Cosy split-level venue with 1st floor bar, ground floor sports bar and gigs in its upstairs room (hireable; has small bar). Back yard with covered smoking area and pool table; benches on street at front.
Opening hours: Mon-Thu 4-11pm, Fri 4pm-1am, Sat '1 hour before kick off' - 1am, Sun '1 hour before kick off' - 10.30pm. Food served: Tue-Fri 5-9pm (2 meals for £10), Sat 12-10pm, Sun 12-6pm (roasts & full menu). Games: Sky Sports & ESPN - all major sporting events televised. 2 screens. Many board games. Pool table. Next events at The Port Mahon
Cuisine: Gastropub & Veg/Vegan friendly.
Real Fire, Real Ales, Food served, TV Sport, There are sofas & Live music events Games: Sky Sports & ESPN - all major sporting events televised. 2 screens. Many board games. Pool table.
Capacity: 80. Late licence till 1. Equipment Spec.: Full PA (inc. monitors), 2 mics and stands, DI box, cables (2010). Room hire £50. Available for private hire
82 St Clements
Scibar (science in the pub): Astrobiology and the hunt for alien life Thu 20 Jun: 6.30pm
A Night At the Improv Fri 21 Jun: 19:30 - 21:30
Interstellar Emily (Pink Floyd Tribute) Sat 22 Jun: 8pm
Quiz Night Sun 23 Jun: 7.30pm. £1
Oxford Ukuleles Mon 24 Jun: 7.30-10pm.
Coffee And Cancer: How Do We Know For Sure? Wed 26 Jun: 6.30-7.30pm
2 Sick Monkeys, Headcount Fri 28 Jun: 7.30pm
Beginners Ukulele Class Mon 1 Jul: 7.30pm-9.30pm
Kerosene Promotions Presents: Punk Night Fri 5 Jul: 8pm
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Latest venue reviews
We have enjoyed great Sunday roasts at the Port Mahon, so tonight we decided to try the steak platter. We didn't know what to expect, but were not disappointed when a huge wooden plate arrived with very tasty rough cut beef steak, real home made chips and bread, salad, cabbage and bacon, mustard, mayo, ketchup and vinegar to complete the assortment of things to dip into.
I am not a fan of rare cooked meat but ours was medium rare and excellent, if you want it well done simply ask, the serving staff seem very helpful. We will be going back to try their weekday 2 meals for £12 and I thoroughly recommend the slow cooked pork served on Sundays - from now this place shall be known as "The Pork Mahon".
Dave (DI User), 25/10/12
Tantalized by the excellent reviews TPM had been getting for their Sunday lunches, I decided to have faith, and put it to the test by taking my parents a couple of weeks ago. We were not disappointed! The menu is limited (not sure if this is the case all week or just on a Sunday) but this didn’t matter as we were only there for the Sunday roast. All three of us went for the beef which was very good, if a little more on the cooked side than I’d prefer. A small gripe though! The vegetables are plentiful and perfectly cooked, the roast potatoes crunchy on the outside and soft and fluffy inside and there is (joy, oh joy!) absolutely lashings of homemade gravy.
They get extra points from me for the cauliflower cheese (the only other person I knew who did that was my grandmother!) but unfortunately lose one for having a penchant for overcooking (in my opinion) the Yorkshire puds. I know this as I took friends for lunch yesterday and had the same issue. That said, the fact that I’ve been back twice in two weeks goes to show that it’s not that much of an issue for me!
Final points: yes, the food takes a long time to arrive. The first time I went we were forewarned of this by the very nice, professional woman behind the bar. She said it’s because the chef cooks each order individually as they come in, which is probably why everything is cooked so well. Half of our group yesterday had been on long cycle rides and we were all pretty hungry, so the wait this time was borderline torturous (expect about an hour), but when the mounds of food eventually did arrive there wasn’t a single complaint! And I don’t think anyone could quite finish it all, so it’s probably best to go when you’re very hungry!
All in all, a very good place for Sunday lunch. But just be prepared for it to be one of those long, leisurely lunches. Isn’t that what Sunday’s are for?
Dr Mukti (DI User), 13/08/12
The steak sharing platter was absolutely phenomenal; really excellent meat, a wide range of well chosen and well executed sides and all for a very reasonable price. Literally the best steak I've ever eaten out. There were three of us sharing and it was more than enough. Spot on.
