All entries for Sunday 07 May 2006

May 07, 2006

My Oxford top 10

In the last couple of weeks, on two separate occasions, I have been asked about Oxford by people planning to move there (once by a famous movie director and a screenwriter, and once by a leading British philosopher). There are many good things about Oxford. That's why I still visit so often. Here's a list of my favourites.

  1. The Radcliffe Arms, Jerico. A very ordinary, old–fashioned and down–to–earth pub in one of Britain's most expensive neighbourhoods. Good beer, and good cheap food. Excellent for Sunday roast.
  2. Walking along the Thames into Oxford, from the Abingdon Park and Ride to the Head of the River pub. On weekend mornings you can see boat crews exercising out on the river. From the pub, you can continue through Christ Church Meadows to the Botanical Gardens, and then across to the Parks and out the other side of Oxford. There is a bus back to the Park and Ride from the city centre.
  3. Walking through Port Meadow from the Botley Road to the The Trout Inn. The water meadow is an interesting environment, with lots of open space and lots to see. A good place for a picnic, except for the hordes of angry political geese
  4. Borders coffee shop. Each of the three book shops in Oxford have good cafes. However, the Borders cafe is right next to the philosophy section, which contains a decent selection of interesting books, often with plenty of Deleuze.
  5. Edamame, 15 Holywell Street. A tiny Japanese restaurant serving what I am told is the kind of food that the Japanese really eat (ie not sushi). We first went there with a friend who has lived in Japan. The food is excellent, although the seating system is very un–English. You have to share your table with anyone else seeking a space.
  6. The Fishes pub and restaurant in North Hinksey. Next to a small river, with a large garden and a play area for Mooseheads. Excellent and sensibly priced food. It has been refurbished recently, so may have changed.
  7. The Aziz. 230 Cowley Road. Of Oxford's many good Indian Restaurants, this is my favourite. Good friendly service, even for large groups of drunken e–learning advisors.
  8. Oxford Coffee Concerts at the Holywell Music Room. Concerts of classical music, Sundays 11:15.
  9. Oxford University Museum of Natural History. Free entry. Voracious dinosaurs.
  10. Moosehead Manor, Botley. Exclusive club for learning technologists and other miscellaneous flotsam. Luxury accommodation. Entertaining host, speaks Russian, Romanian, Portuguese and English (when sober). Vast array of kitchen gadgets. Endless supply of scotch bonnet chillis. Fascinating and colourful history. Opposite Andy Brock's butchery, hence ideal for serious fry–ups.