Thursday, July 7, 2011


(includes Ascot, Bray, Bournmouth, Buckinghamshire, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Oxfordshire, Reading, Surrey & Sussex)

BERKSHIRE (includes Ascot, Bray, Reading & Taplow)
Cliveden Spring Cottage – Taplow; 011-44-016-2866-8561;; $2.8K per night; part of renovated Astor estate-mansion, which is undergoing renovation; built in 1813 for Orkney countess; red-brick-&-beamed structure that sleeps 6; white marble bathrooms; butler-served meals; guests have access to restored 1911 clinker boat; cottage where Christine Keeler staying in 1961 when she met John Profumo.
Coworth Park – Blacknest Road (Ascot); 011-44-013-4487-6600;; on 240 parkland acres, 45 minutes outside London; 70 rooms split between Georgian manor house, cottages, and stables; 3 restaurants.
Elcot Park – Newbury, West Berkshire (RG20 8NJ); 011-44-16-3580-0520;; red bricked Grade II-listed country house; childhood home of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s mother; landscaped gardens stretching towards rolling hills of North Wessex Downs.
Forbury – 26 Forbury (Reading); 011-44-011-8952-7770;; good base for visiting Windsor Castle and Henley-on-Thames; occupies imposing 19th Century building overlooking public gardens that bear its name.
Hinds Head – High Street (Bray); 011-44-016-2862-6151;
Malmaison – 18-20 Station Road (Reading, at Great Western House); 011-44-0844-693-0660;; 75 bedrooms & suites; converted railway station hotel; bar-restaurant.

Fat Duck – High Street (Bray); 011-44-016-2858-0333;; 3 Michelin stars.
Hinds Head – High Street (Bray); 011-44-016-2862-6151;; try dessert, “Eton Mess” (fruit, meringue, and whipped cream).

NICI – West Hill Road; 011-44-012-0201-8555;; perched on Bournemouth’s West Cliff; Miami without leaving UK.

BUCKINGHAMSHIRE (includes Marlow)
Hand & Flowers – 126 West Street (Marlow); 011-44-016-2848-2277;; 8 suites, individually styled; marquee Angus suite has hot tub on terrace.
Hand & Flowers – 126 West Street (Marlow); 011-44-016-2848-2277;; 2 Michelin stars; broadly British menu; pricey but unpretentious.
Sights & Sites
West Wycombe Park – High Wycombe (Wycombe Park); 011-44-014-9475-5571;; country house built between 1740-1800 conceived as pleasure palace for 18th Century libertine & dilettante Sir Francis Dashwood, 2nd Baronet.

Sights & Sites
Berkeley Castle – Berkeley; 011-44-014-5381-0303;; origins date back to 11th Century; remained within Berkeley family since 12th Century, except for period of royal ownership by Tudors; traditionally believed to be scene of murder of King Edward II in 1327.
Forest of Dean – Coleford; 011-44-015-9481-2388; or; one surviving ancient woodlands; reserved for royal hunting before 1066.
Littledean Jail – Church Street (Littledean, Cinderford); 011-44-015-9482-6659;; former house of correction, police station, & courthouse; home to Crime Through Time Museum.
St. Mary’s Church – Vicarage, Church Lane (Berkeley); 011-44-014-5381-0294;; built in 1751 by Thomas Prowse of Berkley House; whitewashed stone church has west tower & hip roof with stone slates; nave has central glazed cupola; gate piers & walls around church date from mid-18th Century; graveyard; some notable tombs (William Hall, made of Doulting Stone in 1670).

HAMPSHIRE (includes Alton, Beaulieu, Emsworth, Lymington, Lyndhurst, New Milton, Romsey & Winchester)
Chewton Glen – Christchurch Road (New Milton); 011-44-014-2527-5341 or 800-344-5087;; in “New Forest,” typically English Georgian brick house; lovely accommodations; near coast; pool.
Heckfield Place – Hook; 011-44-011-8932-6868;
Hotel du Vin – 14 Southgate Street (Winchester); 011-44-0844-748-9267;; 24 bedrooms & suites.
Huntsman of Brockenhurst – Lyndhurst Road (Brockenhurst); 011-44-015-9062-2225;; in 13th Century cottage & converted stable block; warm pub with rooms is 5-minute walk from Brockenhurst train station; 14 simple, country-style rooms with en suite bathrooms have flat-screen TVs, free WiFi & coffeemaking-tea equipment; classic pub has patio seating & serves traditional British fare made with locally sourced ingredients.
Lime Wood Hotel – Beaulieu Road (Lyndhurst); 011-44-023-8028-7177;; 14-acre retreat; Regency manor house with 29 rooms; excellent restaurant.
36 On Quay – 47 South Street (Emsworth); 011-44-012-4337-5592;; modern; can see fishermen in boats from your room.

