Converted church with art exhibitions, soaring classical architecture, occasional live music of a jazz/blues orientation/DJs on weekends. Cocktails and snacky grub. Small sun terrace at front for summer posing.
Opening hours: Sun-Thu 11am - 12am, Fri & Sat 11am-2am. Food served: 12 noon - 10pm daily.
Cuisine: Italian / Pizza & Salads, sandwiches.
Food served, Cocktails & Live music events
Capacity: 200 seated + 40 standing. Occasional dress code & Cocktails. Late licence till 2. Equipment Spec.: None. Available for private hire
119 Walton Street
Sun-Thu 11am - 12am, Fri & Sat 11am-2am
Telephone: 01865 311171
Coming soon to Freud:
Attempts on Her Life Sat, 29th March 2014: 3pm (runs until Sun, 30th March)
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Latest venue reviews
Had a gathering on Saturday afternoon at Freud's to celebrate my birthday. It was freezing. Apparently the heating wasn't working, though they seemed to be doing something about this just as we decided to decamp to a warmer venue about an hour later so they lost the trade of twenty+ people on a slow afternoon.
The service was appallingly slow, even though we were the only ones there for the first half an hour and the staff, although friendly enough, did not appear to know what they were doing or where anything was. No pizzas were available, despite being advertised on Freud's website.
Great large tables and nice stained glass, but little else to recommend this venue sadly. Even the ladies loo had a missing toilet cistern lid and the whole 'shabby chic' thing has been allowed to go way too far until it was just shabby with poor lighting.
Looking at the previous reviews, it seems like many of these problems have existed for years. How Freud's keeps going and why they don't fix these problems is anyone's guess. They could have a much better reputation.
The Poet Laura-eate (DI User), 02/12/13
Stunning building but tatty decor, dirty and very poor service!
S (Unverified), 25/08/11
We went for a college do, the venue is stunning and the staff amazingly friendly. I ordered the Moscow Mule, which was incredible and at just £4.50 was perfect. Then my friend got the Apple Pie, a touch more expensive but stunning.
We are now committed converts and when we come back the staff are always pleasant and have taken the time to get to know us, having our drinks ready as we come in the door. A place you have to visit when in Oxford (did I mention that it is a Greek temple?).
HarrySal (Unverified), 25/06/11
Cocktails were great. The girlfriend and I spoke to the guy behind the bar at length about the large selection. We tried about 8 different ones off the menu between the two of us, and he took the time to talk to us while he made them! We came back last night, and he even remembered our favourite tipple! We have lived in Oxford for two years - shame on us for only just finding the place! We will now be regulars.
Jake and Anne (Unverified), 29/06/10
Yes, the food is mediocre (and the crumble was truly appalling - we sent it back), but the service was friendly and of course the venue's the thing.
Wouldn't take a lot to change and improve a simple menu, though.
David (Unverified), 06/05/10
Drink here if you want well made cocktails but do yourself a favour and don't order food. Tasteless pizza. Runny flavourless hummus. Cold undercheesed nachos. Tiny bits of bread they were calling bruschetta. Sad.
Clare (Unverified), 28/04/10
What a waste of a beautiful venue. The staff simply aren't up to coping with even the low numbers of customers they get these days. I haven't eaten here but the time it took to get 4 drinks was shocking; three standard G&Ts and one watery cocktail. Raouls over the road had a far higher customer to staff ratio and we got served much quicker. However the one advantage Freuds has is that it is so empty on a Saturday night you can get a table and have a conversation across it without being drowned out by background noise.
Ess (DI User), 24/03/10
A party of seven, as we ordered soft drinks our waitress warned of a wait for food as a party of eighteen had just ordered. There were no other people seated, so we stayed. After fifteen minutes, drinks arrived and food was ordered. Starters arrived after 30 minutes without napkins or plates and a dish short. Cutlery and plates arrived late and dirty. One of us had to request his pizza sliced and boxed for take-out. Pizzas arrived in pairs at ten minute intervals. The urgent pizza arrived last, on a piece of cardboard, wrapped in tin foil, un-sliced, undercooked, malformed, undersize and missing its olives.
Our food was ordinary – flavourless houmous, undercooked pitta, nachos with too little guacamole and salsa like ketchup.
We were not a difficult party, but any complaint was met with ‘I can only apologise’ followed by a litany of irrelevant complaints about co-workers. Three times wait staff made excuses yet left our table without removing debris or offering refreshment.
