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.
Sunrise slowly shimmered through the dawn fog and the soft twitter of birdsong spread across the valley. We were snugly nestled under our duvet, enjoying our weekend staycation at Tewkesbury Park Hotel, with a glorious view unfolding right at the foot of our bed. Disclaimer: We were invited to spend a weekend at Tewkesbury Park but all thoughts, images and curtain twitchings are very much my own.
I always love staycationing (or taking a ‘minigap’ which seems to be the newest phrase) and exploring new corners of England that I haven’t yet traipsed to.
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.
2018 has been full of travel, adventures, bad hairstyles in photos and explorations.
My first couple of months were concentrated on building my business and scooting around London (fitting in a few bits of London sightseeing and restaurant visits) before we flew to Romania for a week to explore the Transylvanian castles and political history of Bucharest. I fitted in a cheeky solo beach break in Bournemouth in the middle of a busy project, I explored Basel in Switzerland solo (where in one day I managed 3 meals in 3 countries) and went on a group trip to Cologne, Germany.
Over the years I’ve bagged a fair few bargain flights; £20pp return to Italy, £33pp return to Valencia, a cracking package deal including a flights & 5-star hotel in Vienna for almost the same cost as just flights. I also realised that I’ve never written a post on just how to book cheap flights, even with the trips I’ve done over the years and tips that I’ve picked up.
Flying business or first class is lovely, don’t get me wrong. But until I win the lottery or my cat becomes famous, with all of the travelling I like to do, it just isn’t possible all of the time. Enter stage left the joy of picking up a cheap – usually economy – flight (which inevitably leads to an extra glass or two of something bubbly once we arrive.)