Tag: oxford

Dog walks in Oxford – Iffley Meadows

While the weather on Bank Holiday Monday wasn’t exactly what we all wanted, it was lovely having the extra day off. I’d been nagging at Phil for ages to go for a lovely walk somewhere but between the weather and redecorating the bedroom, we hadn’t been anywhere for ages, with the exception of Stowe Gardens the day before. We planned to head out early, taking a breakfast of marmite sandwiches and a Thermos full of tea to eat somewhere. The main reason we went to Iffley Meadows is because of the fritillaries. There aren’t many times where flooding can be a good thing, but at Iffley Meadows, where the ground was still very wet (wellington boots were essential), the damp conditions mean the fritillaries thrive there. And thriving they were!

Snakehead fritillary at Iffley meadows Snakehead fritillary at BBOWT Iffley Meadows BBOWT Iffley Meadows Light purple snakehead fritillary White snakehead fritillary There were a few different ones but they were all lovely and I took about a million pictures. I can’t believe we haven’t been before, especially as we’ve driven right past it loads of times. The fritillaries were coming to the end of their season, but I’m so glad we went to see them. We didn’t just see the fritillaries, but we also saw what we think was a badger paw print in the mud and we heard loads of birds, including a cuckoo, reed warblers and a grass hopper warbler.

Muddy Iffley Meadows Badger print Snakehead fritillary Poppydog at Iffley Meadows Purple snakehead fritillary Poppy loved it there as there were so many different smells for her to enjoy. She was so tired when we got back home! She didn’t mind walking through muddy water as it meant she could smell lots more things.

We walked back along the Thames, as we wanted to have breakfast at Iffley Lock. It was lovely. The sun came out and we’d headed out quite early so it was still pretty quiet. Poppy wasn’t overly keen on the ducks flying about (she’s got a real thing about them at the moment) but apart from that, it was pretty idyllic. It’s well worth visiting Iffley Meadows, even when the fritillaries are out of season, as it’s a wonderful little spot. But make sure you go back when they’re in season. Just make sure you wear your wellies!

The Walk: There are some paths around the meadows from where other people have walked, just be careful not to get trapped by water, as we did!
Cost: Completely free, so why not join BBOWT to help them look after this beautiful place?!
Car Park: There’s no car park, but we parked just the other side of Donnington Bridge. Just make sure you check for areas that are permit parking only.
Refreshments: We took our own but there are lots of places to eat in East Oxford.
Toilets: Nope. Don’t forget to pack your She Wee!

Tuesday Treat – The Gardener’s Arms, Oxford

There’s nothing quite like a decent burger and chips, all washed down with a delicious glass of wine, amiright? That’s what Phil and I had at The Gardener’s Arms in Oxford a few weeks ago. We’d been to the Gardener’s Arms a few times before, but not since I became vegan. That is likely to change is it was freakin’ awesome!

vegan burger vegan wine

All the food is vegetarian with a huge number of vegan options available, but to be honest, I’m always going to have the vegan burger with all the vegan toppings (everything except the mayo) and a nice large glass of wine. (All the wines are vegan! Almost did a little dance when they told me that!) The Gardener’s Arms is not a gastropub. It’s a pub that serves food. You might have to share your table, it can get cramped, it will get busy. But this doesn’t matter as the atmosphere is lovely and the food is delicious. Definitely worth a visit if you’re taking part in Veganuary, looking for a decent vegan meal or if you just like good food.

Boswell’s of Oxford 1738 cafe

Boswell’s of Oxford is an institution. It’s always been there, for those little things that you  just can’t get anywhere else or for those quality items that you need for your home. So when I was asked if I could attend the launch party for their new tea room, I jumped at the chance, especially as there was a promise of tea.

After over 275 years of serving the people of Oxford, Boswells are introducing a tea room for the first time in the history of the store. The 1738 Tea Room Café will officially be opened on Saturday 28th November with a visit from Santa himself. The cafe is set on the first floor of Boswell’s and looks set to be a calming port in the busy streets of Oxford.

1738 tea menu1738 Happy Cakes Tea testing at BoswellsTwinnings Tea Boswells cafe launchHappy Cake cake decoratingBoswells goody bagThere will be a delicious range of teas, cakes, pastries and sandwiches, ideal for satisfying any tea craving. Products in the tea room café will be supplied by local brands with Peros Coffee, Happy Cakes, Truly Scrumptious, Natural Bread Company, Oxford Cheese Company, Limes Farm, Viva Las Cakes, Stephanie Almeida Bespoke Cakes and Brightwell Vineyard.

During the launch, we were treated to cake decorating courtesy of Happy Cakes and tea tasting from Twinnings. I had no idea how different loose tea is from tea bags or that you can get tea that tastes exactly like Ferrero Rocher. The lovely ladies at Happy Cakes also said I was a bit of pro when it came to decorating my cupcake and Phil said it tasted delicious!

Thank you to Boswell’s for inviting me and for my fab goody bag!

Review – Papa John’s #CampaignForBetterPizza

Pizza is one of my favourite foods. It’s so easy and convenient and takes minimum effort, especially if you get a take away one. Where I live in Oxfordshire, we’re spoilt for choice for good pizza, either from a range of local independent pizzerias to national ones that deliver, meaning you can order your pizza in your pjs!

It came as little surprise to me, therefore, that a recent study showed that Oxford consumes more pizza than anywhere else in the UK. Not only that, Oxfordians demand quality from their pizza, spending more than anywhere else, per pizza. So when Papa John’s contacted me and asked if I’d like to have some (c/o) pizza to review and enjoy a relaxing night in, I jumped at the chance. There’s nothing I like more than vegging out on the sofa, with a good DVD and delicious food!

Papa Johns Pizza

I was really impressed with the veggie options available and ordered a Garden pizza for myself, with extra jalapeños and The Greek for my partner, knowing we’d share a slice or two. Both were delicious. We opted for the thin crust base, which was really good, as it wasn’t too thin and really filling. I even had enough left over for lunch the next day! I really liked the tomato sauce too. It was really tasty and there was plenty of it. After a long day at work, it was just what I needed – especially as my partner went to pick it up, meaning I had plenty of time to get comfy on the sofa in preparation for my pizza feast!

Garden Pizza

One thing I didn’t realise about Papa John’s pizza was that they offer a no-quibble ‘Quality Guarantee’ and in the unlikely event that you’re not totally satisfied with your Papa John’s pizza, you can request a replacement completely free of charge! How good is that? This Bank Holiday weekend, to recognise Oxford’s love of pizza, Papa John’s are extending their ‘Quality Guarantee’ for one weekend only (from Saturday 2nd May – Monday 4th May) and pledge that if a customer is not 100% happy with the quality of their pizza from another national pizza delivery chain, Papa John’s will replace it like-for-like, free of charge and no questions asked.

To claim the offer, Oxford residents must visit www.campaignforbetterpizza.co.uk. An online proof of purchase receipt must be submitted with the claim to qualify for a free replacement pizza (T’s & C’s apply. Check the website for details). Don’t live in Oxford but want a pizza bargain? Non-Oxford pizza lovers can get 50% off when you spend £15 or more. Just click the link above. Not a bad way to celebrate the Bank Holiday weekend eh? Let me know which pizza you’d opt for.

*Disclosure: I was sent the pizza for review purposes, along with a DVD and board game. As ever, opinions are my own.