New Years Celebrations: Oxford and St. Albans

Confession: I haven't decided on my New Year's resolutions yet. So I guess I'll have to add "being on top of things" to my prospective list. Anyway, while I'm not quite ready to set any resolutions or goals for this year, I thought I would recap what I did to celebrate this New Year.

I find New Year's Eve to be a terribly overrated holiday. So. Much. Pressure. Especially as a young person. I was speaking to my best friends about this, and they all seemed to agree (especially my bestie who lives in NYC- I can't even imagine the pressure and the price!).

I've been lucky enough to have spent the last three New Years in three different places. From New York City to back home in Newton/Boston to ringing in 2018 in England this year. Even though I was spending New Year's Eve away from home this year, it was still very low-key. And I think that's by far the best way to approach the holiday.

On Sunday, Ben and I headed to Oxford to meet up with one of his friends from high school. We were enthusiastically given the grand tour around the campus in the morning. And wow was it stunning. I had visited Cambridge earlier this semester, and while many peg the two as very similar cities, I would have to say the biggest difference for me was just how surprisingly big Oxford was. It really felt like a city, even if there was strong University presence.

I loved the old feel to Oxford. Even living in Edinburgh, Oxford felt so historic to me. I had a crash course in the characteristics and stereotypes of each college and even had a sneak peek of some of the rooms inside.

After seeing all the major on-campus sites, we set off on a mid-afternoon pub crawl (it was New Year's Eve, after all). We hopped from pub to pub, the boys enjoying beer and myself switching between gin and tonics and mulled wine ('tis the season). My favorite pub? Purely for its monumental value, I'd have to say it was the Turf Tavern for me. As we sat outside we noted the chalkboard which told the tale of Bill Clinton "not inhaling" illegal drugs right at that pub.

For another drink and a bit of lunch, we headed to the White Rabbit pub. The sign outside stated that this spot served the best pizza in Oxford, and after inhaling a goat cheese and caramelized onion pizza, I'd have to agree. Definitely a can't-miss budget-friendly lunch spot.

After a quick shower and change back in the student halls, we headed out to dinner at Shezan for some Indian food before our night out. It was surprisingly quiet for New Year's Eve, but our theory was that as Oxford is such a student-run town, most students had returned home for New Years. I had a creamy korma with my favorite Peshwari naan, which was the perfect start to a night out.

Our first stop after dinner was Junkyard Golf, where we spent the night putting away and partaking in some friendly competition. I got third place out of the four of us and the winning spot was highly contested. But the best part about Junkyard Golf? The whimsical cocktails! Whether you get an alcoholic slushie or a tropical cooler, these cocktails will definitely make you feel like a kid again.

For the final part of our New Year's celebrations, we headed to a student nightclub to dance the night away to cheesy tunes and ring in 2018 to Auld Lang Syne (sorry I didn't take any pictures but it was a fairly unglamorous student club after all).

After recovering with a cooked breakfast on Monday morning, Ben and I hopped on the Oxford Tube into London before traveling back to St. Albans. Our final way of celebrating New Years was with a New Years Day concert at St. Albans Cathedral. This was one of Ben's Christmas presents to me, and I had the best time. Not only do I love classical music, but this particular program was perfect for the two of us. The first half was all American music, featuring Candide as well as An American in Paris (a little preview to us seeing the show later in the week), and the second half was all British music (which I knew none of!).

Funnily enough, this program was meant to celebrate the "special relationship" between the US and the UK (politically speaking, of course). But I also think that Ben and I definitely have a "special relationship" that spans US and UK borders. And isn't that something to celebrate?

I hope you all had a fantastic New Year!

1 comment:

  1. Mini golf and cocktails sounds like a fab combo. Happy new year Leda, can't wait to see what this year has in store for you :) x


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