JWE (Unverified), 23/07/12
Had the sharing steak platter at the Port Mahon on Sunday and it was superb. The meat was so succulent, the best I've had in Oxford. It comes with chips, salad, grilled asparagus and cabbage and is more than enough for two to share! I'd highly recommend it. Great beer and wine too.
Kate (Unverified), 05/06/12
Having read good reviews (plus the fact we live in the street) we went there for Sunday lunch today. Forget the other stuff on the menu, the roast pork is the best I have ever tasted in my life, plus superb cauliflower cheese hidden under a boulder of a yorkshire pud.
3 small niggles though, the food took over an hour to arrive, we decided a ploy on their part to get us to buy more beer, silly really as we were up for that anyway. Gents' toilet was disgusting, not cleaned that day for sure, and the pool table has vanished, put it back!
Food + 4 beers = £30+ great value, we will be going back.
Dave (DI User), 20/05/12
The best place to go for a Sunday roast in Oxford ! ...you get a very large plate full of meat, vegetables and Yorkshire pudding. The slow roasted pork roast and crackling is to die for, the beef roast perfectly pink and the nut roast very delicious. Furthermore, if you don't fancy roast one Sunday they have a selection of fish'n'chips, beef burgers (best in town in my view), salad etc. to chose from - including a good selection of vegetarian meals. The atmosphere is very friendly, the service great and if you fancy it, the lower bar has screens for football or other sports to go with the food. Try it, you won't regret it!
Birlo (Unverified), 08/05/12
This is a lovely pub, very friendly and does excellent food. I recently visited for a Sunday roast, and although it is a bit more expensive than one or two local rival pubs, it is definitely well worth spending a little extra. The food was delicious (I had pork, my partner had lamb) and not only did we both get plenty of meat on our plates, but also lots of veg too. I also like that they serve tea/coffee without any fuss, and for a sunny day there is a lovely courtyard garden at the back of the pub. I've also been to gigs upstairs, it's quite small and cosy but those are good nights out. All in all TPM is in my top five favourite pubs in Oxford, do try it sometime.
This is by far the best place to get a Sunday roast in Oxford. Proper joints of meat with delicious crackling served with huge yorkshires and loads of tasty gravy. The cauliflower cheese is also delicious. I'm not veggie but tried the nut roast which is absolutely delicious and I'm now stuck when I go between ordering meat and nut roast. Great service too and the food came piping hot.
Randolph (Unverified), 17/08/11
Brilliant atmosphere and great quality home cooked food! Fantastic roast and veggie options - one of the barstaff is vegetarian so makes the vegetarian food herself to ensure it's reliable.
livvyhepburn (DI User), 17/01/11
Sunday roast is the best I've had in a very long time, I was pleasantly surprised, good sized portions and delicious home made yorkshires and roast potatoes. I've yet to try the burgers but I will be back in soon to take advantage of the two for a tenner meal deal.
Had really nice food here the other night. It's pub food, but with the sort of quality you would expect in a really nice restaurant. The chips (which so many pubs can't get right) are absolutely fantastic, properly home made, and the homemade burger was the best I've tasted in Oxford.
Food aside, this is a decent pub with good ale, a great music venue upstairs and a nice atmosphere. Will be rushing back soon, and certainly this is now top of my list when looking for a pub to eat in.
soupysoups (DI User), 25/11/10
This pub has dramatically improved. Not only has the interior benefitted from a much needed redecoration, they are now doing GREAT Sunday roasts for around £7. Cool juke box and nice atmosphere, plus the added bonus of staying open till 1am on Fridays and Saturdays. I hear the back yard is now open and the landlord tells me of plans to show the world cup outside on big screens! Its our new favourite local.
mojo888 (DI User), 13/04/10
Has improved with recent re-fit but feel a little more could have been done. Pub retains most of old layout with a bar area immediately inside the front door (complete with more subtle lighting and a lick of paint), there's then a second bar area accessed either to the right of the front bar, down some steps, or at the rear of the pub near the toilets. The second bar is a difficult space as it's a narrow room which feels cramped even when empty. There are the same two (as far as I could see) nasty leather sofas at the back which feel cold and gloomy. The music room upstairs is a welcome distraction but it really is little more than a 'room' as is very cramped (and feels like a sauna).
What surprised me the most was the lack of any electronic pub machines. There is a juke box and that's fine, but there used to be 2 quiz machines and a fruit machine and these have gone.
The crowd is mainly students and a more alternative crowd which is no bad thing. Overall, a perfectly OK pub which ticks lots of boxes without excelling in any particular field.
Joe B (Unverified), 17/01/10
Good News!! This is re-opening as a fully functional pub and music venue in the very near future!
