I have finally found the time to write my "Abroad Blog." I am so embarrassed that it took this long, but ya girl has been so busy lately! Needless to say, I had a wonderful time studying abroad in Oxford this summer. For those of you who don't know, I studied at Queen's College in Oxford, England, from July to August with a group of students from my university. I enjoyed the two classes that I took, but I also enjoyed exploring the city of Oxford and learning more about the United Kingdom itself.
For all of my abroad blogs, I would like to talk about some of the things I did on my trip, recommend things to do in each city, recommend restaurants in each city, and give my overall experience rating out of 10.
We had class Monday-Thursday from 8-11 AM, but after that we had the rest of the day to do whatever we wanted! Most of the time my friends and I worked on our homework at local cafes, but sometimes we did stuff around the city as well! Something I learned about Oxford is that it is a very tourist-y city. I was not expecting tourist groups flocking down every street in Oxford, but large crowds were around 24/7. I figured it was a quaint city since it is a college town and two hours away from London, but I guess not!
Recommended Things to Do:
- Go to University Church! We did a small field trip (lol literally a 3 minute walk) at University Church and two tour guides gave us a tour of the church and told us about it's rich history.
- Explore Christ Church and see the inspiration for the famous Harry Potter Dining Hall. I personally have only seen the first Harry Potter movie (I know...how could I), but everyone on my trip loved Harry Potter and we all enjoyed the grounds of Christ Church.
- See the Bridge of Sighs. Every night we would walk around town and see the this bridge and it's just a beautiful bridge to look at. Great for photos!
- Go punting! Ok, I never got the chance to go punting and I'm so sad, because it's Oxford's signature activity, but I heard it's super fun! For those of you who don't know what punting is, punting is basically riding in a canal on a kayak-like boat, and paddling your way along the water.
- Indulge in Afternoon Tea all day every day! I fell in love with tea in England...sorry coffee!
- Go to the Covered Market and walk around, try different restaurants, and look at the cute cake shop!
The Covered Market
Photographer: Griffin Baumberger
- Cafe Loco! Now if anyone asks me what my favorite restaurant is, I can tell them Cafe Loco. One of our professor's told us that we needed to try a Ploughman's Sandwich during our trip, and he recommended that we get it at this restaurant. Let me tell you...I had a ploughman's sandwich at least 2-3 times a week on my trip. And most of them were from Cafe Loco. I have no complaints! The ingredients in a ploughman's sandwich are: Baguette, Tomato, Lettuce, Pickled onion spread, Cucumber, and Cheddar cheese.
- Turf Tavern is my favorite pub, but they also have great food! They have amazing mac + cheese!!
- Fasta Pasta is located in the Covered Market and is perfect for a quick + yummy lunch.
- The Oxford Sandwich Company is also located in the Covered Market and is perfect for a quick + yummy lunch (especially their Ploughman's sandwich). This place is so cheap and so good!
- There was an amazing burger place in Oxford, but I can't remember the name. :(
Recommended Pubs + Bars:
- Turf Tavern. I almost have nothing to say because I just absolutely love Turf Tavern. We spent a lot of nights at Turf Tavern. This is where I fell in love with PIMMs. This is a drink that is popular in the U.K. I love the pub life in the U.K. and wish our bars were like it in LA, but that will never happen. The pubs in Oxford were so relaxed, and they weren't a place to get drunk. They were a place to kickback have a good time with your friends. (Disclaimer: The drinking age in the U.K. is 18, so I wasn't drinking illegally!)
- Chequers. Although we were so dedicated to Turf Tavern that we only went to Chequers a couple times, it was a super cool pub! It has such a chill atmosphere and have champagne popsicles!
- The Bear. This is a cute little pub, but it was super small so not a lot of indoor seating, so you have to find a table outside!
- Eagle & Child. We actually went to Eagle & Child for dinner, because most pubs have a full menu, but Eagle & Child is such a hip pub. It is best known for being the hangout area for C.S. Lewis and JRR Tolkein.
- The Varsity Club. We went to TVC the last day of our program to celebrate our time together. It is a four-story venue with a rooftop bar. It was definetely a classy place and the drinks were really good! All the drinks have pretty names too, if you're into that.
The Varisty Club
Snapchat..I know... How embarassing
Overall Experience Rating:
I spent most of my time in Oxford on my trip, and it was my favorite city we visited while I was in Europe. I definetely recommend visiting Oxford and enjoying all of its little perks!