Two for One

My return to our Oxford travels post today is a two for one. It will cover Sunday and Monday in Oxford, September 18th and 19th of 2022.

On Sunday morning we had some breakfast in the apartment before we walked a little under a mile to St. Luke’s Chapel where we would attend church. We researched churches before we left home and emailed a couple pastors. Andrew Young emailed us back and after further research we decided to worship at his church, the Oxford Evangelical Presbyterian Church. They meet on Sunday mornings at St. Luke’s Chapel, 10:30 a.m. On our way we passed the Oxford University Press Building and this next building.

The Radcliffe Observatory, which is now part of Green Templeton College. This is the back of the building. A statue of Atlas is on top of the tower.

I did not take this photo of Atlas. This is the author of the photo.

As we walked up to the door of St. Luke’s we saw two of the people from Florida that we met at the C.S. Lewis Kilns tour. The Father/daughter duo were in Oxford because the daughter took a job in Oxford. Her dad was helping her get settled. She chose this church to attend while she lives in Oxford. That was a fun 2nd encounter.

We also met a young family who are in Oxford for the husband to earn his doctorate. This family was from Southern California and are part of Grace Community Church, Dear and my first church after we were married.

Pastor Andrew spoke on The Source of Christ’s Authority using Mathew 7:28-29 as part of his text. Part of his outline; 1. Who Jesus Was, 2. What Jesus Taught, 3. How Jesus Lived. What stood out to me; Jesus has permanent authority because of who He is. Jesus is true to the Word of God. Jesus was the obedient Son of God. We live under Christ’s authority. We need to be obedient. Believe, worship, follow Jesus.

After the service we talked with a few more of the folks before we walked back to The Turf Tavern to try to get a seat for a Sunday Roast.

The streets were a little more crowded than usual.

The only seat we could find was in this outdoor section of the Turf. We kept our eyes peeled for a table to open up inside.

This part of The Turf shares a wall with New College. The tower behind and the gargoyles are part of New College.

When our food arrived a table opened up inside and our server delivered the food to our new location. Hooray.

I had the lamb roast and Dear enjoyed the Fish and Chips.

After our meal we decided to shop at the Sainsbury Market on the edge of the Westgate shopping center. We wanted to have food for our meals on Monday since it was the day of Queen Elizabeth the II’s funeral and we knew a lot of places could be closed.

Back to our apartment above the never closed cheap pub, The Swan and Castle. We did not choose to have any meals there but a lot of other people did.

Into the building and that was almost the end of the day.

After unpacking our groceries we decided we needed to add a couple items but our local Sainsbury closed early on Sunday so after looking online we found a Tesco Express that stayed open late on Sunday. Got our walking shoes back on and made the evening trek, a half mile away. Home again, home again, jiggety jig. Now we were equipped for a day at home on Monday.

We woke up on Monday and watched the coverage of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral.

We enjoyed a charcuterie while watching.

We were in awe of these young men who carried the coffin up and down stairs and down long aisles. It was a wonderful memorial tribute to the Queen.

After the coverage ended we saw that the Slug and Lettuce, a restaurant in the complex was open so we walked down and had a hot meal. We wouldn’t recommend the restaurant, though. Slug was appropriate in their title.

We had big plans for Tuesday our last full day in the apartment before we moved out to Woodstock for a couple nights.

Cheers!

St. Barnabas Church, Oxford (Jericho)

On Friday September 16th we decided on a self-guided tour of the Jericho area of Oxford. This day was a student open day at all the Oxford colleges so none of the colleges were open to general visitors only to perspective students and their families.

We walked north from our apartment and followed Walking Oxford, a worthwhile book of walking tours that we purchased before traveling to Oxford.

St Barnabas Jericho is a fine Victorian Basilica-style Church in west Oxford, built in 1869.

Inside, the church is very beautiful with wall panels in the eastern apse depicting Christ in Majesty above the 12 Apostles. On the other walls, panels feature the animals mentioned in the Book of Revelation, chapter 4.

The High Altar is higher than the nave and is reached by nine steps and has a delicately ornate gilded ciborium over it.

The intricately decorated Walnut pulpit was donated in 1887.

On the North Nave wall of the church I was taken in by these panels which I will show in more detail.

The murals on the north wall of the nave represent Te Deum laudamus, (Latin: “God, We Praise You” ) and are made of cut glass using the “opus sectile” technique.

