I have been to Oxford a handful of times now but only in what feels like the dead of night! The gigging scene in Oxford city centre is CONSTANT and I have loved being a part of it for the last few years. Venues such as The Chequers and The Birdcage Inn, 25 mins down the road in Thame, are two of the many bloody brilliant venues where you can grab a scrumptious bite to eat and hear music that is like custard to the crumble (Mmmm). To be able to see this historically beautiful city in the sparkle of the day was glorious and here is what we found …
Sleep, please …
First thing is first, we needed somewhere to rest our weary heads post gig. Now, usually mum and I retreat to a Premier Inn, or a Travelodge. But wanting to fully embrace the University legacy that Oxford encompasses … we ended up booking a room that was within the University accommodation!! When I say UNI accom, I’m not talking messy kitchen with god knows what hanging around on the floor and echoes of a predrinks starting before the sports night where everyone is trollied (miss it haha). We stayed in a corker of a room that was the highest floor of one of the city townhouses. Within a horseshoe, with a skyline that gave me no choice but to smile, this choice of place to stay was a winner. Rewley House was sparkling clean and had all the amenities. So much so, as the early morning crept upon us, Mum and I ordered a fully equipped dominos and indulged with some Gordon Ramsay Hotel drama too. Bliss…
Morning is here … and coffee is near!
Morning came around with a cold and orange sunrise. It was hard to believe I didn’t have to be up and out the door for 9!! A treat for sure. I pulled back to curtains, curious to see how busy the day would begin like. Oddly enough, although a thriving city- the crescent was calm. As calm as the waves when the tide pulls out. Mum and I began to have the coffee (ARGH I NEED CAFFEINE) pangs and this meant the time had come to pack and venture toward the high street to find that cuppa somethin’.
As we ventured in our meticulously planned outfits- you have to be prepared for a city break right?- there were SO many unconventional and independent coffee shops. We fell for something more familiar and guaranteed to be tip top- Leon!
The pulling factor with Leon is that it is quick and easy (ooh aaah) and so it was. I indulged in the poached egg and mushroom muffin and it felt as though it was gone in an instant! Assisted by a latte the day felt off to a wonderful start. Mama kate ventured down the more traditional route and went for **** drum roll***** TOAST! haha. Nonetheless, it looked like a lovely couple of slices!
Another coffee stop which I genuinely adored is the Art Cafe. If you want to feel as though your stepping back into an unconventional realm of all things Notting Hillesque then this coffee and cake jaunt (with an extensive lunch/dins menu of paninis, sarnies and more) would be the shoe that fits for you. I caved and fell head over heels for their Blondie Brownie with a trickle of peanut butter running throughout and there was not a single strand of regret present.
Busking busy …
There is nothing more pleasing than the faint, ever growing sound of a busker earning their pennies for doing what they love and Oxford accommodated just this v frequently. A harpist was placed just outside Boots and the MANY hairs on my arms danced upright to each gentle melody she played. Busking is hard enough as it is, add on the fact you’ve got a huge harp that isn’t amplified and the challenge is really there. This particular musician played beautifully and I am sad that I never was able to find out their name!! If ya reading this … haha.
Bass Chatfield was sat with TWO, YES TWO guitars busking away with a rhythm that stopped the street. Mum and I stood listening intently for a while when all of a sudden a double-decker bus steamed through and almost took me with the wing mirror. Yes, we had been stood (of course) in a bloody bus lane!! Bass Chatfield is on a busking tour so go and give his page a like to keep up with his musical travels. Incredible musician…
Please tell me you managed to shop?
YES YES and YES! Unlike London and the copious amount of shops scattered like dot to dot across the city. Oxford has two big shopping centres, The Clarendon centre and The Westgate Centre!! Both were packed to the brim with high street and designer stores that tempted my hand to my purse more times than I order a latte. THAT IS A LOT!
It was a shame we couldn’t stay longer but perhaps a safer option for my savings!
Scarlett Notes Oxford Vlog:
As a city, Oxford is beautiful with so much more than, as a first-time tourist, you would assume! Is an overnight stay enough? Defo not! If I could have tended to one more part … it would have been to sightsee the Uni grounds as the outskirts of the complexes were already breath-taking. Imagine what they’re like inside?!
Some places you visit, you can picture yourself in and for me … Oxford is one of those very locations. Who knows? Maybe one day I might just live there!