We went to Oxford last weekend of November sorry I'm just getting round to telling you.
A while ago I was lucky enough to win a weekend away through the Skillscape section of Ready For 10,
a great website for parents with lots of information and ideas for your family. The competition I won included 2 nights Dinner, Bed and Breakfast in a Four Pillars Hotel, now being from the North I've never heard of this chain of hotels but was delighted to find they were based in some of the most beautiful parts of the country including Oxford, a place that I've always wanted to visit.
So hotel was booked, we choose to stay at The Oxford Spires which was the closest to Oxford centre, I had a wonderful rose tinted idea that we'd drive down early on the Saturday book in, wonder into town for a few hours then come back to the hotel for Dinner and relax in hotel watching Strictly Come Dancing, with some knitting and wine.
However the weather had other ideas laying down pretty heavy in the North but not getting past Manchester it did mean that we hit loads of traffic jams and had to drive slow, not getting to Oxford till 5pm, we did try to head for town but as it was -10 and dark realising we'd only get their when the shops were closing we turned back. The hotel didn't have a dinner booking till late and with 2 children that get extra grumpy if they go past their 7pm bedtime, we choose to get room service. The rooms was well set out with a cot and sofa bed and still had plenty of room but only had 5 channels on their TV, much to Maisies astonishment as she thought all TVs came with Cbeebies, we got them settled and ordered room service which for a family meal was a lot of trips by the poor staff, but wow it was good food.
Maisie stealing chips before Lucas digs in.
Look at those amazing puddings, Maisie loved the fork design, and thought the person that drew them was very good. Below is Maisies contribution to the service questionnaire.
We had a wonderful walk along the Thames into town on the Sunday, even seeing a deer prancing along the riverbank but bloody hell it was cold, it didn't reach above -9 the whole time which led to very cold and grumpy children. Now I would have loved to have done all our Christmas shopping that weekend and wondered around gallery's and museums but I've been a Mummy long enough to know that they would get stressed, Hubby would get stressed and I'd want to cry, so instead we escaped the cold and had chocolate and cake before going anywhere.
While we were there the Oxford Castle Christmas market started which was beautiful and with hot chocolate in our belly we stomped around the lovely market stalls, we bought some handmade goodies for gifts, I loved the Christmas goodies, especially the hot spiced cider, and the tree was so beautifully understated in the lovely surroundings mixing modern buildings with old.
I loved the Christmas goodies, especially the hot spiced cider, and the tree was so beautifully understated
but quickly we got cold again so retired back to the hotel. We had a lovely swim, and at this point I'd like to congratulate the Oxford Spires on their pool, it is the warmest I've evr been in and really perked my children up normally they're shivering after ten minutes but not here. Then back for room service supper and wine but too knackered for knitting.
The next day was going home day, but I thought the kids needed to see something they'd remember and really shops just ain't that. So we went to Oxford University Museum of Natural History and wow look at that building it's awesome. If you're in Oxford you have to visit this place, Maisie(4) and Lucas(2) were mesmerised by everything. Maisie was also very excited that she was off school for the day, but we explained that this was still part of a school, third school she called it(university).
For Lucas it was definitely all about the dinosaurs, its one of the few words he can say without prompting and he loved the displays, a little too much in some cases. Just after this photo he ran up and shook the dinosaurs hand and got chased off it by a passer-by.
Maisie loved the displays with bugs and beasties, asking her Dad to explain everything to her. She loved all the different butterfly colours.
She also liked showing her little brother round and explaining the exhibits to him, she really enjoys her role of big sister and always watches out for Lucas.
Thankfully the journey home was uneventful, and the show held off till we reached the Lake District where it magically turned into a winter wonderland much to everyone's joy.
Thank you Ready for Ten for the first holiday with just the four of us, it was a wonderful adventure for us all.