Huntsman of Brockenhurst – Lyndhurst Road (Brockenhurst); 011-44-015-9062-2225;; in 13th Century cottage & converted stable block; warm pub with patio seating; serves traditional British fare made with locally sourced ingredients.
36 On Quay – 47 South Street (Emsworth); 011-44-012-4337-5592;; modern; seafood.
Sights & Sites
Jane Austen House Museum – Chawton (Alton); 011-44-14-208-3262;; 17th Century house where Jane Austen spent her last 8 years.
Beaulieu Palace House – John Montagu Building (Beaulieu, Brockenhurst, in New Forest National Park); 011-44-015-9061-2345;; beautiful gardens.
Mottisfont Abbey – Romsey; 011-44-017-9434-0757;; historic country estate & priory in Test River Valley; includes historic house museum, regular changing art exhibitions, gardens (including walled rose garden) & river walk; Augustinian priory founded here in 1201, where canons welcomed pilgrims en route to Winchester & who came to worship Mottisfont’s relic: St. John Baptist’s finger; struck by Black Death, initially prosperous priory suffered from mid-14th Century onwards; dissolved under King Henry VIII, who gave Mottisfont to favored statesman, Sir William Sandys, who turned it into country home, unusually turning church nave into new mansion’s main body & building additional wings on either side; wonderful grounds with wooded shade & walk along river.
New Forest National Park – Avenue Road (Lymington, New Forest National Park Authority, in Lymington Town Hall); 011-44-015-9064-6600;; area in southern England that includes among largest remaining unenclosed pasture land tracts, heathland & forest; covers southwest Hampshire & extends into southeast Wiltshire & towards east Dorset; around 250 round barrows within its boundaries & scattered boiling mounds (1 such barrow in particular may represent only known inhumation burial from Early Iron Age & only known Hallstatt culture burial in Britain); also includes about 150 scheduled ancient monuments.

Brocket Hall – Brocket Hall, Welwyn; 011-44-017-0736-8700;; neo-classical country house set in large park at western side of Welwyn Garden City; excellent restaurant, Auberge du Lac.
Sights & Sites
Tring Park – Tring Park (Chiltern Hills); 011-44-014-7658-1135;; refers to that part of original Tring Park Estate south of A41; public open space, owned by Dacorum Borough Council & managed by Woodland Trust.

KENT (includes Broadstairs, Canterbury, Chiddingstone, Cranbrook, Dover, Faversham, Folkestone, Goodnestone, Gravesend, Hythe, Margate, Nonington, Oare, Postling, Ramsgate, Sittingbourne, Tunbridge Wells, Westerham & Whitstable)
Bars & Nightclubs
Age & Sons – Charlotte Court (Ramsgate); 011-44-018-4385-1515;; basement bar.

Abode – 30-33 High Street (Canterbury);; 011-44-012-2776-6266; in Middle Ages building, 72-rooms; exposed beams and original wood frame windows; “comfortable” and “desirable” rooms are tight fit, ask for “enviable” room; excellent food; “Fabulous Suite” has private rooftop sundeck providing views of city and surrounding land.
Farthingales – Old Court Hill (Nonington); 011-44-075-9930-3494;; historic bed & breakfast set in Kentish country’s heart; originally 15th Century Hall House with later Victorian weatherboard shop addition; former village drapers; private and spacious accommodation; restored oak-framed detached barn; in over acre of tranquil landscaped gardens with views over rolling fields and ancient village church.
Hotel du Vin – Crescent Road (Tunbridge Wells); 011-44-0844-748-9266;; 34 bedrooms & suites.
Marquis – Alkham Valley Road (Dover, Alkham); 011-44-013-0487-3410;; 5 boutique-style rooms with bold contemporary styling.
Read’s – Canterbury Road (Faversham, at Macknade Manor); 011-44-017-9553-5344;
Rocksalt – 4-5 Fish Market (Folkestone); 011-44-013-0321-2070;; beautifully designed; 4 excellent-value rooms; minimalist.
Royal Harbour Hotel – 10-12 Nelson Crescent (Ramsgate); 011-44-018-4359-1514;; nautical décor with own cinema; breakfast room but no restaurant.
Sportsman – Faversham Road (Whitstable, Seasalter); 011-44-012-2727-3370;; so unprepossessing people drive straight past; this remote pub next to caravan site has 1 Michelin star.
Tonge Barn – Church Road (Sittingbourne, Tonge); 011-44-017-9547-4743;; 17th Century barn conversion with oak-framed apartments.

