The British have a way with names…many pubs are outright compelling enough to lure you in for a pint on curiosity of name alone. The Lamb and Flag, The Bear, The Eagle and Child—and those are just pubs in the small town of Oxford. In the 1940s and 1950s, a small group of Oxford academics met on Tuesdays at The Eagle and Child to read and discuss members' unfinished works. This venerable group, of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien fame, called themselves "The Inklings." Technically, it was neither a club nor a literary society, though it partook of the nature of both, according to member (and elder brother of C.S. Lewis) Warren Lewis.
Familiarly and alliteratively known in the Oxford community as The Bird and Baby, the pub nurtured discussions that contributed to the final form of both Lewis' Narnia books and Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series. Needless to say, my crossing the threshold for a pint was as if setting foot on literary holy ground. The warmly lit stool-laden maze of rooms are reminiscent of a pub right out of Hobbiton...fitting, actually. And though the name is sure to lure you in, The Eagle and Child's rich history will inspire you to settle in for a pint, if not two.