We Love Oxford!

Staff Picks: Places to visit this December

Oxford is a magical place to visit in December.

Kookoo the blue giraffe had a wonderful time discovering the hidden history behind some of the best loved places to shop, eat & relax in the beautiful city of Oxford.

First stop, Cornmarket Street. In 1000, Cornmarket street (currently called Northgate Street) was already one of the main commercial areas of Oxford. Around 1050, the Saxon Tower of Church of St Michael at the Northgate was built and still very much standing proud! Our ‘hidden gem’ of a shop sits in the Basement of St Michael’s Church, you can still see some of the Saxon brickwork in our shop. Right next to the Saxon tower, you’ll find AMT coffee – where our staff buy proper coffees from. Opposite, you’ll find The Plough at 38, a pub restaurant in a stunning building dating back to 1195. Before lock down, we enjoyed staff drinks at our ‘local’.

Second stop, Oxford’s world-famous Covered Market is home to a large number of specialist independent traders, each selling their own unique variety of goods. The market dates back to the 1770s and has always been an attraction for locals and visiting tourists who come from far and wide to soak up the building’s history and heritage. There are SO many fantastic shops, cafes & bars here, we’ve just picked out a few of the businesses that we love – The Garden, Bonners Oxford and The Cake Shop.

More recent additions to the Oxford Covered market have been a number of pop-up shops – including organic & Fairtrade underwear by Y.O.U, and, of course – our very own pop-up venture – Fairtrade in the Market, with our friends from Headington Fairtrade.

Next stop, Pembroke Street, where you will find Modern Art Oxford (MAO). Trevor Green and a small group of modern art enthusiasts founded MAO in late 1965. In September 1966, MAO moved to a former brewery building on Pembroke Street which has been there ever since. You will find a range of exhibitions, talks, films, music, workshops, as well as a cafe & a shop at MAO.

A few doors down, you will find The Story Museum which recently opened it’s refurbished site last year. There are lots of interactive displays within the galleries, as well as theater performances & story telling sessions that can be booked separately. Story Museum also has a lovely cafe and gift shop.

Final stop, Christ Church & Meadows. Christ Church was founded nearly five hundred years ago. Today Christ Church is one of the larger colleges, with about 450 undergraduates and 150 graduates drawn from all places and backgrounds. The cathedral ministers to the whole diocese, but it is also a college chapel, with regular services open to all. The carol service at Christ Church is always a special treat and a great start to the Christmas festivities.

And if you’re visiting oxford between 9-19th December, don’t forget to check out the Oxford Christmas Market on Broad Street! We might nip out at lunchtime for a cheeky glass of Mulled wine, or some freshly made churros!

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