Age & Sons – Charlotte Court (Ramsgate); 011-44-018-4385-1515;; 3-story building set on Royal Harbor, with France views and sandy beach; ground-floor café and finer dining upstairs.
Allotment – 9 High Street (Dover); 011-44-013-0421-4467;
Fitzwalter Arms – Goodnestone; 011-44-013-0484-0303;; another Shepherd Neame pub, this time in atmospheric village where Jane Austen’s brother lived; refined but simple dishes using local ingredients; try rabbit tagliatelle and chanterelles or home-cooked ham, figs and Parmesan as starter; roast Gloucester Old Spot pork rump with crackling and apple sauce as main course.
Goodnestone Park Gardens – Goodnestone; 011-44-013-0484-0107;; worth special trip.
JoJo’s – 2 Herne Bay Road (Whitstable); 011-44-012-2727-4591;; BYOB; mezes from all over Mediterranean; space no bigger than bedsit.
Marquis – Alkham Valley Road (Dover, Alkham); 011-44-013-0487-3410;; head chef Charlie Lakin provides locally-sourced ingredients; at lunch, try warm herring milts (roe), black mustard leaf, and pancetta salad and/or English Channel gurnard filet with saffron risotto, spiced aubergine; lunch or dinner.
Read’s – Canterbury Road (Faversham, at Macknade Manor); 011-44-017-9553-5344;; perfect spot for celebratory lunch; in Macknade Manor’s (grand Georgian house with walled kitchen garden) cosseting environment; David and Rona Pitchford’s well-judged, classical menu includes Kentish lamb with courgettes provençale, fondant potatoes, and rosemary-scented jus, and pan-fried fillet of gilthead bream with peeled prawns, grapes, and toasted pine kernels; open for 32 years; 1 Michelin star.
Rocksalt – 4-5 Fish Market (Folkestone); 011-44-013-0321-2070;; beautifully designed restaurant located in resort town’s still somewhat rundown marina; seafood & excellent meats; sit outside, weather permitting.
Smokehouse – 1 Back Street (Folkestone); 011-44-013-0388-4718;; modern fish & chips shop.
Sportsman at Seasalter – Faversham Road (Whitstable); 011-44-012-2727-3370;; brilliant, modern British food.
Three Mariners – 2 Church Road (Oare); 011-44-017-9553-3633;; cozy Shepherd Neame pub, in nautical village overlooking marshes; try local sage-roasted scallops, skate cheeks with lemon, garlic and parsley, or slow-roasted pork with roast potatoes, winter vegetables and Bramley apple sauce; for dessert, warm quince and prunes with ice cream; ideal for ending walk to Harty Ferry reserve, birdwatching favorite.
Wheeler’s Oyster Bar – 8 High Street (Whitstable); 011-44-012-2727-3311; .com; 16-tables, somber atmosphere; established in 1856; fresh local fish with modern, global twist.
Williams & Brown – 48 Harbour Street (Whitstable); 011-44-012-2727-3373; BYOB; Spanish tapas.

Goods Shed – Station Road West (Canterbury); 011-44-012-2745-9153;; freshly baked bread; next to Canterbury West railway station.
Macknade Fine Food – Canterbury Road (Faversham, at Macknade Manor); 011-017-9553-4497; sprawling complex includes polytunnels and barn housing Saturday farmers’ market; looks like chintzy village supermarket; choose from lonzino (cured pork loin), wild boar chorizo, or cecina de León reserva (beef cured for 12 months, then air-dried).
Tom’s Cheese – Station Road West (Canterbury); 011-44-018-9253-1742;; try Ashmore and mild, lemony Winterdale Shaw (from Kent), or “Lord of Hundreds” (from Sussex).