We Praise Thee O God

We Acknowledge Thee To Be the Lord

All the Earth Doth Worship Thee ~ The Father Everlasting ~ To Thee All Angels Cry Aloud ~ The Heavens and All the Powers ~ Therein to Thee Cherubim and Seraphim Continually Do Cry ~ We Praise Thee O God Throughout All the World.

We Praise Thee O God ~ The Noble Army of Martyrs

We Praise Thee O God ~ The Goodly Fellowship of the Prophets

We Praise Thee O God ~ The Glorious Company of the Apostles

Praise The Powers ~ We Praise Thee ~ The Angels

Praise ~The Powers ~ We Praise Thee ~ Cherubin and Seraphin

They never completed the South wall because they ran out of money.

We were in Oxford during the grieving period for Queen Elizabeth II.

We left the church and continued walking north and made our way to the path along the Oxford Canal on to Walton Well Rd. We crossed the Walton Well Bridge which connected us to Walton Road.

On the way to the canal we passed Old Bookbinders and it was still too early to enjoy a refreshment there.

 

Along Walton Well Rd. were a group of terrace residences nos 11-25 which included these finely carved scenes from the life of Elijah on the arches above the first floor windows, with the prophet being fed by ravens at one end of the terrace and whisked up to heaven at the other.

After we turned south on to Walton Road we came to the entrance to St. Sepulchre’s Cemetery.

We spent some time here poking around and then it was time to move on to wet our whistle.

We thought we were ready for some Fish and Chips, too. We stopped at the Jericho Tavern, no fish and chips. We stopped at Jude the Obscure, no fish and chips.

We decided to head further south and east taking Little Clarendon St. where we discovered the wonderful Gail’s Bakery and bought a couple goodies to enjoy later. We were still on our quest for Fish and Chips.

We found the Lamb and Flag where The Inklings (C.S. Lewis/Tolkien) were known to frequent off St. Giles but alas it was closed for renovations. Bird and Baby or Eagle and Child has been closed for 2 years and there were no signs of renovations when we walked past.

Our Fish and Chips hunt was becoming a real challenge. Walking along St. Giles we popped into The Randolph and sat down in the Alice dining room.

After being ignored for well over our usual tolerance level we walked out and continued our quest along George St. and tried the Wig and Pen and to our dismay they were out of Fish and Chips, too.

At this point we decided to go back to Broad and head over to our fast becoming favorite The Turf Tavern.

We sat at table #1 and waited for our Fish and Chips because they had not run out!

Cheers from the Turf Tavern! The end of a long walking day in Oxford overrun by prospective students and their parents who all decided to eat up the Fish and Chips! Thankfully they didn’t all try to find the Turf Tavern tucked away from the main streets of town.

***************************************************************************

Back to the present. Today begins the week of Thanksgiving here in the U.S.A. Thursday is Thanksgiving Day. We are looking forward to all of our kids being together. The west siders arrive on Thursday and Friday. Thanksgiving day we will be at our Colville kids’ home for our Thanksgiving meal. Friday and Saturday we’ll spend time at our country bungalow all together. We will be counting our blessings together.

World Cup started yesterday and our TV service is set to record all the games. I’m a huge soccer fan. The USA has two of our Seattle Sounders on the roster. The team from Ecuador has one of our players and the team from Cameroon has one of our players, also.

Hope all is well in your corner of the world and you all recount the things you can be thankful for!

The Turf Tavern

The Turf Tavern was on our list of pubs to visit while we were staying in Oxford. On Tuesday September 13th late afternoon our tour guide dropped us off at St. Helen’s Passage to make our way to The Turf.

We got the lay of the land and found our table # so we could order our food at the bar. Fish and Chips for Dear and Steak and Ale Pie for me.

We found by the end of our stay in Oxford that this was the best run pub in town, in our opinion. We enjoyed a meal or an ale at the Turf Six different times while we were in Oxford. The Staff was always cheerful and the servers were efficient and ready to help with any requests.

Since Sticky Toffee Pudding was on the menu we ordered one for us to share for dessert.

To find one of the passages to the Turf find the Bridge of Sighs and then walk under it to a narrow passage way which will take you down another passageway to the property.

Their name drop board shows all the famous people who have been to the Turf. We heard about it in researching the Pubs from the Inspector Morse Series.

The Turf Tavern (or just ‘The Turf’ to it’s locals) is probably the oldest pub in Oxford. The pub was built in the Canditch (the most outside City Wall) as gambling and betting was not permitted inside the walls of the City.