Having previously eaten at Freud’s and had tasty, generous portions of Nachos, surrounding delicious guacamole and salsa we were sorely disappointed that standards have slipped so very far.
We could write more about the blandness of our pizzas with flavourless, under-ripe ingredients, but find ourselves as bored and displeased with the amount to complain about as we were bored and displeased with our experience in Freud’s.
We will not return.
Jo, Alex, Ronnie and Jo (Unverified), 06/02/10
Its still not getting any better! How long can Freud ride on its amazing architecture? Sure the surroundings are stunning and well worth a trip, but the staff continue to seem unaware that they are being paid to work. We stopped in at the weekend for mojitos and I'm not sure which cocktail recipe book they used, but they tasted awful.
granberry (Unverified), 14/10/09
This spacious bar is a delightful surprise, a remarkable mixture of old and new. I'm glad they've kept the stained glass and so much of the old fabric - even the shabbiness is part of its charm and individuality. Too many other bars and cafes concentrate on being modern and sweep away their history!
Luly Whisper (Unverified), 02/10/09
Freuds has to be my favourite place in Oxford. I have been going there for nearly 20 years whenever I visit Oxford. The atmosphere is fantastic - relaxed and quiet in the late afternoon, and a real buzz at late evening. Cocktails are a must! The walls could do with a touching up with paint though. I don't think it has ever been painted in the last 20 years.
Mark H. (Wales) (Unverified), 19/09/09
Have been to Freud's three times and had three totally different experiences! The first time I went with a group of friends on a busy evening and would describe that as unremarkable; nice cocktails, nice place, reasonable service. Second time I dropped in with a friend on a Saturday afternoon, and it was lovely: fantastic cocktail, great service, really good. So then I tried to take my boyfriend; we went one evening - despite the place being nearly empty, when we went up to the bar we were completely ignored. We waited politely assuming that the staff were busy and would turn to us in just a second... they didn't! Shortly after we arrived a group came in and were served immediately, the bar staff joking and having a laugh with them while taking an extraordinary time per cocktail to serve them, while totally ignoring us! I'm sure they must have seen us, as I was leaning on the bar by this time trying to catch someone's attention! Anyway, we were very patient, but after being ignored completely, we left. I was so embarrassed! The only positive was my boyfriend had nearly half an hour to take in the decor and the building, which he admired. Funnily enough, I don't feel much incentive to try again.
Helen (Unverified), 06/04/09
I came here for an evening meal for the first time on Saturday & was very pleased with the food. I had the Quatro Stagioni pizza, which was very nice. The service was fine and it was quite an interesting place, very open feel. I would come here again & would recommend it to anybody looking to have a nice pizza in a different surrounding than the usual restaurant setting.
J (Unverified), 10/03/09
This pub or cafe or cocktail lounge or restaurant is one of the strangest places to find oneself. It has more personalities than some of Sigmund Freud's most challenging patients. I've been going to Freuds on and off for several years and I never quite know what to expect when I walk through the dark doors.
As a previous reviewer mentioned, I had also assumed that during the month-long closure that they were doing a massive renovation. But, now that they have opened again, the chairs are still uncomfortable. The beautiful stained glass windows are still dirty and unlit at night. The floors still are shabby. The walls are still unpainted. But, maybe this is all part of its unkempt charm? I will say that the staff did seem to be more friendly and accommodating on my last visit than I have ever experienced in the past. At least that is a big step forward.
I do agree with Mr. Freud that the space is unique and should be a community resource. I am not sure how to suggest that he accomplish that task. Perhaps he can use the venue to showcase more local art, more local music, more community meetings? Maybe inviting the art community of Oxford into the daunting stone structure could breathe in the life that the building so desperately needs.
I wish you well, Freuds.
Merajahar2 (Unverified), 17/02/09
I am grateful to J & V for taking the time to report their visit to FREUD in January. We need to know what people want and what we have to do better. We need to know that at least as much as we need to know what we do well. If J & V will contact me, it will be my pleasure to arrange for them to have free cocktails on their next visit - especially if they can give me any further guidance. We are trying to understand precisely what we have to do in order to secure the future of our extraordinary building. That has been our goal for the twenty-one years, this year, that we have been its steward. I say steward because truly a building like this belongs to everyone, including those who come after us. If it is to be preserved as the vast unitary space that it was constructed to be it can only be used as a place of public resort. My dream is that it should be wonderful for everyone. To get that right it needs to be filled with life and ideas. By providing both, those who are or who would or could be its patrons can help us make it so. It is their social space or it is nothing.