Sights & Sites
Broadstairs –; charming, rather old-fashioned seaside town with beach and great cliff walks.
Chartwell – Mapleton Road (Westerham); 011-44-017-3286-8381;; principal adult home of Sir Winston Churchill & his wife Clementine.
Chiddingstone – Sevenoaks District;; civil parish & parish; (on Eden River between Edenbridge & Tonbridge); apart from castle and church, entire village owned by National Trust; described as country’s “most perfect surviving Tudor village” example; setting in 1985’s Room with View (scene where Cecil & Lucy walk after their engagement party); several area reserves include Sevenoaks Reserve and Jeffery Harrison Visitor Centre (operated by Kent Wildlife Trust), Bough Beech Visitors Centre & Reserve (operated by Kent Wildlife Trust), Chiddingstone Reserve (operated by Kent Wildlife Trust), Penshurst railway station (in Chiddingstone Causeway village).
Leeds Castle – Maidstone; 011-44-16-2276-5400;; from 857 site owned by Saxon chief called Led or Leed who built wooden structure on 2 islands in River Len; in 1119 Robert de Crevecoeur rebuilt it in stone as Norman stronghold & thereafter castle descended through Crevecoeur family until 1260s; in Late Middle Ages, royal household’s growth meant fewer residences could accommodate monarchy when they visited; results in decreased expenditure on royal residences in south-east England (except for Tower of London & Windsor Castle); activity at Leeds Castle during King Edward I’s reign is notable exception; in 13th Century came into King Edward I’s hands, for whom it became favorite residence; ; as favored residence of Edward’s, saw considerable investment: enhanced its defenses & probably Edward who created lake that surrounds castle; barbican spanning 3 islands also built & gloriette with apartments for king & queen added; King Endward II captured castle in 1321 from Margaret de Clare, Baroness Badlesmere, wife of castle’s constable, Bartholomew de Badlesmere, 1st Baron Badlesmere, who had left her in charge during his absence (King besieged Leeds after de Clare refused Edward’s consort, Isabella of France, admittance in her husband’s absence; when latter sought to force entry, de Clare instructed archers to fire upon Isabella & her party, 6 of whom killed: de Clare kept prisoner in Tower of London until November 1322); after King Edward II died in 1327 his widow took over Leeds Castle as her primary residence; Richard II’s 1st wife, Anne of Bohemia, spent winter of 1381 at castle on her way to be married to king; in 1395, Richard II received French chronicler Jean Froissart there, as described in Froissart’s Chronicles; King Henry VIII transformed castle in 1519 for 1st wife, Catherine of Aragon; in 1552 Leeds Castle granted to Sir Anthony St. Leger of Ulcombe, Kent, whose grandfather Ralph I St. Leger, also of Ulcombe, had been Constable of Leeds Castle; castle escaped destruction during English Civil War because owner, Sir Cheney Culpeper, sided with Parliamentarians; castle used as both arsenal & prison during war; other Culpeper family members sided with Royalists (John, 1st Lord Culpeper, having been granted more than 5M acres in Virginia in reward for assisting Prince of Wales Charles’ escape - legacy proves vital to castle’s fortunes; Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron born at castle in 1693 & settled in North America to oversee Culpeper estates (commemorative sundial at castle tels time in Belvoir, Virginia with corresponding sundial in America); Robert Fairfax owned castle for 46 years until 1793 when passed to Wykeham Martins; sale of family estates in Virginia released large sum of money that allowed extensive repair & remodeling; new castle completed in 1823 in Tudor style; last private owner was Hon. Olive, Lady Baillie, daughter of Almeric Paget, 1st Baron Queenborough & 1st wife, Pauline Payne Whitney, American heiress; Lady Baillie bought in 1926 for £180K; she redecorated interior, 1st working with French architect & designer Armand-Albert Rateau, who oversaw exterior alterations & added interior features such as 16th Century-style carved-oak staircase, then with Paris decorator Stéphane Boudin; during early WWII castle used as hospital for burned Commonwealth; upon her death in 1974, Lady Baillie left castle to Leeds Castle Foundation, private charitable trust whose aim is to preserve castle & grounds for public; castle & grounds are major leisure destination with maze that is exited through shell grotto, golf course & what may be the world’s only dog collar museum; 2 castle themed children’s adventure play areas; castle was location in Kind Hearts & Coronets & Moonraker.
National Fruit Collection – Brogdale Road (Faversham, Brogdale); 011-44-017-9553-6250;; 4K historic varieties; 150 orchard acres.
Oare Marshes Nature Reserve – Swale at Harty Ferry (Oare); 011-44-016-2266-2012;
Pent House – Postling (Hythe, farm lies in lee of fold in Downs);; home of Ford Madox Ford & Joseph Conrad (1899-192O); during these years he wrote Lord Jim,Typhoon, Nostroms & other best sellers; among his numerous visitors were H.G. Wells & G.B. Shaw; “Pent” means “in lee of”; village also contains very fine example timber-framed Tudor farmhouse in Postling Court, considered among best of kind south of Canterbury.
Powell-Cotton Museum – Quex Park (Birchington); 011-44-018-4384-2168;; houses explorer-hunter Percy Powell-Cotton’s diverse personal collections of artifacts and taxidermy.
Saxon Shore Way – Gravesend; long-distance footpath, starting at Gravesend and tracing coast as in Roman times (note changed coastline around Romney Marsh), as far as Hastings; 163 miles total; 4 Roman forts built in 4th Century lie along route (Dover, Lympne, Reculver, and Richborough); at Seasalter, internationally important bird sanctuary; passes Dover’s White Cliffs and has panoramic views over Romney Marsh from escarpment marking ancient coastline between Folkestone and Rye; route portions (1) Gravesend to Faversham – Gravesend Town Pier where shares start with Wealdway; (2) Higham and Cliffe Fort; (3) Cliffe; (4) Hoo Peninsula; (5) Strood; (6) Upnor; (7) Rochester, where meets Medway Valley Walk; (8) Gillingham; (9) Lower Rainham and Riverside Country Park; (10) Upchurch; (11) along side of Swale and Oare Marshes Bird Reserve; (12) Faversham – from Conyer Creek in west alongside Swale, passing through Harty Ferry, on to north of Graveney in east; (13) Deal – Graveney Marshes; (14) Seasalter; (15) Whitstable; (16) Herne Bay; (17) Reculver and Regulbium Roman Fort – turns inland, separating from Thanet Coastal Path; (18) Marshside – meets Wantsum Walk; (19) Upstreet; (20) Plucks Gutter – meets Stour River and joins Stour Valley Walk to Roman Fort at Richborough and Sandwich, meeting White Cliffs Country Trail; (21) Deal to Dover – most picturesque part is cliff-top stretch between Deal and Dover, passing South Foreland, with midway break in Margaret’s at Cliffe; (22) Dover to Rye – follows old coast line as heads inland to Lympne, Alding before heading for Rye; and (23) Rye – where Saxon Shore Way links with 1066 Country Walk and leaves Rye, following Royal Military Canal as far as Winchelsea and then on to Hastings.
Sissinghurst Castle Garden – Biddenden Road (Cranbrook); 011-44-015-8071-0701;; designed by Vita Sackville-West in 1930; renowned for roses & striking White Garden.
Turner Contemporary – Rendezvous (Margate); 011-44-018-4323-3000;; dedicated to J.M.W. Turner’s art.

