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La Gousse d'Ail. Not a reason to go to Oxford, but a very professionally run outfit by ex-Manoir folk, and the most up-market meal to be had in the city. Le Petit Blanc is not bad either, as isn't The Lemon Tree.


Do tell your friend to avoid Browns, however.

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Guest Adam Lawrence
La Gousse d'Ail. Not a reason to go to Oxford, but a very professionally run outfit by ex-Manoir folk, and the most up-market meal to be had in the city. Le Petit Blanc is not bad either, as isn't The Lemon Tree.


Do tell your friend to avoid Browns, however.

Gousse d'Ail closed about eighteen months ago, rather spectacularly bankrupt as I understand. Has returned to its previous status as the Lemon Tree. I haven't been since reopening, it used to be goodish though. I also fell out with Le Petit Blanc after a couple of overpriced unattractive meals with very poor service. The fact that it's now owned by Loch Fyne doesn't fill me with hope that it'll be better.


I have to say that, as someone who lives about five miles from Oxford, I've practically given up on restaurant meals in the city. The French-derived options are mostly not that great. There is good Indian food at Aziz on the Cowley Road. The multiple Lebanese places are not bad - I've advised al-Salam on Park End Street over al-Shami in Jericho before, but a couple of recent meals at the latter make me wonder if I should revise that view. There are a bunch of funky studenty places on the Cowley Road that I should try but that generally make me feel old.


Edamame on Holywell Street is a little Japanese cafe, dirt cheap and good fun. You have to share a table, and their opening hours are eccentric, but I think it's worth it. They have a cooked menu for most services, but do sushi only on Thursday nights. If you come from somewhere with good Japanese food you'll probably find it ho-hum, but it works for me.


I think the best restaurant in town is Chiang Mai Kitchen, a quite upmarket Thai place down one of the alleyways off the High Street. It's also a very ancient and extremely attractive building, which adds to the appeal, especially for visitors. If I had one night in town, I'd go there.

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  • 7 years later...

Last time we played this game, Rail Paul did a good job, so I'm trying it again. We've got Brits here right? Give me (well, not me) a hand. Say you're a young woman, on a budget, on your own in Oxford for a conference and you want a good, cheap meal. Where would you go

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We spent nearly a month there last summer. Pubs: The Royal Oak does a nice, inexpensive dinner,and is close to the Ashmolean. The Punter on Osney Island has a varied lunch and dinner menu. We had a lovely lunch at the "Inspector Morse" pub, The Trout, in Lower Wolvercote. It's a pretty walk along the canal, from Oxford. A cool thing to do on a weekend. The Fishes also has a good menu. The Fishes

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Thanks. I'll let you guys know. She's probably going to do one of the pubs since academic conferences seem to love Indian and Thai food. For the record, she thought a jet lagged meal at Polpo in Soho was good value.

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  • 2 months later...

NY Times has a 36 hours feature on visiting Oxford.


Although many readers were offended by the suggestion that Christ Church College dining room might be better known for its association with Harry Potter, the tour was recommended.


Oxford has recovered from the siege of 1646, and places to eat and drink are readily available.


Take a pub crawl through Oxford’s most traditional pubs, like the classic student haunts Kings Arms (40 Holywell Street); the ancient, low-ceilinged Turf Tavern (4-5 Bath Place); and the central White Horse (52 Broad Street). You will fit in more (or at least remember them better) by ordering “a half of bitter” instead of a full pint: it’s always precisely half the price. (Full pints cost around £4.) When you’re ready for dinner, go to C. S. Lewis’s and J. R. R. Tolkien’s former hangout, the Eagle and Child (49 St. Giles). You’ll have to order at the bar, but don’t let that deter you: this is a legitimate kitchen operation. The beef rib pie (£9.95) is topped with ultra-flaky pastry, and the sticky toffee pudding (£3.75) is divine. Watch the clock, though — at some spots the bartenders call “Time!” as early as 11 p.m.


The area is crossed with bike paths. The article mentions the-Perch in Binsey. Along the path, with ale at the ready.


If you tire of fish and chips, or Vindaloo, or Chinese food, there's always a Slovak choice:


But for an unusual experience, visit the cheery, whitewashed Moya (97 St. Clements Road; 44-1865-200-111; moya-oxford.co.uk), which serves the cuisine of Slovakia. (It also tries to pass itself off as a fancy cocktail bar, with significantly less success.) Try the “devil’s toast” (sourbread toast topped with smoked sausage, vegetables and a shockingly delicious patty of grilled goat cheese), a creamy beef goulash with paprika, and a doughy fruit dumpling with poppy seed sauce for dessert. Dinner for two costs about £50 without drinks.



Oxford, a town and university

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  • 1 year later...

Long article in the NY Times by a writer whose husband is on sabbatical in Oxford.





Riches? Oxford has them, starting with the Ashmolean Museum. This is what I like about it: 1. It’s free. 2. You can leave your stuff in a locker downstairs for £1, but you get your money back when you return the key. 3. The museum is neither small nor large, so you don’t get a museum hangover. 4. The collection.

And what a collection, from the silver and gold dinnerware that Corpus Christi College hid from Cromwell, to contemporary art and the pre-Raphaelites. It’s enough to make you just stand there, blinking, trying to decide where to start. I started on the second floor in an orientation gallery, which explains the cultural explosion that happened when east-west trading routes were established in early modernity. But no sooner had I wandered one room away, into English ceramics, than I was transfixed, a deer in the headlights. Here was a fantasyland of afternoon tea, with seemingly every type of English pattern and plate ever devised, decorated with astonishingly lifelike painted flowers of rose and rose gold, pale yellow and radiant turquoise, with butterflies and climbing vines and birds. But there was more — much, much more — including the wares of Japan, China, Italy and the Netherlands, Delftware, Greek and Roman sculpture, textiles and a whole room of Pissarro and his descendants.

From the Ashmolean, it’s just a few steps to everything else you may want to see in Oxford, including Blackwell’s, at 51 Broad Street, perhaps England’s most famous bookstore, with its gazillions of books (new as well as secondhand).






Cheap (£3 to £8, or about $5 to $13 at $1.63 to the pound):

West Cornwall Pasty Company (5 Cornmarket Street; westcornwallpasty.co.uk) is a fast-food outlet with cheap pasties (meat, vegetable and cheese pies). Well worth the calories.

The Oxford Cafe (in the Covered Market) serves salads, soups, sandwiches and pastries.


Midrange (£10 to £20):

The Prince of Wales (73 Church Way, Iffley; 44-1865-778554) offers excellent fish and chips and a good variety of ales.

The Trout (195 Godstow Road, Lower Wovercote; 44-1865-510930; thetroutoxford.co.uk) is a classic English pub with outdoor seating overlooking the Thames. You can get everything from fish and chips to complex vegetarian salads.

Aziz Restaurant (228-230 Cowley Road; 44-1865-794945; aziz.uk.com) serves rustic Bangladeshi and Indian food.

The Magdalen Arms (243 Iffley Road; 44-1865-243159; magdalenarms.com) is said by many to serve the best pub food in Oxford.


Pricey (starting around £20):

Brasserie Blanc (71-72 Walton Street; 44-1865-510999; brasserieblanc.com) in the heart of the Jericho neighborhood, has very good, if not particularly distinctive, French-Continental food. This large, simply appointed restaurant is popular with students whose parents are visiting, and is one of many restaurants in Raymond Blanc’s Brasserie Blanc empire.

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