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HELP - Oxford - Must See - Locations

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Stratford-upon-Avon...
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HELP - Oxford - Must See - Locations

Hi,

I am staying in Oxford for 2 nights on Friday 25th October and checking out on the Sunday morning for my partners birthday.

Im currently trying to put together a bit of a birthday itinerary so we are not hopeless walking around the streets looking for places.

Would appreciate an y help on what the must sees and do's are and also any recommendations for some nice pubs

I am looking to book a restaurant on the Saturday night also for the birthday meal so any recommendations there would also be appreciated.

Many Thanks

Gemma

Oxford UK
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1. Re: HELP - Oxford - Must See - Locations

One person's must sees and dos are another person's dull and boring. For example, I would say Modern Art Oxford on Pembroke Street is a 'must see', but you may think contemporary art is utter twaddle... I would say a walk around the University Parks is a 'must do', others would think 'parks are boring'. What kind of things do YOU like to do?

Oxford has many pubs. What kind of pubs do you like? Modern, traditional? Ale? Lager? Alcopops?

And what kind of cuisine for restaurants? I assume you've looked at the 401 restaurants listed on Trip Advisor for Oxford already and have some ideas? tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurants-g186361-Oxford…

Oxford, United...
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2. Re: HELP - Oxford - Must See - Locations

Hi,

Everything Becky said is right. Also, where will you be staying? Once we have an idea of your interests and know where you'll be staying we can advise accordingly. And what kind of food do you enjoy?

If all else fails, simply wandering the streets in Oxford will take you to plenty of potentially interesting places without really trying, but you might miss things that will really give you that wow factor, hence Becky's wise advice.

Angie

Stratford-upon-Avon...
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3. Re: HELP - Oxford - Must See - Locations

Hi, We are staying at the Oxford Spiers Four Pillows Hotel.

Food wise - Looking for a nice ala carte restaurant, maybe a high ended type establishment as it would be for a birthday meal.

Pubs, would be looking more for the old classic type pubs not looking for a weatherspoons.

Things to do will vary so open to suggestions as to what is the main places to go

Thanks for your help

Gemma

Oxford UK
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4. Re: HELP - Oxford - Must See - Locations

Four PILLARS, not pillows... OK, that's on Abingdon Road and you can walk or bus easily to the city centre.

HIgh-end restaurants: The Living Room, Malmaison, Old Parsonage, Gee's?

Proper pubs: The Turf, The White Horse, The Chequers

'Main places to go': Again, without knowing what kind of things you like, it's impossible to say. Personally, I'd go for Modern Art Oxford, the colleges of the University, Christ Church Meadow, The Ashmolean, Museum of the History of Science, University Parks.

To be honest, Oxford is small and one of the best things to actually do is to 'walk around the streets'. If you're looking for organised fun you'll need to be a bit more specific.

Stratford-upon-Avon...
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5. Re: HELP - Oxford - Must See - Locations

Ok thank you for the correction on the hotel name......... !?!

Living Room, Malmaison are all places which we have in close facinity (and from experience dont change that much from location to location) however I will look at the other 2 options so thank you for those.

Will also look at the pubs you have suggested as they sound like the type of place we would like to visit.

Your main places to go sound like some places which I would love to incorporate into our stay so thank you for your help.

Oxford, United...
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6. Re: HELP - Oxford - Must See - Locations

Hi. From Four PIllars you can walk along the Thames Path to Folly Bridge, which is where Abingdon Road crosses the river. Cross the bridge and follow on up St Aldates. Before long on the right is Christ Church cathedral, college and Meadow. All worth a visit.

Or carry on up St Aldates and maybe climb up Carfax Tower (at the crossroads at the top of St Aldates) or St Michael's Tower (aka The Saxon Tower) almost at the end of Cornmarket. Both have great views across the city.

Or turn right at the top of St Aldates and visit St Mary's Church - I'm told the tower there is worth a climb. Further along High Street you'll come to Magdalen College, or turn left along one of the little side streets and wander through to Broad Street where there are several colleges, and the Bodleian Library. Also on Broad Street is Blackwells Bookshop - The Norrington Room is a sight to behold with so many shelves of books. There is even a spot for taking photos.

There's so much more, but with the suggestions you've been given so far and a guide book you'll find plenty to do.

For food, I'd not classify The Living Room as high end dining. Admittedly I've not eaten there, but I walk past it regularly and there's nothing about it that says "high end dining". I'd say Gee's and The Old Parsonage are high end dining.

One place I often mention on TA is The Jam Factory on Hollyfield Road. It's not high end dining, but it is good. The food is excellent and the ambience fantastic. They serve a great range of beers and Cotswold lagers. It's just round the corner to where I live, which is why we go there so often!

Whatever you end up doing, I hope you have a lovely time in Oxford.

Angie

Oxfordshire
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7. Re: HELP - Oxford - Must See - Locations

Oxford really doesn't go in for "high end dining" - at least not anywhere accessible to the general public.

It's no accident, for example, that serious food writers all nominate as the best in the city either its Chinese restaurants, or the Magdalen Arms - which is a gastropub, and even when on form, not the kind of place maitre d's are going to fawn over you.

If things like attentive service and a sense of seclusion matter to you, the restaurant at the Randolph Hotel is fine, if pricey. The Cherwell Boathouse can be a tad raucous, but unusual. Shanghai 30s is Shanghainese (which, in modern China, is pretty "high end") restaurant that used to be extraordinarily "high end" when it did European food, and has spectacular views over the bits of Christ Church Cathedral it's usually impossible to see.

Gee's is where most people wanting to push the boat out a bit go to find food they can rely on. It definitely tends towards the raucous end of the poshish spectrum though - and it'll never get into a James Bond film as the epitome of "fine dining".

Oxford, United...
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8. Re: HELP - Oxford - Must See - Locations

I would agree with Angie about the Living Room definitely not high end but Gees and The Old Parsonage are very nice. Brasserie Blanc is also quite nice even though they do have branches in other cities. Most good restaurants are further out in the countryside and I imagine it would be easier for you to find something you can get to easily from the Four Pillars. There is a restaurant on Folly Bridge which is quite nice and very close to the Four Pillars but reviews do vary.

I also agree that you will stumble across a lot places just by walking round during the daytime as Oxford is quite compact.

oxford
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9. Re: HELP - Oxford - Must See - Locations

I would say that the Old Parsonage is probably the most consistant out of the higher end restaurants, I think the food is probably better at The Cherwell Boathouse but as someone said the acoustics can make it a bit raucous, also it's a bit out of town.

Gees is also definitely worth a visit, the restaurant at the Ashmolean is nice with a fairly limited menu. The Randolph is probably the best setting but I have always been disappointed with the food there. As for the Living Room i wouldn't wish that my dog ate there. Have eaten in Malmaison twice and once was first class the other was pretty poor.

You wouldn't go far wrong with Gees or the Old Parsonage, Gees a bit more lively the OP a bit more traditional, but similar food, which you'd expect as they are owned by the same people.

Oxford, United...
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10. Re: HELP - Oxford - Must See - Locations

Just a word of warning - The Old Parsonage is currently under rennovation and out of action until February.

One place not mentioned are the Ashmolean Dining Rooms - admittedly, not 'high-end' on most definitions, but not normally heaving - and offers some fabulous roof-top views.

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