Page 30 - Fall/Winter Taste Magazine 2021-2022
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candle for my birthday, nice touch. The wine list was equally interesting and after a glass of Champagne we chose the Cairanne Cotes du Rhone Domaine Grosset 2017, delicious with the sirloin. No. 1 Ship Street is very well operated and with great food and staff, this always succeeds!
The next morning we were delighted to have our continental breakfast in a sweet little courtyard. A very charming little wicker basket arrived full of the goodies we had chosen the night before, plus a cafetière full of hot and strong coffee. What a lovely idea implemented through Covid and as their restaurant was not able to be operated, being too small in this old building.
Off we went then to rediscover Oxford. Much loved by all who come or live here, as well as Inspector Morse fans, (us too), Inspector Lewis and Endeavour, the long and loved English TV series. Well-used as a hub for filming of all sorts, the actors are often spotted around town. Our favourite is the latest series Endeavour, he acts the part of the young Morse, it’s just superb.
As the oldest university in the English-speaking world, Oxford is a unique and historic institution. There is no clear date of its founda- tion, but teaching existed at Oxford in some form in 1096 and devel- oped rapidly from 1167, when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris. ‘It’s good to be the King!’
Our stops included the Bodleian Library, unfortunately most, due to Covid were strictly monitored and some without public access yet. Definitely proof that Covid restrictions were still very much alive in England. The famous circular domed building, the iconic Radcliffe Camera was just beautiful to see again. Then it was time for a coffee break and we found a shady, grassy spot at the back of St Mary the Virgin Church, at the Vault Café, a 1320 building with vaulted ceiling and garden, for breakfast and organic, inspired lunches. We could see why it was already busy with wonderful baking aromas, trays and plates burgeoned with over stuffed sandwiches, soups and rolls.
The wonderful day was spent soaking up the historic, classic atmosphere, feasting our eyes on the beautiful architecture built from in the famous golden local Headington limestone, shopping a little mar- ket enclave and different stores along the High Street area. Neal braved the Anglo-Saxon Tower at St. Michaels at the Northgate dating 1000- 1050. Its many stairs led to a beautiful view across the city. Museums, exhibitions, activities of all kinds and galleries abound. Endless stimula- tion.
Regrettably our last evening was already upon us. We were taken by taxi a short distance across town to the Cherwell Boathouse, a restaurant we’d chosen, on a tributary of the River Thames, the River Cherwell which was a fun and busy restaurant this summer Wednesday evening. We were thoroughly entertained by all ages trying to master punting on the long narrow boats drifting by below us, some docking to come and eat. It was lovely and quintessentially English by the river in the gentle countryside.
Oxford’s Hertford Bridge, also known as the Bridge of Sighs. The Seared Scallops, Chicken Wing at No.1 Ship Street and the
amazing St. Michaels
Anglo- Saxon
Tower dating 1050
very good. Our first tastes were of the divine, smooth and delicate watermelon Gazpacho, and the Chicken and Pistachio Ballotine -
Parma ham, sweetcorn salsa, a smoked emulsion and crisp bread. We shared the local and so tender rare Rump of Lamb with Pommes Anna, samphire, courgette, and Romesca sauce, plus the Pan Fried Halibut - green olive tapenade, salt crust potatoes, chard baby gem and chorizo sauce vierge. These were some delightful and very fresh ingredi- ents with some unusual combinations. Along with tasting, well drink- ing, some wonderful glasses of wine; a very nice Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc Menetou Salon 2017 and a Red Slate 2017 Riesling. The Reds were the Touriga 2017 from Quinta de la Rosa, the Douro, and a Beaune premier cru Les Pertuisots Pinot Noir 2015.
Late breakfast on the patio again was pleasant chatting to Manager Fernando.
N.B. We cannot underline this enough but we remind our readers and anyone they know... how much the busy and congested, British and European cities have changed so much recently, in that most of the centres are pedestrian. This means it’s very difficult to access anywhere central by car. Only by taxi or buses. We found out the hard way (with a ticket!), that we should have gone straight to the Park and Ride closest to the hotel just outside the centre, (no-one alerted us to how important this was), to park and leave our car there as we approached the town centre - and then to get a taxi to the hotel with our luggage. We were concerned about the security of our car but the system seems to work well with monitoring and cameras and atten- dants checking regularly. It was inexpensive and definitely worth it.
Our return journey south hit very busy traffic but we made it safely. We loved our brief side trips, yet again discovering more of beautiful England.
Pics by Neal Finell
Manager Julian was very personable and again service was
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