How to have a french holiday in Oxford
The idea of travelling abroad is off the cards for so many people in the UK this year. Travel restrictions and changes to lockdown rules mean that it’s really tricky to plan a trip, especially if you’re dreaming of a European city break. However, there is a solution! Oxford is a multicultural city with lots of influences from across the world. From Japan to Colombia there are a whole host of foodie and cultural experiences to immerse yourself in, and escape to, right here amongst the dreaming spires.
If you have postponed a French city break this year, and are still keen to get your Parisian fill, you still can, thanks to the brilliant independent scene in Oxford. So don your best holiday outfit, perfect for a day exploring the cobbled streets of Montmartre or Rue Mouffetard, and head Summertown to start your French Holiday in Oxford.
On y va! >>
Coffee and pastries at Gatineau
Start your day at Gatineau, in Summertown, which offers the finest artisan pastries and bread, perfect for a Parisian petit dejeuner. They have outside seating and serve Missing Bean coffee, so you can soak up the Summertown scene whilst partaking in some european cafe culture.
A Manicure at Cannelle Medi Spa
After a leisurely breakfast, head round the corner to Cannelle for a French manicure. The team have gone above and beyond to make sure the salon feels safe and yet is still has a relaxing vibe. Cannelle was founded by France Baudet in 1997 with one beauty therapist and a short treatment menu. She recognised that whilst in France, beauty salons were abundant and treatments and wellbeing were seen as well deserved self-care, in England beauty salons were few and far between.
Lunch at Pompette
For a real French day in Oxford, head to Pompette for lunch. This beautiful modern restaurant on South Parade has a spacious terrace where you can while away a few hours over lunch and watch the world go by. They are taking part in Eat Out To Help Out, and have an extremely good value Prix Fixe lunch menu (£16.50 for 2 courses or £20 for 3) available from Tuesday to Friday. Dishes include dreamy – I am literally still day dreaming about it – Cod, leeks and chive beurre blanc, as well as modern classics like Onglet, red wine butter, celeriac remoulade & watercress. Their wine list includes lots of gems from France too, which the brilliant waiting team can talk you through and make sure you find the perfect match.
Art appreciation at Sarah Wiseman Gallery
A visit to Paris wouldn’t be complete without taking in some art, and the Sarah Wiseman Gallery is the perfect place to indulge. The bright and roomy gallery is ideal for a spot of social distanced art appreciation, and Sarah and the team are currently showing their late summer show, featuring new works by Sarah Spackman, James Fotheringhame, Clare Bonnet and Vicky Oldfield.
Rose from Grape Minds
A French Day in Oxford wouldn’t be complete without a glass of Provencal Rose, and Michael and Graeme at Grape Minds have an extensive range to choose from, and great knowledge to steer you in the right direction.
Cheese and produce from 2 North Parade
Finally, to end your staycation French city break in Oxford, pick up some fresh produce from 2 North Parade for a relaxed evening at home. One of the best things about french holidays is exploring markets and finding incredible local produce. We have some great local farms and producers in Oxfordshire, and Pete and Vicky at 2 North Parade are experts at sourcing the best the county has to offer. From Worton Kitchen Garden heirloom tomatoes to Sinodun Hill goats cheese, and Gatineau bread to North Aston organic salad leaves.
Choosing a theme for your Oxford adventure is a great way to be a tourist in your own town, and with quiet streets, outside seating, and incredible independent businesses providing brilliant service and produce, this summer is a great time to rediscover Oxford, and see the city in a new way.
Love, Rosie xxx