Travel gets our pulses racing here at H&L but there isn’t a place too small or too close for us to explore, so we’re showing you how to spend a weekend in Oxford. Hidden gems, amazing characters and historical influence is often closer than we think. Whilst that plane ticket to Warsaw is firmly on our wish-list, a train ticket to Oxford has satisfied our pulse rate – at least for now.
The birds and the bees, hydrangeas and evergreens, the gentle crunch of gravel and the soft bounce of grass can all be found at Oxford’s Botanical Gardens. The gardens were created ‘to promote the furtherance of learning and to glorify nature’ and the latter we particularly adore for weekends away. It isn’t often that we take the time to appreciate small, delicate petals and the breeze caressing the backs of our hands, yet here that’s all there is to do.
H&L recommends taking a small picnic to enjoy at the Arboretum. Be sure to pick up some of Oxford’s delicious artisan cheeses, breads and treats at the Covered Market before you go.
Cobbled streets, with pops of floral colour and maize-coloured brickwork always reassures us that we have travelled out of our London comfort zone, away from tall, glass buildings and traffic lights. If you’re looking to take this a step further and into the realm of roleplay, take an hour or two at Oxford Playhouse to enjoy a play.
H&L recommends: In the lead up to your visit follow @oxfordplayhouse for up to date information and fun nuggets of information. The account is responsive and shares reviews of their shows too! Fingers crossed for no show-stopping spoilers!
Boathouse dining isn’t always readily available; nor is a menu dedicated specifically to cheese but The Cherwell Boathouse offer both. We are gleefully happy to book into this restaurant each time we visit Oxford – a must see, must eat and must do, all at once.
H&L recommend combining your dining with the option to go punting, a beautiful experience at dusk or mid-morning with the sun shining. Aim to go before you’ve eaten a hearty meal at the restaurant – just trust us on this one.
Wherever we go, smokey tapas and ice cool cocktails seem to find us. Kazbar is a great option if you’re visiting Oxford but craving the sounds, smells and atmosphere of a Spanish bar.
H&L recommends leaving your inhibitions at the door and going to the bar between 9pm and 11:30pm on a Thursday evening to enjoy an evening of vibrant and exciting Flamenco Music. It reverberates in your rib cages and makes you grin, even when you’re trying to sip your drink.
Stay & Relax
Drop your weekend bags at the foot of the huge, beautiful beds available at the 5 * Macdonald Randolph Hotel & Spa with the knowledge that from here on out you’ll be completely spoilt in British luxury. The spa here was voted among the 50 best spas in the world, a complete oasis, cradled safely away from thoughts, demands and reminders of daily lifestyle.
H &L recommends: The Herbal Lavender Repair facial for her, to balance shine, refine pores and soothe away any worries or anxieties. The Tranquil Touch Scalp Massage for him, because his affectionate soft spot is one to indulge. His secret is safe with us!