Sights & Sites
Buttercup Sanctuary for Goats – Wierton Road (Boughton, Monchelsea); 011-44-162-2746-410;; goat rescue operation.

OXFORDSHIRE (Abingdon, Bleddington, Chipping Norton, Faringdon, Godstow, Hook Norton, Oxford & Oxon)
Bars & Nightclubs
Anchor – 2 Hayfield Road (Oxford, Jericho); 011-44-018-6551-0282;
Cellar – Frewin Court (Oxford); 011-44-018-6524-44761;; down stair flight; darkish den with live music.
Cherwell Boathouse – Bardwell Road (Oxford); 011-44-018-6555-2746;; atmospheric riverside pub that rents punts.
Crown & Thistle – 18 Bridge Street (Abingdon); 011-44-012-3552-2556;; occupyies former 17th Century coaching inn; Mediterranean food; handmade pizzas, hot from wood-fired oven & fine steak cuts ofrom charcoal-fuelled Josper grill; for breakfast, dishes from waffles to eggs Benedict, & of course signature full English (British premium pork sausages, portobello mushrooms, grilled beef tomato, smoked bacon & free range eggs.
Duke of Monmouth – 260 Abingdon Road (Oxford); 011-44-018-6524-0294; pub and Swiss food; for cocktails, ask for Godfather (Amaretto and whiskey) or Godmother (Amaretto and vodka).
Eagle & Child – 49 Saint Giles (Oxford); 011-44-018-6530-2925;; in 1940s-1950s, small group met here to discuss life, literature, and writing; called themselves “Inklings”; members included C.S. Lewis & J.R.R. Tolkien; discussions contributed to Narnia and Lord of Rings books’ final form.
Gardeners Arms – 39 Plantation Road (Oxford); 011-44-018-6555-9814;; good pub; there are two venues, this is better one.
Half Moon – 17-18 St. Clements Street (Oxford, Iffley); 011-44-018-6524-7808;; only pub open until 4 am; tiny Irish pub with lively folk music sessions on Sunday and Wednesday evenings.
Hi-Lo Jamaican – 68-70 Cowley Road (Oxford); 011-44-018-6572-5984;; favorite venue for artists and musicians; included in Observer “Food & Music” supplement as 1 of 11 places in England where “those in know” go.
Jericho Tavern – 56 Walton Street (Oxford, Jericho); 011-44-018-6531-1775;; just outside old city gates.
King’s Arms – 40 Hollywell Street (Oxford); 011-44-018-6524-2369; sprawling place with crannies and nooks; photographs on walls of famous guests include Queen Mum pulling herself pint; place to get lost in on chilly winter’s afternoon.
Old Bookbinders Alehouse – 17-18 Victor Street (Oxford, Jericho); 011-44-018-6555-3549;; out-of-way.
Perch – Binsey Lane (Oxford, Wolvercote); 011-44-018-6572-8891;
Plough Inn – Green (Oxford, Upper Wolvercote); 011-44-018-6555-6969;
Royal Oak – 42-44 Woodstock Road (Oxford); 011-44-018-6531-0187;; good pub food.
Trout Inn – Godstow Road (Oxford, Wolvercote); 011-44-018-6551-0930;
Turf Tavern – 4-5 Bath Place (Oxford); 011-44-018-6524-3235;; 13th Century Ale House.
Turl Street Kitchen – 16-17 Turl Street (Oxford); 011-44-018-6526-4171;
White Hart – 126 Godstow Road (Oxford, Wolvercote, Wytham); 011-44-018-6555-4080 or 011-44-018-6524-4372;
White Horse – 52 Broad Street (Oxford); 011-44-018-6520-4801;

