Clinton, Margaret Thatcher, Emma Watson, Ernest Hemmingway, Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Tony Blair, CS Lewis, Stephen Hawking, David Cameron and Mike Biles (the author of A Bit About Britain’s History).
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