David Freud (Unverified), 16/02/09
Freud, what has happened?! We popped in for a quick pre-dinner cocktail and were sorely disappointed. This is the fourth time we have visited Freud over the past six months in the spirit of giving it the benefit of the doubt - but no more. Though the place had been closed for a month for what we assumed was going to be a great new refurbishment, nothing appears to have changed. The inside still looks rather unloved. And as for the service... After ordering our drinks at the bar we were told to take a seat and they would be brought over. After 15 minutes of watching the bartender chat to a woman at a table we managed to catch the waiter's eye - he simply told us they had forgotten our drinks! We waited and waited whilst the bartender took a painfully long time to make our cocktails and when we eventually got them they weren't even that great.
So sorry Freud - but I think you've had your chance. We won't be back.
Vicki (DI User), 22/01/09
It has been a while since I have visited Freuds, but damn I should have gone sooner. The bartender was amazing, making us the best bramble I have ever had. He was even happy to make us stuff that wasn't on the menu. The pizzas were apparently from local produce and boy I could tell, best pizzas in Oxford!
The only thing I would say is that it needs a lick of paint and a bit of investment, but hey, what place doesn't. Also, I don't know if this happens a lot but we even spotted Ralf Little there!
Raouls may have a longer cocktail list and swanky decor, but for those prices it should! Cheap coctails, great service, friendly staff and sometimes live music, Freuds is definately up there!
Sarah (Unverified), 04/08/08
Lovely food, shame about the service!
Waited ages to be seated, despite it being practically empty for a Saturday (compared to all the packed coffee shops in town!), so eventually seated ourselves. It then took forever to get someone to come and take our order. 30 minutes after ordering, they then informed us that there was no duck (what were they trying to do, hunt one down in the local river?), so we had to change one of our orders. Finally, about 50 minutes after our order was taken, the food and drinks finally arrived. We only ordered sandwiches and a pizza - hardly gourmet food that requires hours of preparation! They also forgot to bring our bread, but we gave up trying to catch the waiter's eye.
Food was lovely (apart from them putting the prosciutto meat on the pizza then cooking it, rather than adding it afterwards, making it somewhat greasy!), but yet again we couldn't get anyone to clear the plates, or bring the bill, so we had to just get up and ask to pay at the bar, which took several attempts as they tried charging us for the bread that we didn't even get.
Yes, the food was mostly lovely, but I wouldn't really recommend this for a place to eat lunch, not unless you have no afternoon plans, and don't mind waiting ages to get anything!
Rhiannon (Unverified), 20/07/08
I hired the venue for my 30th birthday and boy oh boy, what a fantastic evening had by all, good basic home cooked food that was very fresh and the cocktails were even more amazing..Thanks to the managers and staff for all their hard work into making my party a night to remember! Will definitely return for a pizza and a cocktail sometime...
Calvin McEvoy (Unverified), 19/01/08
Although I have yet to try Freud's food menu, I have been there a number of times for cocktails and found them to be inventive and delicious. Although very pricey (around a fiver each), you get to savour a rather unusual experience in Freud's. The combination of the music, art, architecture while you enjoy your drink is a nice change to an ordinary pub or bar. Although the acoustics are a bit strange, it reminds you that you are sitting in a former church (the windows and remaining pews are nice authentic touches without being overwhelming). Overall, based on my experiences, Freud's is a lovely place to go in the evening for a pre/post drink in Jericho.
Tash (Unverified), 09/01/08
Had previously last visited Freud over 5 years ago and remembered it for its amazing interior, its good wine selection and its downright awful toilets! Went back recently and found it to be mostly the same.
By some stroke of fate, we visited on one of the only weekend days of this English summer to allow us to sit outside without the use of a rain mac or thermal gloves! I chose an overpriced, but pretty good mojito (charging almost £7 for a standard cocktail just doesn't wash outside London). My lady-friend went for a lime-based Caipirainha (spelt wrong probably). The interior was still glorious and the food still looks good, but the novelty for me is starting to wear off, particularly at these prices.
