The other weekend Ben and I embarked on a whirlwind tour of Oxford, his old uni town and the venue for Rock of Ages on tour. Having seen this on the Saturday night (see my review here), on the Sunday we were free to stroll around the city and take in the winding cobbled streets. It was a grey and gloomy day and we wrapped up warm against the chill, but this at least made the fiery autumnal colours of the leaves on the ground and trees shine even brighter. The city is compact and cosy, a feeling accentuated by the warmth of the building stones in tones of honey, butter and sandy gold. I thoroughly enjoyed wandering and exploring, accompanied by my willing tour guide! We admired beautiful buildings, I found literary heaven in Blackwells, and then we settled down for a hearty pub lunch, before making our reluctant return to London and reality. The photos do more justice to the city of “dreaming spires” than my words could, so sit back with your beverage of choice and feast your eyes.
We stayed in Somerville College, which was within easy walking distance of the city centre. It had this gorgeous tree in the courtyard which I couldn’t resist photographing in all its blaze of fiery glory!
Ben studied at Jesus College, and as a graduate of the college he still has access and can wander around the campus. So he escorted me inside and gave me access to this secretive world.
Jesus College is quite small and intimate. Although Ben would kill me for saying it, it was like something out of Morse! The main courtyard is above, and below are a few of my highlights:
Ben also introduced me to an Oxford rowing tradition. The chalk drawings you can see on the wall in the picture below are references to the rowing team, the year they won and the teams they beat during the season. There are several of these drawings scattered around the archways in the college, and I liked the personal touch it added.
I clocked this in a covered parade of shops near the college, and as it was only days away from Halloween I had to take a picture!
I love that wherever we walked, there was always something fascinating to be seen around every corner. These two photos are prime examples of that.
I was also enjoying the opportunity to showcase my staple autumnal wardrobe. I was back in my Ballater Slim Jeans from Crew (previously seen in my Autumnal Reds outfit post). The jumper is the Gosford Textured Crew Knit from Fat Face, and is actually a man’s jumper. I fell in love with it when I spotted it in store on the way out to San Francisco in September. On my return it was one of my first purchases. I love everything about it – the colour, the fit, the style and the comfort.
The boots are a new addition, and were being road-tested that weekend. They are the Wide Fit Brown Shearling Cuff Boots from New Look, and they are gorgeous. I do not have a good record with shoes with high heels (I walk too fast and cause numerous blisters), so I was wary about this purchase. But as long as I don’t overdo it, they are perfect. Great colour, great style (the shearling cuffs and decorative side zips really complete the look), and an affordable price. Buy, buy buy!
Oh, and finally my shirt is from H&M, but it’s a few years old now so is no longer in stock. The handbag is from Peacocks, and an absolute bargain at £12. It travelled to America and back with me and I cannot be parted from it now!
Finally, after all that exploring, we were in great need of some warming pub grub. So we holed up in the Kings Arms pub. The cheesy chips were to die for!
It was wonderfully cosy in our little corner of the pub, with good food and a window out to the street to people-watch (a great hobby of mine), and it was with great reluctance that we dragged ourselves back out into the street and headed for the bus back to the car. It had been a lovely short break away and I relished the opportunity, both to explore such an historic and picturesque city, and also to gain a greater appreciation for the place where Ben went to uni and spent three years of his life.
Speaking of which, if any of you have your eye on his rather lovely coat, you can find it here.
We had a lovely little weekend in Oxford, and if you get the chance to visit I strongly recommend it. Top Tip: just don’t buy an ‘Oxford University’ hoodie! Ben told me that no one who actually went to Oxford wears those, as they all buy hoodies and kit relating to their individual colleges. I’d personally suggest you pick your favourite college name and go from there!