On the night of my arrival (a quick train ride from London), A took me to the weekly formal dinner at her college hall. It was my first time stepping into the kind of student dining hall that the Harry Potter movies have immortalized, at least in my mind. We were served a three-course meal with wine (risotto, lamb, dessert) and a cheese plate as well, and it turns out the formal dinner is a tradition I heartily approve of 🙂
The next day, A and I enjoyed an afternoon meal in the shadows of the Bodleian:
Above, wine to whet the appetite while waiting for missy. Seriously, how crazy is that? That aint no photoshop! Below, my broccoli and potato soup. When the weather is right, there is nothing quite so lovely as outdoor dining.
Later that night we had dinner at Loch Fyne, a sustainably sourced, upscale, seafood restaurant chain:
A’s appetizer, gravadlax, similar to smoked salmon but more lightly cured. Paired nicely with lemon and watercress:
A’s seabass, which I thought the menu said was pan-fried. But I think I see me some grill marks on that baby:
My whole grilled lemon sole was fresh but rather disappointing, being bland and a little mealy. Where are my grill marks? It sort of made me wish I opted for what I was originally going to order, the seafood platter of grilled salmon, sea bass, king prawn, and scallops, until the waiter suggested it would not sate me (though I kind of asked for it by implying that I possessed a voracious appetite). Shame on me for second-guessing myself.
But frolicking around Oxford made up for it. Like London, I think the town strikes a good balance between cultural/historical attractions, open green spaces, and a mix of shops and stores. The (over)abundance of coffee shops was an added bonus, and I was spoiled by temperate, sunny days throughout my stay…
…weather that translates into ideal picnic conditions!
Alas, my trip too soon came to an end, but I thoroughly enjoyed all that England had to offer. I am already looking forward to a return trip in the not too distant future.