Andy Warhol once covered his entire studio with silver foil and paint. I somehow feel like Corpus bar’s choice of entirely white walls was perhaps less radical, although the Ribena-purple couches do make somewhat of a bold colour statement. Like many Oxford college bars, this is a subterranean establishment which you really have to know is there before attempting to find it.After discovering a secret door on the left hand side of the quad we walked through what seemed to be a waiter’s corridor. Since formal hall was taking place we were definitely in the way of the servers, but this is probably not an issue you’d face every time you visited.
I have to be honest, this is a teeny tiny bar, and feels a little bit like someone’s living room, but since Corpus isn’t exactly the biggest of colleges I guess that it makes more sense to not have a huge bar, especially since the JCR is right above it. The ceilings are probably quite perilously low for tall people and generally the space is not designed for people who are claustrophobic but it’s warm and not wholly unpleasant. They also have darts, foosball, a pub quiz machine, and pool so if you get bored of looking at the very white walls/talking about your love life you can at least play pub games to your heart’s content. The room is well set up, and there are booths built into the archways in the walls. This is a nice feature, although the acoustics within these booths are bizarre and it wouldn’t be great for a conversation with a larger group. But as it was just my partner-in-crime and me in there we could have a fairly private conversation undisturbed by the group next to us.
The drinks selection is unusual, with Mahou and Tuborg on tap instead of the more usual suspects of Carling and Guinness. Personally I think Mahou is a good middle-ground choice for those who don’t particularly like beer. It cost roughly £2.40 and it was well pulled and decently priced. My partner-in-crime, being classy, ordered the Toucan which was some combination of vodka, blue WK, and cranberry juice. It was a bit grim and cost £4 so I think we’ll skip that if we ever decide to return.
The bartender was extremely sweet, letting the guys next to us bring in pizza and giving us change for the foosball table — not to mention getting us drinks quickly and without fuss, so I am loath to give this bar a poor rating. I think it works for a quiet drink with one or two friends (as long as you don’t need to go for a ciggie break in the pouring rain).However, if you’re pre-drinking or trying to get wasted it’s probably — sadly — a little too small and a little too quiet.