The honey-stone walls of Oxford city centre conjure all kinds of wishes and whimsy – and each time that I’ve stayed overnight in Oxford, it’s like slipping into an architectural Narnia. Disclaimer: On this visit I was an invited guest of Mercure Hotels and Experience Oxfordshire, but all thoughts and laboured literary metaphors are very much my own.
Oxford is one of those cities that seems unaffected by the passing of time.
I’m slightly obsessed with picnics. The tiny sausage rolls, dappled sunshine, bubbled beverages, a blatant disregard for tables, communal pots of hummus, relaxed laughter and did I mention miniature scotch eggs? As the seasons turn, I’m already planning a little dining en plein air – so thought it was only fair to share 9 of the best secret picnic spots in London that I’ve found so far!
I’m someone who used to keep a picnic blanket under her office desk (for sunshine emergency situations you understand), when I went freelance I bought my phone plan specifically so I can use it as a laptop hot spot in blossoming gardens and I may or may not have a bottle opener on my key ring. Case in point: my autumnal picnic above – I’ll take literally any excuse to unroll one of my many picnic blankets.
One of the main reasons for going up to stay at the lovely Tewkesbury Park (a full review of our hotel stay here) was to try the delicious dishes served in the newly refurbished Mint Restaurant. Disclaimer: We were invited to spend a weekend at Tewkesbury Park but all thoughts, images and fork twirlings are very much my own.
Hotel restaurants can be hit and miss – we stayed in a hotel a fortnight later that didn’t hold a candle to just how delicious Mint Restaurant at Tewkesbury Park was.
A black and white tail eagerly skidded past me – intent on the pink squishy ball flying over the snow and nothing else in the entire world – 3 nanoseconds later he flashed past again in a delighted blur of Collie fur. We were playing in the snow-dusted lawns before our booking for lunch at Cliveden House, earning ourselves a tasty repast.
The skies were blue after a thick snow flurry the day before, and we wandered through the grounds with rosy cheeks and a fair amount of giggling.
Pubs. They’re great, aren’t they? London is great too. Put these together and what do we have? – the great London Pub. It’s practically an institution in British culture, and often becomes the extended lounge of busy Londoners. With that in mind, I thought my blog was lacking a list of the best pubs in London, so I roped in my local expert of hopped beverages.
I met my lovely husband in a London pub (read our story here), and so it was only natural to ask him to share his favourite pubs in London – the ones he disappears to when I’m busy with blogging fun! Take it away Mr Kiwi!
Here are some of my favourite London pubs, ones I’ve spend a little time in over the years.