My Birthday Trip to Oxford | Oct 2020

To celebrate turning the ripe old age of twenty-three, I treated myself to a little getaway in Oxford and had the most magical time. Oxford has always been on my bucket list of UK cities, it is a city dedicated to the influence of literature and good stories, and as soon as I stepped off the train, it felt like I was being welcomed with open arms. The city is designed for wanderers it is so easy to get lost in your thoughts or conversation with a friend and still end up somewhere cosy and familiar. I’d give my left arm to wake up every morning with a coffee and sit reading my book in University Park!

When visiting new places, I make it my mission to find the best places to eat and the city of Oxford excelled! The current 10 pm curfew here in the UK meant that all the eating and the drink started very early, so we got dressed up and headed first for cocktails at Quod and then to this wonderful Italian restaurant called Branca! I can’t recommend this place enough, it was amazing, the Aperol Spritz and Gnocchi were a 10/10! We then finished the night with more cocktails at The Lighthouse, which again was stunning!

The next morning, after a very slow and steady wake up, we drugged ourselves up on coffee and made the most out of the city on a quiet Sunday morning, it was so peaceful. With rumbling bellies, we then took our recovering selves to George St Social for brunch which by no surprise was so good and exactly what we needed!

Now did you really go to Oxford if you didn’t visit a couple of bookshops? I’ll also leave a link to my Oxford book haul here, if you want to check that out!

Blackwells – I only wish that I had a Blackwells near me, as I’m obsessed! I could easily spend an entire afternoon exploring the endless shelves and magical adventures hidden in the pages that line the walls. Plus they had a good ‘3 for 2’ deal on readers favourites, so I had to pick up a few to add to my TBR!

Waterstones – Oxford’s Waterstones stands proud on the corner of Broad Street with its curved windows and grand architecture, making it a proud giant of the high street. With five floors of books, I can guarantee that you’ll be able to find exactly what you’re looking for, or just something that picks your fancy. Although the cafe was closed, it looks like it would be the perfect places to sit and grab a coffee.

The Last Book Shop – One of my favourite things in the world is independent bookshops, and Oxford is full of them! We stumbled upon this bookshop when we were ambling around and I so glad I did as it soon became one of my favourite stores of the trip. If you’re looking for that cosy little bookshop stacked with loads of reasonably priced books, then this place is ideal. I couldn’t believe how cheap some of the books were and I had to stop myself from going overboard

Oxfam – A staple for anyone looking for some pre-loved bargains! There’s plenty of Oxfam’s in Oxford and are the perfect destination if you’re looking for your next read

St Phillips Books – This one is tucked away down a quiet alley and is very easy to miss! Every nook and cranny is filled with books, and it honestly feels like you’ve stumbled into an endless library filled with vintage second-hand books.

The Book Stop – A sister location to The Last Book Shop, this is another cosy and welcoming space that is filled with all genre of books. When visiting Oxford’s bookshops, I recommend to always start with the independents, not only does it help support local businesses but the chances are that you’ll find the book you’re looking for at half the price!

The Riot Club (2014) – Film Review

I have wanted to watch this film for ages, although admittedly I did want to watch it for all the wrong reasons, mainly being the cast and their gorgeous facial features and the quality of their previous films… However the main concept of the film did interest me, so I knew I wouldn’t be completely bored…

The Riot Club is about this exclusive club within Oxford University, it is only for the richest and most academically talented male students. The story follows a new student called Miles as he finds his way through University life and his selection into The Riot Club. The Riot Club is very old fashioned in its ways and relies heavily on tradition, they also like to act like absolute dicks and smash places to pieces.

I actually really enjoyed this film, it was surprisingly powerful and made me think a lot about what actually goes on at these prestigious universities, especially as I haven’t got a cat in hells chance of ever getting into one… Everything seemed so old fashioned but also so modern that it blurred the lines a bit which made the story really unpredictable and interesting. There are some really powerful messages in this film including LISTEN TO THE GIRLS, we know what we’re talking about! But in all seriousness,honourable it beautifully highlights just how devastating having a bit of ‘fun’ can be which I think teenagers need to realize a little bit more these days. As well as being serious and powerful, this film was also quite humorous, there are some wicked one-liners! However I did find myself laughing at inappropriate things, that I feel bad about now, but I think that’s what it was supposed to do, just to open people’s eyes even more.
Another thing that shocked me about this film is the portrayal and the treatment of the female characters. It shocked me because I didn’t think that that level of sexism still occurred, well not in the UK and certainly not at Oxford University, however that may be me being a bit naïve. It was slightly horrific how some of the members of The Riot Club treated women, actually, it really angered me; women were no more than objects to them. But again it just highlights the inequalities between the two genders and how that some people just need to wake up and enter into the 21st century!

The acting was also first class, Max Irons, Sam Claflin and Douglas Booth were stellar and their faces weren’t bad either… Although they were playing characters with awful personalities which made them much less attractive. Except for Max Irons who playedhonorableMiles, who I was rooting for from the beginning. Also, Holliday Grainger who played the sweet but strong willed character Lauren also gave a stunning performance, especially as her character goes through a lot!

Overall I did enjoy this film, it was powerful and sends some very strong messages. Although it got a little bit tedious as the majority of the film is set in one room and after that massive sequence, you were dying for a change! But that was something fairly minor, I did enjoy it. I’m going to award it a 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Just a disclaimer, this film is a 15 and does have adult themes and sexy scenes, so best not to watch when your parents are around or if you’re too young…