Saturday in Oxford

We woke up (I would say bright and early, but it wasn’t) on Saturday morning in our lovely room in Burlington House B&B and ambled reasonably quickly (if that’s not an oxymoron!) downstairs for breakfast. And were we impressed! We only had a short wait for a table, and were immediately served with tea and coffee and some fresh bread. Meanwhile our order was taken for the omelettes we had chosen (gruyere cheese for me, field mushroom for husband) and we were free to fetch fresh juice and cereals or granola and yoghurt from the breakfast buffet. It was all very nicely done, with good fresh ingredients used and quick service but not so quick that we felt rushed. Once breakfast was over we returned to our room to consider how best to spend our day!

After due consideration we took a leisurely walk into Oxford (just under three miles from the guesthouse) and found the bus stop for the tour buses which operate every ten minutes or so around the town. We bought twenty-four hour tickets and ‘hopped on’. However, it was getting near to lunchtime by this point, and so we only went a couple of stops as my friend Hannah had recommended a restaurant to us. Having thoroughly enjoyed our meal there I don’t hesitate to recommend it to you too. It was The Big Bang, a restaurant which serves only many varieties of ‘Bangers and Mash’. (For my overseas readers, ‘bangers’ are another English word for sausages).

I had Toulouse sausages on a garlic and rosemary mash with red wine jus – it was stunning! We took our time over it, and really had no room at all for dessert. Then we made our way back to the bus tour and finished our trip around the city.

We spent the rest of the day in a very calm and relaxed manner, ambling around Oxford without set plans to go to particular places. We visited the covered market, where I bought my mum a lardy cake as she can’t get them in Cardiff any more. I also bought a head scarf to wear over my ears and mouth when I’m cycling in cold weather – more about that to come!

I’m not sure whether it was a good or a bad thing, but we knew very little about Oxford and its landmarks before we visited the city, and so had no places in mind that we had to go to. I think that it made for a much more relaxed trip than if we’d visited, say, Bath, Stratford-upon-Avon or London, where we would have had a list of places to visit.

The final thing that we did whilst in the city centre was accompany Bill Spectre on his Ghost Trail. This was a walk around Oxford with the gentleman pictured below, during which he would stop at pertinent locations around the city and regale us with tales of spirits and ghostly occurrences from days gone by. We thoroughly enjoyed this, although I think I’d like to go back and do the tour in a darker winter evening, as the atmosphere would be more condusive to ghost stories than it was on a relatively bright June evening!

After the ghost tour concluded (with none of the participants having been dragged into the fiery pits of hell by unruly spirits!) we decided, in a very down to earth manner, that we were hungry and so visited a Chinese buffet restaurant which had been recommended to us by the manager of the B&B. After this, it was time for an early night so we retired to our lovely comfortable room (can you tell that I liked the B&B?!).

More to come…Sunday morning relaxing and a short visit to Blenheim Palace.

 

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