We woke in Oxford to a knock on the door and a sing-song voice crying “breakfast!”
Which could very well be my favourite way to wake up.
Make room, Manoir. I’m moving in!
Mr Custard looked on enviously, until I pulled myself out of bed to serve his breakfast too.
Fed and watered, we all headed out into the hotel grounds.
Gave our legs a good, thorough stretch (some of us more than others)…
And eventually bundled into the car, headed into Oxford itself.
Here we spent a glorious day exploring the sandstone lined streets, glowing in the occasional burst of winter sun.
Scarf wrap // Camel coat
Blue jeans // OTK boots
We wandered aimlessly, following our feet, peeking our way around corners, into winding corridors and through pretty, crumbling archways.
We nosed our way around the jaw-droppingly spectacular city, poking our noses through doorways and marveling at the old collages.
This wasn’t my first visit to Oxford, but somehow it never loses its magic.
It was fun to get to play tourist with my boys for the day!
The first signs of spring are even starting to show;
Sprouting like pink popcorn all over spindly, black trees.
We walked all over town, and even popped into The Covered Markets to watch bakers make cupcakes through glittering windows.
For a spot of lunch we strolled over to Gee’s.
Where we took up a table in their pretty greenhouse.
Which, much to Mr Custard’s delight, is perfectly dog friendly.
We shared a few nibbly bits and sipped on icy, fresh mojitos.
Before sharing the main event.
An exceptional T Bone steak, with huge fluffy chips and buckets of Bearnaise.
Fueled up for a little more exploring, we left Custard snoozing in the car and continued our tour.
Of course we couldn’t resist a quick visit to Christchurch College‘s famous dining hall.
Not a bad spot to grab a bite to eat!
You can’t help but glance from the corner of your eye, hoping the paintings might just come to life when you think they’re not looking…
For me, the most spectacular scene of all came in the form of Christchurch’s Cathedral.
The stone work, carvings, windows and gently flickering candles all work together to astound and spellbind.
We finished our rather chilly tour of the city with a warming cup of tea at the prettiest cafe we came across.
And popped home not long after sunset.
Ready for a very special supper, Raymond Blanc style.
Roasted pumpkin soup with seared scallop.
Seared langostine, Jerusalem artichoke and Périgord truffle.
Free range hen’s egg, wild mushroom tea, Périgord truffles.
(The more truffles the better in my book!)
Braised fillet of Cornish brill, Oyster, cucumber, wasabi.
Roasted loin of venison, celeriac and truffle.
Coconut tapioca with banana and passion fruit sorbet.
72% Araguani chocolate mousse, almond milk ice cream.
All paired with the most spectacular wines, enjoyed in sumptuous surroundings, served by the most charming of staff.
A true, once in a lifetime sort of treat!
Three very happy travelers fell into bed, all with smiles that wouldn’t budge.
Only about an hour outside of London, Oxford is well, well worth a trip if you fancy a little adventure one weekend. And Le Manoir is just the place if you have someone in your life who deserves a little spoiling (even if that person is yourself!)