On Saturday morning R., me and my 2 flatmates grabbed a train out to Oxford. The town is about 2 hours by a slow train and a slow bus from London- perfect for a day trip. The train was packed with people on holiday, just like us. It was lovely to see rolling green hills and far horizons. One of the weird things about London is you can never see very far- there are no real vistas. The train took us through a few industrial estates of which the most exciting one was the Nestle Coffee factory which made the whole train smell like a coffee shop. There were also beautiful fields filled with yellow rapeseed, the perfect compliment to the lush spring greenery:
We arrived in Oxford just in time for lunch and managed to find our way down to the Thames river relatively quickly (The same river that flows through central London) and settle in for a picnic and some people-watching
Most of the day was spent wandering around looking at the city/village and admiring the amazing university. The remaining portion was spent trying to find little patches of shade, applying sunscreen with paranoia, and drinking lots of water! Hurrah for a weird early summer here in England. I actually went and compared the weather here in England to Rome, and guess what - it's warmer here! I wouldn't imagine that would happen very often at all.
|Oxford University- not your everyday|
One of the coolest thing about Oxford, besides its amazing university and beautiful parks, was the fact that everyone who lives there rides bicycles. There were bikes everywhere. The only fences without bikes locked to them were the ones with giant signs shouting "any bike locked here will be removed".
|A bike with a basket. Is there anything better?|
As the afternoon leaked into golden sunlight, we eventually ended up having tapas for dinner at a nearby Spanish restaurant at the recommendation of the bar tender. Somehow, despite having been to Spain, I have never really had tapas. The restaurant we went to had blue/white/yellow cool tile floors, which led out into the outdoor dining area. There were beautiful trees arching overhead, and the garden walls were painted egg-yolk-sunshine yellow, with pots of hanging flowers.
Our flatmates were vegetarians which perfectly narrowed down the enormous menu of tapas- so we each selected 2 items to share and ended up with this:
|squid, aoli, lemon|
|fried goat's cheese and honey- the evening's winner|
|patatas bravas- potatoes with spicy tomato sauce and aoli|
|tortilla de patatas- classic!|
|squid and potato- already ravaged by us!|
There was also a few cheese plates with quince jelly, slow roasted red peppers, spinach, and crusty bread. Probably one of the best meals I have had in yonks (yes, "yonks"). I highly recommend you run away from your computer to the nearest tapas restaurant, meet up with your friends- and order everything on the menu to share!