Laura and I made a quick weekend trip (2 days, 1 night) to the Hogwarts-esc, university town of Oxford. It’s only an hour from London and you can see a lot in two days. Plus we got to bring our dog Business!
Favorite Things: Green spaces and Harry Potter inspiration
Accommodation: Oxford is fairly pricey so we picked an Airbnb about a 20 minute walk from the center.
Vaults & Garden – Great little cafeteria style lunch spot in a church. The garden seating gives you a great view of Radcliffe Square.
Kazbar – This might be the best meal we’ve had in England. Southern Spanish/North African tapas for a very reasonable price in a very charming space. They bake their bread fresh daily and it’s delicious. Get the baba ganoush to go with!
Fishes – About a 30 minutes walk west of the city center, you’ll feel like you are truly in the English countryside. You can take a cab, but the walk is quite pretty along a stream and through meadows (yes google maps will get you there even when you think there can’t possibly be a path where it’s telling you to go). Its got English pub warmth and modes country elegance, and my lobster was pretty bangin’.
iScream Gelateria – Located inside the Oxford Covered Market (a cute place to walk around), this ice cream shop sources their ingredients locally, foraging berries or getting rhubarb donated from a local garden. Taste the rainbow.
The Eagle and Child – The historic english pub, famous for it’s patrons like J.R.R. Tolkein and C.S. Lewis.
Botanical Gardens – Giant lily pads and carnivorous plants make you feel like you’ve left England entirely. If you’ve got a lazy afternoon you can sit under the apple trees and enjoy the fresh air.
Christ Church College – Famous for it’s dining hall, the inspirtion for the Hogwarts dining hall, expect a line and crowds, especially in the summer. The courtyard is enormous and it’s hard to believe real live 18 year old students run around there during the school year.
Balliol College – Possibly the oldest college at Oxford. If you don’t have the patience for the lines and crowds at Christ Church, this is a smaller but equally charming option. Make sure it’s open to the public. There’s an inner courtyard and a “buttery” (aka adorable cafe where you can get wine or pimms cup), so you can park it on the grass, stare up at the architechture from the 1200’s, and fancy yourself a wizard. They also have a dinning hall that just looks like a half size version of the one at Christ Church.
I think we got smarter just being there.