Joe B (Unverified), 20/07/07
great food, and recently discovered new cocktails...a must. Loved the fact we could basically have a drink, read the free newpapers, listen to the live jazz, view the art work and be left to our own devices...
suzy (Unverified), 03/04/07
Great for undergraduates. I wouldn't recommend taking your parents here, or anyone who is looking for a nice evening out. Very casual, okay food and decent prices but certainly not outstanding. The building could be spectacular but school cafeteria style tables and chairs and thrown in randomly, and little has been done to renovate the old church to its potential. Again, a mainly undergraduate hang out that isn't bad for a quick drink before your night out.
Alex (Unverified), 02/09/06
Something of a local institution, this popular venue on the edge of Jericho manages to fulfil a variety of functions for the residents of North Oxford. A café/bar with a late licence, serving food from a limited but appetising menu throughout the day, Freud is a great place to go for lunch or a coffee, or to take a group of friends for cocktails on the evening. Set in a converted church, Freud is also, in a small way, an art gallery, and offers live jazz most evenings and on Sunday afternoons.
A party of four, we arrived early, knowing how packed Freud can get later in the evening. Deciding to eat at seven o'clock on a Monday night during the university vacation, however, proved to be something of an overcompensation. Except for a few late-afternoon coffee drinkers on the small terrace outside, the place was deserted. Not that this detracted from the atmosphere, but rather gave us an opportunity to appreciate our surroundings. The Neo-classical former church of St Paul with its stained-glass windows and cavernous dimensions forms an atmospheric backdrop to an evening out, and the sometimes remarkable but always enthusiastic artworks haphazardly festooning the walls provide additional eye candy. The stained walls and building-work-in-progress look of the balcony end of the place add to the impression that you could be visiting some kind of poshed-up artists' squat on the continent - the very essence of shabby-chic.
The starters, generous and unpretentious, left little to be desired. We shared garlic bread/bruschetta, a plate of houmous, olives, salad and fresh bread, and an enormous plate of spicy nachos with fresh guacamole, salsa, soured cream and cheese. Prices of these delicious inflated bar snacks were very reasonable, ranging between £3.50 and £5. The pizzas, chosen from a good selection and attractively priced at around £6 each, were on the bland side - the calzones rather too doughy, the pepperoni picante slightly overdone - and the halloumi cheese salad platter was rather too much like an expanded starter to be worth its £6.95. (Admittedly the huge size of the actual starters and the heat of the day might have dented our appetites, and thus our appreciation, by that point.) The service was friendly, though a little too relaxed; our waitress, although otherwise very helpful, was not sure of the names of cocktails (perhaps unsurprisingly give the extent of the menu) and of which ingredients/dishes were unavailable, and there was a long wait between ordering and receiving our pre-diner drinks. The cocktails themselves, at around the £4 or £5 mark, were delicious however, though there was some discussion as to whether they'd diminished in strength over the years (though thinking back to some of the nights I spent there as a student, this probably wouldn't be a bad thing).
As we left at nearly nine o'clock, the first of the evening's clientele were starting to arrive and the bar was beginning to get busy. You can wait a long time for a drink in Freud when it gets really full, but it's usually worth it, and the place itself is justly popular. This may not be the place to go for a romantic dinner for two or a memorable gastronomic experience, but for a quiet lunch or a less than quiet evening with friends, in beautiful and unusual surroundings, you won't go far wrong.
Susie Cogan (DI Staff), 27/10/05
Less of a café, more of a way of life for the residents of North Oxford, Freud's is quite overwhelming the first time you enter, being, basically a huge renovated church (thank the lord they left the stained glass windows in).
Serving a decent array of food from Nachos to a (quite extensive) selection of pizzas, Freuds offers you just that little bit more than the average café. Perfect for large parties (though don't expect the food to arrive all at the same time, as there is only one poor beleaguered chef on duty most of the time), it's also ideally suited for a quick afternoon cuppa. Live music is also on the agenda every night (great so long as you like jazz funk or funk jazz, not so great if you don't) - though the music is sometimes lost in the cavernous recesses of the building. Freuds also has a late license, so it's perfect for a post-pub hideously-overpriced bottle of Becks. Damn good cocktails too.
Christian (Unverified), 27/10/05
The music is always of a very high quality but the acoustics in this converted Greek orthodox church are truly awful. Regular jazz piano slots take on a rather pleasant ambient quality but live bands suffer terribly.
Jack (Unverified), 20/07/05
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