Thursday 17 October 2013

A Literary City Guide to Oxford

A few months ago, Nicole of Eat This Poem launched a new series of literary city guides. The guides are a "travel resource for bookworms who love to eat" and are full of bookshops, libraries, restaurants and coffee shops.

I quickly volunteered to write one about Oxford and, as of today, you can find it here.

After reading Kelsey's guide to Denver, I want to go... the mountains make it look like home. I'd love to return to San Francisco too. Which cities would you like to visit?

“I wonder anybody does anything at Oxford but dream and remember, the place is so beautiful."

W B Yeats (1865-1939)

“Oxford, in those days, was still a city of aquatint. In her spacious and quiet streets men walked and spoke as they had done in Newman's day; her autumnal mists, her grey springtime, and the rare glory of her summer days - such as that day - when the chestnut was in flower and the bells rang out high and clear over her gables and cupolas, exhaled the soft airs of centuries of youth.”

Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966)

“In that other Oxford where she and Will had kissed goodbye, the bells would be chiming too, and a nightingale would be singing, and a little breeze would be stirring the leaves in the Botanic Garden.”

Philip Pullman (1946-)


  1. I've just dropped by the site - what a wonderful idea, and what a lovely post. I spent three very happy years studying at Oxford, so it brought back so many memories: the vaults, the old parsonage, Turl Street...all very good choices. Only one I'd add is Kazbar - I had too many good nights there...perhaps thanks to the jugfuls of sangria there! X

  2. I think that the black and white photos are fantastic! The photos look so old fashioned.

  3. I'd like to visit Oxford;
    ....and Switzerland!....
    Greetings from Italy!

  4. LITERARY CITY GUIDES?! I'm geeking out a little bit. A lot, actually. I need to go sit down and have a cup of tea. Oh my god...... Thank you.

  5. you make Oxford sound absolutely dreamy (it is of course!), I agree about the cosy chairs at TSK, I'm rarely in Oxford but I seem to have ended up there many times.

    There are so many cities that would lend themselves so well to this concept, I'm very happy your link introduced me to Nicole's site.

  6. Charlotte's Kitchen Diary23 October 2013 at 12:32

    This is such a lovely post Emma. Thank you for sharing your favourite Oxford haunts. As you know, I know Oxford well, but there are some great new ideas for new places to visit here. Thank you. Best, Charlotte

  7. poiresauchocolat23 October 2013 at 13:49

    I'm glad you approve - I'm not a reviewer at all, so it was an odd feeling to put myself in that position. I can't say I've ever been to Kazbar, though there is a club called Casbah in Verbier that I can also claim to have had too many good nights in!

  8. poiresauchocolat23 October 2013 at 13:50

    I thought that too - it's funny looking at them, it feels like they could have been taken by someone else decades ago.

  9. poiresauchocolat23 October 2013 at 13:50

    Hehe! It's a great idea, isn't it. Maybe you should write one for your own city?

  10. poiresauchocolat23 October 2013 at 13:53

    Oxford is a dreamy place, I think - in a little bubble.

    I thought it was a great concept too. Maybe you should write one too?

  11. poiresauchocolat23 October 2013 at 13:55

    It was fun - going round making sure I'd tried everything a few times (such a great excuse to eat out - I so rarely do so at home) and thinking about what I'd like to do as a tourist. You must come visit! I would love to show you around and return the favour. xx

  12. poiresauchocolat23 October 2013 at 13:55

    Thanks Charlotte, I'm glad you approve! I always get nervous recommending places.

  13. The thought of doing something like this for London is a little daunting! Sadly the cities that cam to mind are places I once lived or have only visited, which I don't know enough about.

  14. A lovely guide & gorgeous images - I would love to visit Oxford one day.

  15. I just found your Oxford City Guide, it's exactly what I was looking for, as I'm here for 6 weeks, which is not enough to find all those places myself, but now I can just check out the places you mentioned :) It's been very inspirational, I want to do more Travel Guides on my blog soon, too...(
    Also I like your blog generally, really nice photos and I will definitely try one of your recipes back home.


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