Burlington House – 374 Banbury Road (Oxford, Summertown); 011-44-018-6551-3513;; 12-room, comfortable, stylish inn short bus ride from downtown; great breakfasts and personalized attention.
Crown & Thistle – 18 Bridge Street (Abingdon); 011-44-012-3552-2556;; occupyies former 17th Century coaching inn; exudes charm & character; great base to explore Oxfordshire countryside.
Hotel du Vin Henly-on-Thames – New Street (Henley-on-Thames); 011-44-0844-736-4258;; on river; 43 bedrooms & suites.
Kingham Plough – Kingham village green (Chipping Norton); 011-44-016-0865-8327;; recently refurbished, laid-back B&B; comfortable hangout with pale walls, sisal carpets, artfully mismatched farmhouse tables, and roaring fire; spotlessly simple rooms feature comfortable beds and budget-friendly rates.
King’s Head Inn – village green (Oxfordshire); 011-44-016-0865-8365;; former 16th Century cider house, now privately owned freehouse; set back off perfect Cotswold village green with meandering brook running by; open fires and 12 comfortable bedrooms, all individually decorated.
Lamb at Buckland – Vicarage (Buckland, Faringdon); 011-44-0136-787-0484;; hidden gem; Local ales & unfussy, seasonal food in inn with low beams, log fires & 3 en suite B&B rooms.
MacDonald Randolph Hotel & Spa – Beaumont Street (Oxford); 011-44-087-0400-8200;; oldest hotel in Oxford city center.
Malmaison – 3 New Road (Oxford); 011-44-018-6526-8400;; former prison.
Old Bank Hotel – 92-94 High Street (Oxford); 011-44-018-6579-9599;; 1st hotel created in Oxford’s center in 135 years; opened late in 1999 and immediately surpassed traditional favorite, Randolph, in style and amenities; building dates back to 18th Century and once was bank; currently features 20th Century British art collection, handpicked by owners; bedrooms comfortably and elegantly appointed, often opening onto views.
Old Parsonage – 1 Banbury Road (Oxford); 011-44-018-6531-0210;; 17th Century gabled stone house in small garden next to St. Giles Church; dignified retreat; dark red walls, eclectic art, and crackling wood fire give lobby distinguished look; newly refurbished guest rooms favor plum, purple, and grey with wool, linen, and velvet materials; bathrooms are rich with marble; memorable meals by fire (or in walled garden terrace in summer); afternoon teas with clotted cream & scones are excellent.

Alpha Bar – Covered Market (Oxford, City Center); 011-44-018-6525-0499;; gourmet sandwich takeout.
Anchor – 2 Hayfield Road (Oxford, Jericho); 011-44-018-6551-0282;
Buttery – 11-12 Broad Street (Oxford); 011-44-018-6581-1950;; best for breakfast.
Byron – 33-35 George Street (Oxford); 011-44-018-6579-2155;; hamburgers.
Carluccio’s – Oxford Castle (Oxford); 011-44-018-6524-9413;
Cherwell Boathouse – Bardwell Road (Oxford); 011-44-018-6555-2746;; atmospheric riverside pub that rents punts.
Dak Bo – 104 Godstow Road (Oxford, Wolvercote); 011-44-018-6531-0439; Chinese take-out.
Eagle & Child – 49 Saint Giles (Oxford); 011-44-018-6530-2925;; in 1940s-1950s, small group met here to discuss life, literature, and writing; called themselves “Inklings”; members included C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien; discussions contributed to Narnia and Lord of Rings books’ final form; legitimate kitchen but have to order at bar; beef rib pie and sticky toffee pudding are excellent.
Falkland Arms – Great Tew (Chipping Norton); 011-44-016-0868-3653;; classic Cotswold village pub with honey-colored stone, inglenook fireplace, wooden panelling; garden is place to sit and relax after amble around Great Tew itself; live folk sessions on Sunday evenings; typical lunches include ploughman’s, chicken and thyme casserole, and baked cod fillet; typical dinners include lamb shanks and chicken breasts in Oxford blue cheese sauce; beers from Wadworth’s of Devizes, including “much-loved 6X,” plus Weston’s cider.
Gardeners Arms – 39 Plantation Road (Oxford); 011-44-018-6555-9814;; vegetarian food; there are two venues, this is better one.
Head of River – Folly Bridge (Oxford, at St. Aldates, Pembroke Street); 011-44-018-6572-1600;
Kingham Plough – Kingham village green (Chipping Norton); 011-44-016-0865-8327;; Emily Watkins, chef-owner, gets quail eggs from 12-year-old boy down road as part of commitment to locavore movement; committed to reviving old recipes from area, regularly mining vintage cookbooks for dishes like Hodge Podge Pudding (blood sausage) and Cotswold Rarebit (cheese-&-beer sauce with toast); classics include signature Blumenthal dishes (fillet of beef cooked sous-vide, at low temperature).
King’s Head Inn – village green (Bleddington); 011-44-016-0865-8365;; former 16th Century cider house, now privately owned freehouse; set back off perfect Cotswold village green with meandering brook running by; pub has heart-warming spirit conjured by nutty ales, open fires, and delicious food; country pub that you always hope to find but seldom do; award winning food.
Lamb at Buckland – Vicarage (Buckland, Faringdon); 011-44-0136-787-0484;; hidden gem; Local ales & unfussy, seasonal food in inn with low beams, log fires & 3 en suite B&B rooms.
Pear Tree Inn – Scotland End (Hook Norton); 011-44-016-0873-7482; hops festoons hang above bar and from low ceiling’s dark beams; fire hisses in stone fireplace, releasing woodsmoke tang into air; outside, pressed almost into 18th Century brickwork, eponymous pear tree grows up building; big garden at back, to make up for relatively cramped interior; true classic, just at lane end from brewery; everything pub should be.
Moya – 97 St. Clements Road (Oxford); 011-44-018-6520-0111;; Slovakian; cheery, whitewashed; try “devil’s toast.”
Nut Tree Inn – Main Street (Oxford, Murcott); 011-44-018-6533-1253;; Michelin star; in 15th Century building under steeply pitched, thatched roof.
Perch – Binsey Lane (Oxford, Wolvercote); 011-44-018-6572-8891;; good food.
Plough Inn – Green (Oxford, Upper Wolvercote); 011-44-018-6555-6969;
Red Lion – 8 Albion Street (Chipping Norton); 011-44-016-0864-4641; small, intimate pub with pretty garden.
Sun Inn – High Street (Hook Norton); 011-44-016-0873-7570;; beautiful English inn, built from Cotswold stone with original flagstone floors, oak beams, and inglenook fireplace; warm and friendly atmosphere.
Trout Inn – Godstow Road (Oxford, Wolvercote); 011-44-018-6551-0930;
Turl Street Kitchen – 16-17 Turl Street (Oxford); 011-44-018-6526-4171;; good mixed drinks.
Vaults & Garden Cafe – University Church, High Street (Oxford); 011-44-018-6527-9112;; vegetarian-friendly.
White Hart – 126 Godstow Road, Wytham (Oxford, Wolvercote); 011-44-018-6555-4080 or 011-44-018-6524-4372;

