Posts Tagged ‘Afternoon in Oxford’

Afternoon in Oxford

August 1, 2019

Coolish in the morning then turned hot.

GWR Gatwick to Reading train no water in the one and only toilet. Disgusting. This spreads disease throughout the train.

Why do we have to put up with these Third World Conditions when travelling by train?

CrossTrain was waiting at the platform. It was empty, by the time it left full.

Why a bull outside Oxford Station hidden down the side of the Said Business School.

Oxford is starting to experience the same problem as Berlin, rental cycles dumped everywhere.

Interesting wheel lock on the cycles. The cycles are very heavy. Cannot be pleasant to ride.

I spoke with a traffic warden. He said it was a major problem. He said the bikes are ridden slowly, the problem being the weight. He told a coach to turn off its engine.

The problem is an unregulated sector. Who is responsive if someone trips over an abandoned cycle? The rental company, the cyclist?

From Oxford Station, a pleasant walk along the Oxford Canal to Jericho.

Many of the houseboats are little more than barely floating wrecks.

Cross over the canal on the foot bridge, zigzag, and it brings out opposite 101 Coffee Espresso Bar.

Beyond the footbridge the paintwork on a boat being scoured. The water full of pollutants.

Note: Oxford City Council were notified of this major pollution incident, sent a reminder. They lacked the courtesy to reply.

I carried on until the next bridge, crossed the canal, more dumped cycles, then walked via the road to 101 Coffee Espresso Bar.

101 Coffee Espresso bar. Excellent coffee.

Coffee on the shelves a little old. They had been at a festival and surplus left over. I suggested the Colombian coffee from Coffee Gems was an absolute must to order.

Looked in Branca Food. A little deli, though not so little when walk in. I think I will try one day.

The local recommendation is, good place to eat, but avoid the coffee, for coffee 101 Coffee Espresso Bar.

Then back along the canal to main road, then to the street food market.

I could have carried on down the road past Branca Food, but the canal is a more scenic route and avoids the traffic.

The standards on the market are abysmally low. How many have hand washing facilities? Ice cream van with engine running. Too many using plastic.

I asked one stall why using polystyrene boxes. At least he was honest, would not make enough profit. No, it is not ok to externalise your costs. If your businesses is not viable, close down.

Looked in The Handle Bar. Downstairs empty, moronic music blasting out. Upstairs empty.

Quirky, worth looking in, The Handle Bar though is not somewhere I would recommend. Coffee mediocre, always noisy, service poor and the staff rude.

To Society Café. I was only looking in to see of they had issue 3 of Society. No. I picked up issue 2. No copies left of issue 1.

Commonsense has broken out. They have reverted back to accepting cash.

I stayed and had a V60. As it had now tuned hot, I would have preferred an iced filter coffee. Barista knew how to make, but too much trouble to make.

A brief chat with head barista. I suggested the Colombian coffee from Coffee Gems was an absolute must to order. Currently guest coffee from Origin and Round Hill Coffee.

I have been able to have a coffee in the past at Society Café but only because I was with a Chinese friend and she paid with her Chinese credit card. To her surprise it was accepted.

Filming by one of the colleges.

A new Endeavour? A lot of film crew.

Note: Radcliffe Camera not Ratcliffee Camera. Android not so helpfully auto-correcting.

On to Oxford Covered Market to Colombian Coffee Roasters.

I stopped off and had a 1/3 pint at the craft beer stall.

Excellent cappuccino at Colombian Coffee Roasters. Not so the smoothie. It sldudl be made from fresh fruit.

Indians taking coffee. Must have filled the cup of coffee half full with sugar.

A bag of Wush Wush coffee. Expensive, £25 per 250g bag.

A alk alng thev River Thanmes.

I watched a duck usher duckling across a path.

By now I was running late.

I psoke to an Ethioppain girl. I do not think I have eber met a girl from Ethipia. She was intetsred in the vcoffee shops. I took her ona tour and showed her Cafe Society.

Wer tenwlaked to the Oxford Canal sayt and had a chat.

Now I was going to be very lucky if aI cuaht a train at at nine. I was lucky, I caught, what I thought was a slwo train was no stop to Readin.

Shock horror. In time to miss a train. No trains for at least an hour.

For once I was gateful for a train being delayed. Otherwsie over an hour late fo the next train.

— to b e continued —

Afternoon in Oxford

June 19, 2019

A spur of the moment decision, I decided to visit Oxford.

Change trains at Reading.

Land’s End Pasty Co, roast pork sitting in a puddle of water, no wholemeal bread only white bread, refused to accept £50 note even though legal tender.

Fast non-stop Cross Country train to Oxford.

I made a mistake at Oxford Station, feeling lazy, I caught a bus about to depart for the city centre. Tracking the route on GPS, alighted when I saw departing from where I wished to be.

Yes, I found myself in the city centre, two large shopping centres, ugly, the same crap corporate chains to be found in every town centre.

Second mistake of the day, a coffee from Art Café. Brazilian barista tried to bull shit me that the coffee with robusta was top quality coffee. He showed me the beans, black, over roosted, an unpleasant aroma. The coffee looked and tasted disgusting.

Never bullshit coffee. Good coffee speaks for itself.

I then wandered around trying to find Society Cafe. I found I had passed, though had not seen.

I carried on my wanderings, a falafal wrap off a cafe with their food displayed in the window in Broad Street. It was not good.

I wandered down another street, what I had not realised at the time, it was the street that would take me to Oxford Station, the way I would have arrived had I walked.

I happened across a street food market, part street food part ordinary market. A fair selection of street food. I was reminded of one I came across in Berlin, though the one in Berlin had far better choice.

I picked up a loaf of bread off one of the stalls.

Now I could see where I was, after back tracking, narrow street I decided to walk down was actually the street I need to be. I would have walked past the far end earlier in the afternoon.

Passing by The Handle Bar I popped in. Upstairs quirky. Coffee reasonable, but the loud moronic music blasting out not pleasant. It was only on leaving I learnt the coffee bar was downstairs. I had passed it on walking in, but mistook it for a bar.

A little further down the street, opposite Oxford Union, Society Cafe. It had only taken me about about three hours to find.

I would like to be able to comment on their coffee but never got the chance. They refuse to accept cash.

It was then try to find The Missing Bean. Not difficult, carry strati on, cross the main road straight on, then turn right.

On the way I passed The Covered Market or Oxford Covered Market. It was like the Spice Market in Istanbul without the spices.

Ideal place for a coffee shop thought I, and no soonest has this thought occurred as if by magic one was conjured up.

A board said artisan coffee. They all claim artisan, gourmet is another, means nothing.

Colombia Coffee Roasters. A fool was giving the barista a hard time, whilst at the same time blocking customers. I ordered a cappuccino. It was excellent. Long chat with a Colombian lady, the owner. whose family own a farm in Columbia grom whre sourcees her abns from other afms she knows.

I then carroed on,a dn foudn The Missing bean fove minutes before it clsoed.

Ia sked thew ay abck to the Rail way Sation.

Forst a wnder aroudn.

Heading ack, O apspsed the location of the street food marjet. Axc I was toldm it wa sa case of keep heading straight down the raopd.

Once station raeched, I reaslied to egahs to the old part of Oxford, take thne elft fork in the raod ebwteen Said Busiensse Schoolamd a hotel. This takes staright into the old part of Oxford, about ten minute walk.

Only a few minutes to wait for Cross Country train to Reading.

— to be continued —