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Oxford Shopping and club recommends please...........

(15 Posts)
madammecholet Tue 02-Oct-12 15:11:56

Going for Girls weekend, any shopping recommends / Independents not to miss??

Also, anyone recommend a good club/bar for a small group of late 30 somethings... been looking at The Bridge or Roppongi??

Beaverfeaver Tue 02-Oct-12 18:02:21

I havnt been to the bridge in a long time but remember it being full of under 20's.

Living room nice, Malmaison bar is good for a cocktail or two, best cocktail bar is called The House Bar.

If I want dancing I tend to head out down Crowley road which is much more diverse with good range of ages and a nice atmosphere and buzz in most places.

Oxford city often full of students or stag do's

Shopping isn't too great. There are more boutique shops in the under cover market.

I tend to strive to Westfield for clothes though as there isn't a huge amount in Oxford.

Beaverfeaver Tue 02-Oct-12 18:03:02

Drive not strive!

madammecholet Tue 02-Oct-12 18:23:08

Thanks beaverfeaver any advice is well received - we thought we'd hit Bicester on Sunday??

Namely Tue 02-Oct-12 18:35:07

Look up the Castle Complex for drinking in the evening. The bridge tends to be full of Oxford students although I suppose a Saturday night would be more diverse.

The covered market is nice for a walk around but most of the shops in Oxford are decidedly chain like! You can easily spend a few hours there though. Don't forget the Ashmoleum museum and the history museum and Pitt Rivers. All a couple of minutes from the high street.

Bicester is now VERY expensive designery rather than high street outlets like it used to be. Its worth a visit though if you aren't local and like designer clothes.

Pinner35 Tue 02-Oct-12 18:39:36

Is little clarendon st still good? There used to be some great bars (Raouls and Duke of Cambridge were great) and some funky shops. I haven't been back there for years though.

Beaverfeaver Tue 02-Oct-12 20:32:07

It depends, Bicester village is worth a trip I'd you want to find some discounted designer clothes and is better than it used to be but is very very busy at weekends. If I have to go on a Sunday I will make sure I arrive about an hour or two before closing so I can get parked and its not full of tourists.

Bicester town is chav-ville in my opinion.
Has nothing there worth visiting for, just tesco, Argos, and shops like peacocks and no nice places to eat or drink really too

lizzywig Tue 02-Oct-12 21:39:49

I have lived in Oxford most of my life and had the misfortunate of spending my youth desperately trying to find somewhere good to shop or go out. The amount of times people would come up to my friends and I asking where to go for a good night out and we'd point them in the direction of the coach station and tell them to get the coach to London which is only an hour away. It really is dire, there are no decent shops and the ones they do have are very small in size. I went to Richmond last weekend and was bowled over by what I am missing out on.

That aside if you do come to Oxford then stick to Little Clardendon Street (next to Browns and a 10 min walk from the centre) where there are good bars and nice restaurants and fewer students. Duke of Cambridge is great for cocktails but students come flocking at happy hour. The Castle Complex has The Living Room which is nice and a Pizza Express and as someone else said Malmaison, it's one of the better places to go. There are no big clubs in Oxford, stay away from Lava & Ignite and anything down the road it's on (Park End Street) or the road paralell (where the Bridge is)...the Bridge is god awful full of spotty oiks as is L&V. L&V is the "in place" to go but is full of chavs. To be honest it's been a while since I've done the club thing simply because it became so awful in Oxford but my friends still go and still complain about it!

As I said there isn't much in the way of shopping, Reading is better, Bicester Village has shopping outlets and thinking about it Banbury is a safer bet than Oxford, you can get a train there in 20 mins. Shops in Oxford are Primark, M&S and Debenhams...that is about it. I tell a lie there's FC, Jack Wills and LK Bennett but honestly there really isn't much. The covered market is lovely and if you walk towards St Clements (towards the Cowley Road which incidentally has some nice bars) then you will find a few boutique type shops. If you're looking for good hangover food go to the Chequers on the High Street (it's down an ally) but has a nice big fire and proper home cooked grub at good prices. Drinks are London prices but venues are not kept in the same manner as London. Sorry to put a downer on it, I really hope you have a nice time if you go, I just think you'd be better off going elsewhere....then again I probably think that because I have lived there for the last 26 years!

dexter73 Tue 02-Oct-12 21:58:07

I have to agree with lizzywig. We never go out in Oxford at night as it is full of rowdy pissheads. Also the students will all be back now.
For shopping I go to Reading, Bath or London.

madammecholet Wed 03-Oct-12 08:26:25

Oh dear.. sad Is there a Zara / Massimo Dutti? <clutches at straws>

dexter73 Wed 03-Oct-12 08:39:49

There is a Zara in the Clarendon Centre next to Gap.

madammecholet Wed 03-Oct-12 09:08:04

<phew> dexter73 at least after a few glasses of lunchtime vino plonko we can fall in there for an hour...(Sounds like shopping will have to wait till Sunday Bicester Village!)..

I can't change venue now lizzywig, we choose a diff one each time.. done Bath (many times) /Windsor/Winchester/London (many times)/ Stratford on Avon/Salcombe...

Any other great suggestions for venues welcome tho for next one?? grin We all live Midlands/London/SouthWest so we tend to discount anything north of B'ham or getting on a plane for.... Needs a few great shops, a decent restaurant and cafe's/bars. A club is always a nice to have if we feel brave enough after said vino plonko to go strutt our 30'something butts...shock

LRDtheFeministDragon Wed 03-Oct-12 11:15:35

I like Bicester village.

If you want cocktails, try The Grand Cafe - it turns into a cocktail bar at night and is very glam and expensive, so not so bad for students. Avoid the Duke of Cambridge (there's also Angels on Little Clarendon, but it will also be packed with students). Or, there's a place on the edge of frideswide square, the name of which I forget, but which for some reason never seems to get studented-out. It's not desperately exciting, but perfectly nice.

dexter73 Wed 03-Oct-12 11:28:51

Was going to suggest Liverpool but maybe that is too far North. My dh and I spent a great weekend there earlier in the year. Bristol is very nice too.

higgle Wed 03-Oct-12 12:03:37

There is a Brora and a Toast, nearly next door to each other, which is why I like shopping in Oxford.

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