Day Trip to Oxford

The other week,
we got to run up to Oxford 
to celebrate our friend Ali's __th birthday.

We arrived in Oxford in a quick spell of really pretty weather.

Instead of heading straight indoors (as we had planned),
we spent a little bit of time
wandering through our old steps,
checking in & saying hello to the places that were once our home.

While Oxford has always been a special place for people to come together,
our time there was no different.

We had so many great friends there...
and we miss them terribly!

As we walked through town,
 I found myself constantly searching to find familiar faces in cafes & on the streets...
but alas, their absence reminded me how scattered our friends now are.

While the absence of our friends makes our returns to Oxford a bit unsatisfying,
it always reminds us that their time at Oxford did exactly what they had hoped:
launched them into doing really great things on a worldwide scale.

Even though our Oxford exploring was a bit lonely,
once we arrived to Ali's party... 
we were quickly revived by seeing college friends 
& celebrating a special friend at a special time in her life.

The party was so much fun!

We got to spend the night at her house in the country afterwards
and spent the next morning sipping coffee with her & her parents
and chatting about everything from cruises to British schools.

As we sat in her living room with rain drizzling down the window,
it felt extremely cozy to be in that moment.

As expats who are often displaced in random hotel rooms & neighborhoods
and find themselves missing our loved ones, 
it feels really nice when we find ourselves in real homes among families & friends.

Thanks, Ali, for sharing your home with us! 

If you are heading out to Oxford on your own,
here are some of our favorite places to check out.

Old Tom's - Across the street from Christ Church's main entrance on St. Aldates,
there is a little pub called "Old Tom." Even though it's a pub, it actually makes the most delicious thai food. Go and get the Pad Kee Mao or the red curry. You'll love it. There's a little garden in the back when the weather is nice. Don't miss it.

Moo Moo's Milkshakes- Inside the covered market (off High Street & Cornmarket). I can't really describe how much I love these... but if you taste one, you'll know why. Try one of coffee + oreo, I dare you. If that doesn't suit- create your own shake out of their 300+ mix-in options.

The Grand Cafe- Go here for tea. It's the oldest coffee shop in England, but the cream team is really fantastic. The setting is very photogenic, too. On the High Street- located about halfway between Cornmarket & Madgalen college

The Eagle & Child- CS Lewis, Tolkien & all the other "inklings" used to meet in this famous pub. It may seem a bit touristy, but actually- it's decent food and a fun stop. If you can snag a room in the "Rabbit Room" near the bar, you'll be in the inklings favorite spot.

Christ Church Meadow- Walk through the garden that inspired Carroll's Alice & Wonderland. This walk will give you a good glimpse of the non-curricular daily life of students in Oxford.

Gloucester Green- If you are in Oxford on a Tuesday, go to the organic market in Gloucester Green to try scrummy treats from local farmers & vendors. Anything from goat's milk cheesecake to homemade donuts awaits you. Also, a portion of the market is old antiques & a small flea market. You'll never know what you will find!


  1. I've always wanted to go to looks magical. Thanks for sharing your tips!

  2. I feel a little bit of the same way walking around my college town- you expect to see people b/c everything is so familiar yet no one is there anymore. Gorgeous photos of Oxford, glad you got to catch up w/old friends!

  3. sigh. would love to get back to oxford one day. its my fav place in England.

  4. i love the old bikes! how FUN! looks like such a pretty place. xoxo jillian:: cornflake dreams

  5. I always love looking at your pics, it lets me imagine I'm in England again. Sigh.

  6. I can't get over your pictures - they're just incredible, and thank you for convincing me that my daughter now HAS to go to Oxford.

  7. These photos are so dreamy, Lauren. This is on my must visit list when I return or Europe and I definitely need to take note of all of your favorites!

  8. It's so, so, so beautiful and "English". ;) Glad you had a nice time.

  9. Regret 1: Not visiting Oxford when I had a chance.
    Regret 2: Not meeting you while in England. You are the most fun person ever!

  10. My heart misses Oxford so much, this post almost makes me cry!

  11. Dear Lauren,
    your blog is amazing and always provides so much sighing and longing between the gals at the office and me. As I am nearing grad school applications and Said is one of my choices, I was wondering whether your husband would object to talk about his experience there (in other words would he object to me buggering him with a million questions?).

  12. love your photos! how I miss England!

  13. Hi there. Thanks for the comment you left on my blog. I am actually secretly obsessed with England, and these pictures are so gorgeous. What a talented (and stylish) photographer you are! I'm your newest follower. I'd love to keep seeing you around my blog!


  14. Your photos are so beautiful. My favourite photos are the bikes.

    xo Ashley

  15. I love the old timey bikes! Just like the ones we had in college, and that was, oh so, long ago!

  16. Bittersweet when you realize things change, but it's just a sign that you are moving forward. Pretty pics!

  17. Beautiful photos!! I wish America embraced more of this architecture! What I wouldn't give for such ornate (and numerous!) windows!

  18. What a wonderful trip! On this side of the world, I headed down to the North Carolina city where we lived last year and felt the same thing. I kept looking for familiar faces and just assumed that the city had not kept moving once we left. Nostalgia is a powerful emotion.

  19. Your photos are gorgeous! I've been to the UK twice and have never gotten a chance to visit Oxford. Next time! xo

  20. I’m probably one of the very few people who does not like London. We were there for 2 weeks last month, and it’s not to our liking. Maybe London is for the young. Everyone smokes. Not good for my child who has asthma. And it’s dirty. If I were to live in England, it’ll be in the countryside. I love Oxfordshire!

  21. Oxford looks so pretty!! Since I live in Belgium, I believe I should hop over the pond one day and visit :) x

  22. It's weird going back "home" when everyone who made it home isn't there. I'm glad the wedding made up for it though!

  23. Looks and sounds like an amazing trip. Such an amazing post, love. If you get a second, I'd love to hear what you think of my latest wedding post and guest blog for Lauren Conrad. xo

  24. Thanks for the sweet comment! You are living the life!! I am your newest follower! Follow me at
    Can't wait to hear about more adventures from your life!
    -Bridgette Nicole

  25. your pictures look like postcards!! gorgeous!


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