A Weekend In Oxford: Perfection At The Macdonald Randolph
Though just an hour from my doorstep, before December I’d never quite found time to visit the city of Oxford. I’d always wanted to go – a place steeped in such history and heritage appeals to the English Literature graduate in me – so when I was invited to visit the stunning Macdonald Randolph hotel, I couldn’t wait to pack my bags.
Some quick research told me that the hotel was a landmark building, and a haven of five star luxury. Prime Ministers and Presidents have taken advantage of this hotel’s spa, dining room and suites – so I figured it was good enough for me…
After a breezy drive from London, my partner and I checked in while a member of staff parked the car – a great welcome! Soft lighting, ornate furniture and the distant tinkling of cutlery and polite chatter told us that this evening would be utterly charming. After looking around, (and spying a fantastic ‘Alice In Wonderland’ Christmas tree that I wanted to take home with me) we were taken up the gorgeous, sweeping staircase to the breathtaking Presidential Suite. Complete with a living room, two bathrooms, library and a bottle of wine, the suite is draped with vintage patterns and luxurious fabrics, with two televisions and a view of the nearby park. My favourite aspect of the room? These little chocolates, presented in a miniature Oxford University academic cap. The attention to detail in the hotel is second to none – it doesn’t get much better than this!
The Restaurant At The Randolph brought similarly pleasant surprises. Decorated like a baronial hall, with dramatic high ceilings and walls adorned with University crests and oil paintings, I was so interested in my surroundings that I forgot to look at the menu. Finally ordering scallops, (huge, juicy and utterly delicious) followed by lamb and a rich chocolate dessert, I felt truly content. Between our starters and main course, we were presented with a cleansing melon sorbet – not something I’m used to but we thoroughly enjoyed it. A sweet dessert wine finished off this most elegant of meals to absolute perfection.
After our wonderful, relaxing Friday evening we were ready to explore the city. Blessed with glorious sunny weather, we decided to climb the University Church of St Mary the Virgin, before visiting the covered market – trading for over 200 years, it’s full of fresh food, flowers and gifts for your friends. Next we wandered (somewhat illegally) through the University college grounds, before grabbing a drink in a lovely independent coffee shop. Dinner was a selection of proper English grub at the hearty Turf Tavern – teeming with people, the food was great and the atmosphere even better… I’d thoroughly recommend a visit.
All in all, Oxford was everything I’d hoped it would be and more. The beauty of the city is hard to beat, and it’s not difficult to see why it’s been chosen time and again as the backdrop for films and TV shows, from Harry Potter to Sherlock Holmes and Downton Abbey to Inspector Morse. My only disappointment was that I didn’t get time to visit the Pitt Rivers museum, which I’m told is full of weird and wonderful artefacts. Something for my next visit, most definitely!
Amy @ Fashionbite xx