Oxford has it all and a lot more than just universities and colleges. If you’re looking for things to do in Oxford, you’ll love these recommendations, especially if you’re planning a classy night out (or a hen do in my case).
Forget driving back and forth across the city, or cycling which is probably more likely given the one way roads, your whole night can be centred around one street. A very pretty street in fact. It’s adorned with beautiful fairy lights and cute cafés, bistros and boutiques. Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to Little Clarendon Street. This street lives in the affluent neighbourhood known as Jericho. It’s a short five-ten minute walk from the main shopping street (Cornmarket Street) and about a fifteen minute walk from the train station (Oxford station).
Little Clarendon Street is perfect for a classy, stylish night out. Start at the top (nearest the Woodstock Road) and simply work your way down using my seven pearls of wisdom. #7POW
Book an afternoon slot for one of their famous cocktail making classes. You’ll learn how to shake an amazing drink just like the pros…well almost. This class is led by the energetic and fun bar owner. She’ll make sure you glass is well filled and that your two hours is full of laughs.
Enjoy a welcome Bellini whilst you learn about the tools of the trade (along with a few entertaining stories), then pick two cocktails from the extensive menu. You’ll be making these ones, as well as drinking them afterwards. If you fancy making something that isn’t on the menu, just ask. The bar owner is an expert when it comes to cocktail making.
♥ The Duke of Cambridge
Leave Angels and walk the five footsteps across the narrow road to The Duke of Cambridge. If you time it well enough your cocktail class will have finished just before 5pm, ready for happy hours over in this bar. Yes, I said happy hours. Rather generously, it runs from 5pm – 7.30pm. During this time cocktails are from as little as £3.95. They are all freshly made right in front of you. No tacky umbrellas or pre-made mixtures in sight.
It’s a classy place with a long bar. The bartenders are mostly male and span a range of nationalities. They’re also quite nice on the eyes – perfect for a hen do. Get in touch in advance and you can reserve one of the tables for your group at no cost. It can get quite busy in here, so it’s worth booking one.
♥ Al-Andalus Tapas Bar
Leave The Duke of Cambridge feeling rather merry and walk a few doors down the road to Al-Andalus Tapas Bar. Being a big group, you will have booked a table in advance via their website. It’s a cute, narrow Spanish restaurant that is extremely popular. It has an authentic feel given a lot of the waiters are Spanish. For the novelty factor, enjoy the Spanish dancer who makes an appearance every hour or so on a Saturday night.
Entertainment aside, I’d recommend the group tapas menu that comes in at a very affordable £15 per person. Even for larger groups you don’t need to pay a deposit when you book your table, and the waiters are happy for you to order and pay for your drinks separately. Totally invaluable for avoiding the awkward bill split between twenty people. Vegetarians are catered for as are the carnivores. Enjoy garlic mushrooms, breads, cheeses, chorizo and countless other dishes. You’ll leave feeling very full and with rosy cheeks thanks to the delicious jugs of sangria.
Walk a few minutes from the tapas bar down to the end of the street and you’ll find Raouls. Drinkers spill out onto the street, fancy cocktails in hand. It’s a tiny, little cocktail bar, but it certainly packs a punch. It is legendary for amazing cocktail recipes. Don’t just take my word for it, this place has won countless awards including the title of being one of the top fifty bars in the world by the Sunday Times.
If you have little patience, you’ll need to find your inner Zen as Raouls is always packed. The cocktails are treated like masterpiece creations, so you’ll also have to wait a little while your drink is made. However, the atmosphere is great and the cocktails taste divine. Plus, the sugar and alcohol from your previous stops will keep you going.
♥ Love Jericho
Just a door or two along from Raouls you’ll find Love Jericho. It’s another cute cocktail bar offering a range of tasty drinks that will help you have a fun night out in Oxford. Happy hours finish at 9pm, so by now you’ll be onto the main menu. Grab a quick cocktail (or two) before you head to the last stop.
♥ Freud Café Oxford
End your night out in Freud Café. It’s a short two minute walk from Raouls and Love Jericho. You can’t miss it – imposing columns and twinkling fairy lights mark the entrance. Climb the steps inside and you’ll be blown away.
A former church, the high ceilings will capture your attention, leading your eyes to the impressive windows. The lighting is low and the bar well stocked. Groups of university students and classy local business owners mingle in corners, while the indiscreet music plays in the background. Closing at 2am on a Saturday night, it’s the perfect end to the perfect night out.
♥ Take Away Supper
Of course with all that dancing and drinking, you’ll need to refuel before bedtime. Make sure your taxi stops in the centre of Jericho (on the same street as Freud Café) so that you can pick up some naughty carbs to soak up the alcohol. A bottle of water is always a good help to avoid the deathly hangover in the morning.
I hope you have a lovely night out using my seven pearls of wisdom. #7POW