4 Hours In Oxford
On Sunday, Luke and I decided to take a little trip to Oxford, as it’s only 45 minutes from door to door, we thought it would be a nice Sunday drive despite the cold, cloudy day. It’s a beautiful city that we briefly stopped through 2 summers ago, never went back til the other day and will definitely have to go back when it gets warmer. We got there just before 11am due to not wanting to leave too late and clash with dinner, or the late afternoon session of The Crown that we have recently started (priorities, priorities).
We parked at Westgate Shopping Centre, a relatively new shopping destination in Oxford, the architecture was well designed with eye-catching glass ceiling features. I’m sure it will be perfect in the summer. I wouldn’t recommend in winter unless you are wrapped up warm or like outdoor shopping! I decided to wear a denim jacket that I haven’t worn since summer, not entirely sure what I was thinking but then again I didn’t know it would be as open as it was. We ended up in Pret after probably around 4 minutes to get a bit of breakfast, coffee for Luke and a peppermint tea for me to warm up.
T2 was the first shop we ended up in – we’d never been in before but had always speculated about their logo and Trainspotting 2. Any time we have ever spoken about the shop as we pass one, the question of ‘BUT who had the branding first?’ comes up without fail. Inside was amazing and so much going on but in a very controlled way. The minimal branding, packaging and shop layout makes for the ideal place for perfectionists. With their orange boxes and contrasting label colours and flavours, you could spend forever looking at ingredients and the uses for each different tea. I bought ‘Sleep Tight’ tea, a sleep remedy, as a little extra present for my mum’s birthday which is today – so, yet to see if it helps, but if not, the user experience was good enough to make me return either way!
We walked around the streets outside, I was looking for interesting things to draw. We spent a lot of time in bookshops, Waterstones first and then to Blackwells on Broad St. A completely unexpectedly big store – I lost Luke in the downstairs section at one point and was convinced that no signal mixed with uncountable aisles / areas I’d be wandering around for ages. Luckily it was only 5 minutes. I ended up buying a super girly book on starting up new business and getting motivated, it was the easy choice that day with ‘(very) easy reading’ in mind. ‘#Girlboss’ by Sophia Amoruso was a pink book on the shelf amongst 100’s of darker colours. I had previously watched the Netflix original about the story of Sophia, who started up Nasty Gal from nothing at around the age I am now. Admittedly it wasn’t the best programme and it was cancelled after 1 season, however, I thought it would be the most relatable thing with my current situation. A quote from it I am already trying to enforce on my life is “Life is short. Don’t Be Lazy.”
Itsu was the lunch destination. I had been craving a baby katsu curry all day to find that Wagamamas was closed for refurbishment, so I was told to branch out and try something new. With this I actually ended up going for something completely different to what I was craving and ordered a Korean BBQ pork rice bowl. I am a super fussy eater buuut I did really enjoy it in hindsight, I say that now only because I think I was probably still thinking about the katsu curry at the time.
We finished the afternoon by getting a free hot choc from Hotel Chocolate with the Wuntu app that you can download when you are with Three – I have had the app which gives out freebies and discounts for months but have never made it in time for anything free before the offer runs out. This time I did, so I can tick that off my list of things to do.