Over the weekend, we ventured up to Oxford…
…and found ourselves some headless…deers?!
For some reason, I thought they were cows, coz I couldn’t contemplate what other animal they could be…
Shuffling down the street, we found ourselves looking at a restaurant called “Jamie’s Italian”.
Jamie Oliver’s restaurant!
To be honest, it looks totally unremarkable outside, and we weren’t even planning on eating. But we fell victim to celebrity branding…
…and spent 25 minutes at the bar waiting for a table.
The bar overlooks the ground floor of the restaurant. A spiral staircase at the end takes you down to more tables in the basement and an open kitchen. In retrospect, the space is big, but because it’s so popular and busy, loads of tables are put in, creating a slightly crammed, but lively atmosphere.
We each had an antipasto of cured meats, cheese and olives, and also a pasta each.
Sounds boring? But believe me, this antipasto plate is pure absolute heaven. Best I’ve ever ever had.
I’m usually wary of having Italian food in restaurants, as a lot of the times, no matter how posh they try to make them, pasta is always just pasta.
Yes, the pasta was great (though I thought a bit heavy) – but this? This platter of top-notch Italian meat? Oh – my – gosh.
We had a table in the basement. For a celebrity restaurant, and for such good food, the whole place was very un-posh-ly decorated, very down-to-earth.
Prices are very reasonable too! Our meal for 2, plus drinks, came up to about £36, which is a whole lot cheaper than many of those random no-name restaurants dotted around London.
Oxford is a great walking/cycling town. Flat, and everything accessible within a short distance.
It’s small enough for you to be able to get almost anywhere within a short time, yet large enough for you to explore and not get bored.
Ancient architecture, small town vibe. Museums and sights abound. Independent bookstores, sporting goods stores, little boutiques.
At the same time, it’s got that big city buzz going on on the main streets, with most big brands and stores available. (No, this is not the main street. Unfortunately, I was too busy shopping to take pictures…)
I’d say you get the best of both worlds here. Explore the main streets for some buzz…
…or stroll through back alleys and sit in ancient churches to absorb the old town atmosphere.
Definitely a good place to be.