Cherwell Boathouse – Bardwell Road (Oxford); 011-44-018-6551-5978;; punt rentals.
Summertown Cycles – 200-202 Banbury Road (Oxford); 011-44-018-6531-6885;; bike rentals; try Oxford Canal Path, narrow waterway lined with boats and filled with ducks; leads out of central oxford towards picturesque village series with lots of places to stop.

Bicester Village – 50 Pingle Drive (Oxon); 011-44-018-6936-6266;; outlet shopping center selling designer accessories and clothing.

Sights & Sites
Ashmolean Museum – Beaumont Street (Oxford); 011-44-018-6527-8002;; recently renovated.
Bodleian Library – Broad Street (Oxford); 011-44-018-6527-7224;; established in 1488 with 300 books; take guided tour; English King Charles I asked to borrow book in 1645 and was denied; make sure to see Radcliffe Camera, designed by James Gibbs in English Palladian style and built in 1737–49 to house Radcliffe Science Library (south of Old Bodleian, north of St. Mary’s Church & between Brasenose College to west and All Souls College to east; construction began in 1737, completed in 1747 & interior finished by 1748, although opening delayed until 1749.
Buckland House & Manor – St. George’s Road (Buckland, near Faringdon);; not open to public; large Georgian stately home (original manor house formerly in Berkshire); Palladian architecture masterpiece by John Wood, for Sir Robert Throckmorton in 1757 to replace previous manor house; 9 bays, 3 central ones being narrow on each of its 3 stories; 2 wings of lower height adjoining connected by narrow galleries; overlooks landscaped park, which includes gardens, cricket ground & 150-acre deer park; previous manor house, Buckland Manor House, also Grade II listed building, converted into stables in 1797 & is in park; entire landscape garden designed by Capability Brown contemporary Richard Woods; lakes designed to look like River Thames portion & joined with small waterfall; garden is occasionally open to public under NGS Gardens Open For Charity scheme.
Buscot House – Buscot Park (Faringdon); 011-44-013-6724-0786;; country house built in austere neoclassical style between 1780-83 for Edward Loveden Townsend.
Christ Church College – St. Aldate’s (Oxford); 011-44-018-6524-2561;; where Harry Potter movies’ Hogwarts School of Witchcraft set; take tour, available on website.
Faringdon Folly, Gardens & House – A4095 (Faringdon);; gardens are open to public on limited basis; estate & manor house; began about 1780 & not completed until after 1785; bought in 1787 by William Hallett Esq; home of Lord Berners in middle part of 20th Century; currently belongs to writer Sofka Zinovieff, granddaughter of Robert Heber-Percy, who inherited it in 1950.
Godstow Abbey & Nunnery – Godstow;; ruins from 1133; built on what was then island between streams running into Thames River; site given to foundress Edith (Sir William Launceline’s widow) by John of St. John and built in local limestone to honor St. Mary and St. John Baptist for Benedictine Order nuns; abbey became famed beauty Rosamund Clifford’s final burial place (died 1176), English King Henry II’s long-time mistress.
New Theatre Oxford – George Street (Oxford); 011-44-018-6532-0760;; ballet, concerts, and musicals.
Oxford University Museum of Natural History – Parks Road (Oxford); 011-44-0186-527-2950;; displays many natural history specimens; founded in 1860 as center for scientific study; now holds University’s internationally significant collections of geological & zoological specimens; housed in stunning example of neo-Gothic architecture, Museum’s growing collections underpin broad programme of natural environment research, teaching & public engagement; among its most famous features are Oxfordshire dinosaurs, Dodo & swifts in tower.
Oxford Playhouse – 11-12 Beaumont Street (Oxford); 011-44-018-6530-5305;; for comedy and drama.
Pegasus Theatre – Magdalen Road (Oxford); 011-44-018-6581-2150; comedy, dance, and drama.
Swinbrook Manor House – Swinbrook & Widford.
Wolvercote – 3 miles northwest of city center, along Oxford Canal Path (Oxford); Domesday village; can walk there, have pint at Perch Pub, and walk back in about 2 hours.

