Sunday, November 7, 2010

Oxford: lifting spirits and pints

When Tea's Aunt Lill said she and Robbie were meeting friends in Oxford for the weekend, we jumped at the chance to see them and that beautiful city once again.

We threw an overnight bag in the car late Saturday morning, and met them at the hotel a little over an hour later. After catching up for a bit, it was time to head to the Bodleian Library to meet Lill's old friend Lisa, her husband and another couple they'd been visiting in Hampshire. Before long, the gang was assembled and in search of sustenance. Easier said than done when you're a group of eight on Saturday!

The White Horse smelled amazing, but, alas, the one table that might've suited was full. Although it seemed like we'd have no more luck at the Turf Tavern, we spied a couple of tables on the back patio that were just being vacated. The nearby heat lamps cut the crisp afternoon air nicely, and shortly thereafter we had pints and vino in hand and steaming plates of goodness before us.

Lisa suggested that we might take in a college or two before the sun fled, so off we went to Magdalen College. With the last light of day, we walked beside the River Cherwell, a few brave punters guiding their charges to the docks below us. Later, finding the grounds of Christ Church College closed, we walked around to its Cathedral, just in time to take in the Evensong.

The organ and boys choir left our scalps abuzz -- I've been enjoying my recordings from the evening as I type this. One in particular I had to share: if you listen carefully, you can hear fireworks from the second evening of Guy Fawkes celebrations in the background -- very surreal, I assure you!

Then came the long-observed tradition of a few pints after the church service, before bidding farewell to Lisa et al. at the train station. Many more pints with Robbie and Lill followed -- broken up by a street-side lamb döner kebab worthy of the best of the evening's choral delights -- including a nightcap at the Eagle and Child; an old haunt of Tolkien and Lewis.

No comments:

Post a Comment