I wonder anybody does anything at Oxford but dream and remember, the place is so beautiful. One almost expects the people to sing instead of speaking. It is all the colleges I mean like an opera.
William Butler Yeats
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of making a family day trip to Oxford to meet old friends. Perhaps the greatest benefit of having had the privilege of living in various countries is the deep friendships that one develops and while friends may move on to different destinations, modern travel affords everyone the opportunity to catch up with friends from all over the world!
I have been to Oxford many years ago but it was a fleeting drive through visit. I remember thinking then that I was being driven through an English literature-inspired theatrical landscape that was almost dream-like in its lucid beauty. This time was different, we parked up and explored the university town on foot with our friends.
A lovely lunch at a nondescript cafe was followed by a decision to visit one of Oxford University’s 38 constituent colleges. We chose the largest, one of the finest and most prestigious – Christ Church College. Christ Church College has educated 13 British prime ministers in the last 200 years, and is the second wealthiest Oxford college by terms of financial endowment (£436 million as of 2015). It is also home to ‘The Hall’, which is the dining hall of Christ Church, completed in 1520, and in constant use since the 16th century. For avid Harry Potter fans, this is the great dining hall that served as the inspiration for the set of the Hogwarts dining hall. Actual scenes from the Harry Potter movies were shot here as well.
Christ Church College was so awe-inspiring that any attempt on my part to describe its grandeur would fall short of reality. We had a great time with our friends taking the self guided tour which included the ‘Tom Quad’ and the fabulous Cathedral. The rich history that encompasses you at every step is truly humbling and uplifting at the same time!
The visit to Oxford made me:
* Weep for joy at the beauty of the architecture – yes
* Wish I was young again and could go to University here – yes
* Bring out the ‘ambitious parent’ in me and lecture my children about the importance of working hard at school – hell yes!
Having made the decision in the morning that comfort was key, I decided to wear my bright yellow jeans in order to invoke the sun Gods to come out and shine bright. I think the luminous yellow jeans did the trick because we were blessed with mostly bright and sunny weather. A long scarf to ward off the wind and flat espadrilles worked perfectly in keeping me warm and comfortable through out the day.
Oxford really is a ‘must visit’ for those who have not yet been there. One can easily make a long weekend of the visit and there is more than enough to do, see and eat for the entire duration of your trip. It is not often that one would hear me say this (almost sacrilege really); if you are a visitor and only have one day – forget the ‘street’ in ‘Oxford Street’ and go to Oxford instead!
Thank you for joining us ‘P family’ – it was lovely seeing you all again. Thank you all for taking the time to read my blog as always – it is much appreciated!
(Clothes and Accessories: Shirt – Vila, Jeans – Zara, Scarf – Massimo Dutti, Espadrille Shoes – Tory Burch, Handbag – Dooney and Bourke)