What better way to spend a week off work than with a day trip to Oxford. It’s funny, despite living in London for almost three year and thoroughly enjoying a day away from the city, I rarely venture out of the capital. So despite the November drizzle, the cultural and rather British day out in terms of cuisine and history, was very welcome and enjoyable.
The hour long bus journey, whiled away with a few games of Monopoly Deal, passed quickly enough and my boyfriend and I were soon meandering down the pretty cobbled streets of Oxford. We started off with a trip around the Christ Church University grounds. Being a bit of a fantasy fan, I nerdily absorbed the information that the staircase to the Universities Great Hall was used in the first Harry Potter film as the entrance to Hogwarts where Professor McGonagall welcomes the first years and the Great Hall was used as a model for the Hogwart’s Hall. This new-found knowledge resulted in my re-watching the film a few days later and thoroughly enjoying it – it had been a while since I saw it last!
After traipsing round the University we decided that an afternoon tea and scone was in order, a delicacy I’m very fond of but for dietary reasons only indulge in on occasion. I still remember the first time I had a scone with clotted cream and jam, it was while on a holiday with my mum in a pretty little village in the New Forest when I was about 12. Ever since I’ve had a soft spot for them.
In order to walk off the afternoon treat we wandered through the Covered Market, down the rows and rows of books in Blackwell’s and in and out of a few bars before deciding it was time for some more food.
After much deliberation we decided to keep with the unintentional but obvious British theme of the day and go to The Big Bang for some bangers and mash. The restaurant is situated in the quarters of Oxford Castle along with a few other bars and restaurants. The table we were ushered to was covered with dictionary pages whose content provided us with much amusement while we waited for our food to arrive. Once we were seated water appeared served in an antique tea pot and the menu which was a paper with a brief history of the restaurant and information on it’s suppliers.
We had a lot of fun deciding on what to order as you could mix and match different types and flavours of sausages as well as choosing the accompanying mash and gravy. I went for a basil and vine tomato veggie sausage and a pork and apple sausage served with a butternut squash mash and red wine gravy. The dish came with peas and really tasty red cabbage, which is something I hadn’t eaten in years and had forgotten how good it could be.
Suitably stuffed from the delicious and wholesome food, we stopped off for a quick drink – a mulled wine and whisky to be exact – before venturing, in the now pouring rain, to catch the bus back to London. I could happily get used to more of these days trips out of London. Luckily for me my next one is in a few weeks time, slightly further afield this time – to the other side of the world to be exact – and for a bit longer, but a trip out of London nevertheless!