The first thing you notice upon entering The White Rabbit is its refreshingly idiosyncratic atmosphere. One minute you’re walking on the vaguely disorienting streets behind Gloucester Green… and the next you step foot into a disco from the 80s, which is actually a pizzeria, which is actually a pub. It’s impossible to not feel a bit like Alice as you gaze at the vibrantly decorated walls and feel the decorative vibrancy of the people around you. The staff are friendly and fun: ordering a pint is like asking your best mate to pass you a beer, except that your best mate has secretly developed an expertise in the local ales’ balance of hoppiness.
The Mad Hatter calzone, which has undisclosed (“leave to chef”) ingredients, encapsulated my experience at the White Rabbit as a whole
Then there’s the food, which is best described as comfortably and deliciously specialized. Pizzas and calzones of all degrees of meatiness, cheesiness or vegan-ness are available for around a tenner. The Mad Hatter calzone, which has undisclosed (“leave to chef”) ingredients, encapsulated my experience at the White Rabbit as a whole: initial surprise in the form of goat’s cheese, with elements of familiarity – mozzarella and pepperoni – that inevitably induce mellow contentment. A range of other pizzas from the classic Margherita to the chorizo-and-paprika-infused spiciness of the Spagnola will not leave your Italian cravings wanting. Good food and drink is just part of this pub’s boisterously friendly personality – the rest is wonderfully “curiouser and curiouser”. There is no better, more pleasant glimpse into the novel-inspiring eccentricity of Oxford.