Christmas in Oxford and Cambridge

Old Oct 27th, 2020, 08:58 AM
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Christmas in Oxford and Cambridge

Hello, with the UK (and other countries!) constantly changing their requirements for entry to and from countries to vacation, and with the risk of losing one's money booking ahead (travel insurance doesn't insure against Covid), it has become extremely difficult to plan ahead for the Christmas holiday period. I still long to go to Egypt over Christmas, maybe the Algarve in Portugal.

However, it somehow seems easier to just stay at home - but my daughter will forfeit her leave with her firm unless it is used (AND we are tired of generally not going out with trying to socially distance etc, of course we shall practise the usual social distancing at our destination) - so need a holiday! We are therefore thinking of taking a couple of city breaks and have pinpointed Oxford and Cambridge with them being convenient from London by train.

BUT, what do you think of spending 5 days each in these two destinations, is that too much? I'm certain the food won't be as exciting as in Egypt or Portugal!!? We haven't really taken in either of them other than passing through: we do love art galleries, museums, good dining, nice hotels.

Your thoughts and suggestions would be appreciated - we won't have a car. Thanks
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Old Oct 27th, 2020, 10:04 AM
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Getting into religious services might be tough, and at the end Cambridge is a small town and empty of students at that time. Have you thought of Wells or say Ely as small cathedral cities with an element of countryside?
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Old Oct 27th, 2020, 12:06 PM
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"I'm certain the food won't be as exciting as in Egypt or Portugal!!?"

There is absolutely wonderful food to be had in both (as in just about every UK city)


I love both cities (for me the nod slightly goes to Oxford) but would not stay 5 nights in either one.

However . . . where are you located? My guess it is not in the UK since you said 'vacation' and not 'holiday'. I certainly would not be planning a trip to the UK the rest of this year and well into next Spring. Rules/requirements are changing frequently in England/the rest of the UK (sometimes daily) but they are not loosening up and much of the country is currently in tighter lockdown than it was over the summer.

(If I'm wrong and you are based in the UK - then 2 or 3 days in either city would be great combined with a few days in another place - a larger city maybe . . . assuming non-essential travel is even allowed then)
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Old Oct 27th, 2020, 03:05 PM
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Ely is a quick train ride from Cambridge, so you could see both in one trip.
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Old Oct 27th, 2020, 04:03 PM
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Of the 2 Oxford is more likely to have a bit more on and generally a more interesting place.
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Old Oct 28th, 2020, 08:32 AM
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Thanks janisj, first - do live in the UK, London actually. More and more we try to be like Americans so I guess vacation was subliminal, hahahaha! (don't entirely approve of it, am a stickler for tradition!)
Would totally appreciate any referrals for good restaurants in Oxford and Cambridge, please
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Old Oct 28th, 2020, 08:33 AM
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Thanks, yes - I see that Ely and its wonderful cathedral is handy to Cambridge.
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Old Oct 28th, 2020, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by patriciatbrogan View Post
Thanks janisj, first - do live in the UK, London actually. More and more we try to be like Americans so I guess vacation was subliminal, hahahaha! (don't entirely approve of it, am a stickler for tradition!)
Would totally appreciate any referrals for good restaurants in Oxford and Cambridge, please
That's great (I wish I was based in the UK - every day the Times/Telegraph/Guardian list all sorts of doable 'staycations' all over the country)

I haven't eaten in Cambridge in at least 10 years so can't help much there. For Oxford -- If you had a car I'd HIGHLY recommend the Nut Tree in Murcott. It isn't on a rail line though. It is about 6 miles from Bicester so you could take a taxi from Bicester Village station. In Oxford itself -- not knowing how they are doing with the covid but I like the Cherwell Boathouse. Oli's Thai was really good. There are several pubs with good food. Haven't seen flanner on much recently but he would probably have more recent info.
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Old Oct 28th, 2020, 04:50 PM
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My favorite restaurant in Oxford is Pierre Victoire on Little Clarendon St. I lived in Oxford from 1998/1999 and ate there frequently. The place has grown in popularity and if planning on going over the weekend you will need a reservation. It is owned and run by a French family and service is efficient and friendly even when they are at their busiest. It’s casual but food typically like that found at a French bistro. They have special Prix Fixe menus. For example, 3 courses for 18.00. I’ve eaten there dozens of time over the last 20+ years and have never had a bad meal nor for that matter a mediocre one.

pierrevictoire.co.uk

There are several excellent high-end restaurants nearby in the Cotswolds but since I haven't
eaten at any for several years reluctant to recommend any.
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Old Oct 28th, 2020, 06:53 PM
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. . . oh - booking pretty far in advance is required at Oli's Thai as well.
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Old Oct 29th, 2020, 02:33 AM
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Little Clarendon St or LIttle Trendy St as it was known in my day normally has a good selection of restaurants for the wealthier student or don. So it is a good street to start looking, you can extend it into Jerico a bit (go west young man) and there are a few others in that direction.
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