Nando (Unverified), 28/07/09
Have to agree with above reviews, this pub is a bit of a treasure with its upstairs music venue. Main bar area is a little sweaty but watch out for the retro classic - Pornographic Spot the Difference on the quiz machine! I've wasted many a £1 coin (and evening) with friends looking for air-brushed out straps and 3 headed transvestites! Only other places in Oxford with this machine that I know are a Chinese takeaway on the Cowley Rd and the Cellar music venue. Worth coming just for this.
Joe B (Unverified), 14/03/07
Just a quick response to Aussie Dave below here. Would agree that the beer is good, haven't eaten any food there recently (except the nachos once, which were served on hot plate and seemed covered by a mound of tinned tomatoes, the whole lot warm and rather worrying!), so shan't comment (much!) on that. I do go to music nights there regularly tho, and I do have a few things to say about that:
1) The Port hires out its upstairs room for gig use entirely free. There is only one other pub in (reasonably Central) Oxford which does this on the same basis, let alone with anything resembling a decent PA. The money from the door takings goes entirely to the organisers of the night in question. The pub allows these promoters to use the venue in this way purely out of goodwill and for the increase in drinks/snacks takings. This is unusual; normally pub venues retain a close control on bands' income, often setting the door charge themselves and/or offering the band a set fee regardless of how many people attend the night. Other venues charge £200 or more for an evening hire. This may not even include PA equipment, door staff and a soundman. You can see how organisers might be keen to run a night at the Port, then; and perhaps you can also see how the the responsibility for ensuring that the night runs to time is entirely theirs. They are made aware of the limits and if they are unable to stick to them that is unfortunate - but their responsibility.
2) The Port has had trouble with their licence due to complaints from neighbours about noise levels after closing, hence their keenness to close nights on time. You can see how it might be irritating for the staff to have to argue/explain this point every time a band accidentally runs over time. It would certainly stretch my patience. :-)
Small music venues in Oxford are fragile and valuable things. Since Oxford's main central venue for live bands, The Wheatsheaf, is closing down soon we will all have to be even more careful with this precious resource as all the other venues will see an increased demand on their capacity. Hopefully your son's next gig will be at somewhere where the organiser is a bit better at time management - or maybe he can put a night on himself? - and everyone can be happy!
Roo (DI Reviewer), 29/09/06
It is agreed that this pub has shown great new strength. It has a wonderful atmosphere, with competent staff, excellent food, and good beer, as good as Greene King can get. However, I had the misfortune of witnessing a shambles in the music venue, upstairs last night. My son, and his mates, were the last on, of three (or four?) bands. The "organiser" letting time run on, meant that my son's band didn't start until 10.45. Unfortunately, the situation lead to the music finishing late, to the anger of the Lady from the pub. To our dismay, the comment "You didn't pay to play here" was made. Lady, let me tell you this: the group of friends who came to see the band play, most of them students, paid good money for your beer, and were charged £4.00 to get in the door. There is more I could say, but I won't. I do understand that it is your licence that you need to protect. I suggest that you find someone worthy of organising this kind of music night. To the Port Mahon (this will have little effect), unfortunately, I'll be giving you a wide berth. To the sound guy, well done on keeping your cool.
Aussie Dave (Unverified), 29/09/06
This was perfectly satisfactory. Both veggie and carnivore receive a fairly well prepared selection of the usual stuff. The only problem is that the plates were too big, leaving the occasional unfortunate gap where a tomato had ended and before an egg began. There shouldn’t be gaps in a breakfast. It invites melancholy, a sort of “Has it come to this?” feeling. Overall, nothing one could fairly complain about for a fiver, merely a sense of competence rather than inspiration. 3½/5
See the Breakfast Review Feature
Mr T (Unverified), 14/07/06
The food here is unexpectedly good. I particularly recommend the student burger with big fat crisp chips that look like golden maggots and taste like chips par excellence.
The music venue upstairs is small and hot or intimate and well-loved, depending on which way you look at it. It's a very encouraging venue for acoustic players to bare their strange souls in when they're starting out. The size of the room, its scratched old wooden furniture and the beered-up conviviality in which the walls have been steeped year-on-year make gigs there feel more like private parties.
At the moment the place is run by friendly Antipodeans, who remember you and your favourite drinks despite the nightly bustle. Apparently, they also have a resident ghost in the pub, but I have never seen it.
They have very odd things for sale in the toilets.
Minnie the Muncher (Unverified), 08/06/06
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