It’s foundations and use as a malthouse can be dated back to 1381, noted by tax imposed by Richard II. Originally called the ‘Spotted Cow’ the name was changed as it’s reputation grew as a venue of gambling. Patrons would frequent The Turf to mee their “Turf-Men’ and although logic might dictate that this was primarily a horse connection, it seems they would take bets on pretty much anything.

Since then it has become a firm favorite for Oxford Dons, students, Tourists from near and afar and many celebrities all searching the streets of Oxford, to find it’s best kept secret.

This is one of the outdoor patios at The Turf. The ancient city wall and the Bell tower at New College you see looming over the patio. I zoomed up with my camera to catch the gargoyles.

After church on Sunday when most of the Pubs and restaurants in town were full with people getting their Sunday Roasts and other goodies we high tailed it to the Turf again and tried to find a seat. At first the only seat we could find was outside in the patio but when our food arrived we noticed an empty seat inside and asked our server if we could switch and he obliged us. It was nice to leave the patio as some of the patrons were lighting up their cigarettes. I enjoyed a delicious Lamb Roast with standard Yorkshire pudding and gravy and roasted veggies. Dear opted for Fish and Chips again.

Our final visit to The Turf was on Friday afternoon the 23rd of September. This was our last full day in Oxford.

A pint and 1/2 a pint. We ordered something way outside of our usual on this day. A Chicken Wings platter with different sauces, etc. We met a Canadian mom and daughter who were visiting relatives in Oxford. The mom was originally from England and went to college in Oxford. A fun conversation.

If you ever find yourself in Oxford follow the passageway to The Turf, quiet and off the beaten track.

Keble College Chapel

Hands down Keble College Chapel was the most impressive chapel of the Oxford Colleges we visited. We did not see all of the college chapels. I might have a few posts about the Keble Chapel in the near future. On our last full day in England, today Friday the 23rd of September, we checked out of our hotel in Woodstock, took a taxi to our lodging in Oxford and dumped our luggage there at 10:30 am. Their check in time is 4pm. This taxi ride was our favorite with a friendly driver who actually interacted with us. We walked and walked and walked some more. We went to the Museum of Natural History. We walked through University Park to the Cherwell where we saw a bench dedicated to J.R.R. Tolkien, we visited the Balliol Chapel (the only thing open to visitors on the campus). We headed to our favorite pub in Oxford…home away from home, the Turf Tavern where we enjoyed a conversation with a mum and daughter from Canada. We walked toward Keble College and were happy that we could view the chapel for no charge. I took many photos in this amazing chapel. We were so happy that we took the time and that they were open to visitors on this day. We still had time to kill before we could check in so we walked to Little Clarendon Street to return to Gail’s Bakery for some evening treats for our hotel room. Back to our hotel and able to check in at 3:30. Happy for that since our feet had had enough of walking on uneven and cobbled streets. So happy to report we did not huff and puff on this trip. Our conditioning was good and it was just feet and knees that complained not our lungs or hearts! Woohoo!!

We are flying home tomorrow so no updates until possibly Monday. Cheers!

A Sunday Roast

My postcard for today after the Queen’s funeral yesterday is my Sunday Lamb Roast from the Turf Tavern. Roasts typically are only offered on Sundays at Pubs and restaurants. The Turf had a choice of Beef, Lamb or Chicken. Dear picked the Lamb for me, delicious. Besides the meat portion you get veggies, potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and gravy. Dear opted for fish and chips instead of a Roast.

We spent the whole day yesterday watching the telly with absolutely no commercials or interruptions of the ceremony and processionals. We started watching at 7am up until the late afternoon with a quick break to run down for a quick fish and chips break. Wonderful coverage and commentary here.

Today, Tuesday, we will be out and about again trying to visit as many colleges as we can before we check out tomorrow at 10am and head to Woodstock for a couple of nights.

Self Guided Tour

Lot of walking again today with a walking tour book I bought for Oxford. Walked into the Jericho area of Oxford and along the canal. Visited a church, a cemetery. We wanted Fish and Chips and found out several pubs were out of fish and chips!  The Lamb and Flag was closed due to refurbishing. The Eagle and Child has been closed for over 2 years now. Both of these pubs have history with Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Today is open day in Oxford for prospective Freshmen and the town was buzzing with parents and students checking out the colleges, and eating all the fish and chips! We finally dropped off our bag of goodies we bought along the way to the apartment and headed to The Turf Tavern again and they had Fish and Chips. This is fast becoming our favorite and go to establishment. Mission accomplished, back to the apartment with our feet up!