Cricketers – Downside Common (Downside, Cobham); 011-44-019-3286-2105;; idyllic, 17th Century gastropub.

Sights & Sites
Betchworth Castle – Brockham (1.2 miles east of Dorking railway station & 4 miles due west of Reigate); mostly crumbled ruin of fortified medieval stone house with some tall, 2-story corners strengthened in 18th Century; built on sandstone spur overlooking western bank of Mole River; ruin is Scheduled Ancient Monument & is in lowest category of listed architecture.

SUSSEX (includes east & west)
Malmaison – Ship Street (Brighton); 011-44-0844-736-4251;; 49 bedrooms; restored collection gothic & mock-Tudor buildings.

Sights & Sites
Blue Bell Railway – Sheffield Park Station (Uckfield); 011-44-018-2572-0800;; heritage line running 11 mi along East-West Sussex border; uses steam trains that operate between Sheffield Park & East Grinstead; 1st preserved standard gauge steam-operated passenger railway in world to operate public service.
Charleston – Charleston Firle (Lewes, in South Downs National Park); 011-44-013-2381-1626;; only surviving example of complete interiors by artists Vanessa Bell & Duncan Grant; decorated top to toe by inhabitants, who were inspired by Italian fresco painting & Post-Impressionists; living artwork with ceramics, textiles, colorful furniture & paintings; developed over couple’s 60 years here; house incorporated their impressive collections, as well as their own work & some contributions from many key figures in British 20th Century history who were their guests; painter Vanessa Bell (Virginia Woolff’s sister) moved to Sussex in 1916 with artist & decorator Duncan Grant (unmarried pair were involved romantically, had child together, & Vanessa’s husband & art critic Clive Bell also lived for time at house); Grant’s lovers David Garnett & economist John Maynard Keynes joined them for periods, too; other visitors included Virginia & Leonard Woolf, writer E.M. Forster, biographer & essayist Lytton Strachey & artist Roger Fry; apart from exploring house, there is cafe, shop, gallery, gardens & picnic area, not to mention bracing walks in spectacular South Downs; paintings on show include works by Renoir, Picasso, Sickert & Delacroix.
Great Dixter Garden – High Park Close (Rye, Northiam); 011-44-017-9725-3107;; Tudor house with 20th Century Arts & Crafts garden.

Amberley Castle – Route B2139 (Amberley); 011-44-017-9883-1992;
White Horse – 2 Square (Storrington); 011-44-010-9374-5831;; bed and breakfast on high street.
Mistletoe Lodge – Route B2139 (Amberley, at Amberley Castle); 011-44-017-9883-1992;; private dining space for 2, perched in enormous poplar tree; thatch-roofed treehouse.
Vintage Rose – 1 School Hill (Storrington); 011-44-019-0374-4100;; tea shop with wonderful baked goods; breakfast all day.
White Horse – 2 Square (Storrington); 011-44-010-9374-5831;; pub on high street.
Vintage Rose – 1 School Hill (Storrington); 011-44-019-0374-4100;; books.
Sights & Sites
Amberley Castle – Route B2139 (Amberley); 011-44-017-9883-1992;
West Dean College & Gardens/Edward James Foundation – Chicester; 011-44-012-4381-1301;; art exhibitions and lovely grounds; worth special trip.

Sights & Sites
Compton Verney Art Gallery – B4086 (9 miles east of Stratford-upon-Avon, between Kineton & Wellesbourne, and 6 miles from M40-Junction 12, follow brown signs); 011-44-019-2664-5500;; country mansion built in 1714 by 11th Baron Willoughby de Broke, Richard Verney; 1st extensively extended by 12th Baron George Verney in early 18th Century and then remodeled (and interiors redesigned) by Robert Adam for 14th Baron John Verney in 1760s; set in more than 120 parkland acres landscaped by Lancelot “Capability” Brown in 1769; house (and 5.1K acre estate) sold by 19th Baron Richard Greville Verney in 1921 to soap magnate Joseph Watson (elevated to peerage as 1st Baron Manton of Compton Verney only 2 months before his death in March 1922 from heart attack while hunting with Warwickshire Foxhounds at nearby Upper Quinton); 2nd Baron Manton George Miles Watson sold to Samuel Lamb, then requisitioned by Army during WWII and vacant thereafter; in 1993, bought in run-down state by Littlewoods millionaire Sir Peter Moores and restored into gallery capable of hosting international exhibitions; now run by Compton Verney House Trust; collections include Neapolitan art from 1600-1800; Northern European medieval art from 1450-1650; British portraits include Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, and Edward VI (and works by Joshua Reynolds); Chinese bronzes including objects from the Neolithic and Shang periods; British folk art; and 20th Century textiles, including creations by Enid Marx.
Royal Shakespeare Company – Waterside; 011-44-084-4800-1100;

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