Monday, 16 November 2009

Of A Lovely Weekend

My friend's party at the weekend was a lot of fun. We enjoyed some pre-dinner drinks at her house, where we were greeted by an unexpected guest, with whom, as you can see, I rather fell in love:

Doesn't he look real?! Unfortunately he was a bit to big for me to slip into my handbag and steal off with... We followed this with an excellent meal at Jaipur on the Cowley Road. This was a new discovery for me, and one I'm very pleased to have made. The staff were friendly, the ambiance warm and welcoming, and the food both delicious and beautifully presented:

They even brought my friend a little extra something when they found out it was her birthday:

I can particularly recommend the Mixed Starter and the Chicken Shaslick, while the spinach rice is also well worth trying. I've found out that they offer free home delivery on orders within six miles of the restaurant, so I think I'll be trying that out one evening when cooking seems like too much effort!

After the meal, we made our way down the Cowley Road to Cafe Coco. I'd been here for brunch and lunch before (both lovely. The full English breakfast is truly excellent, and is one of the few places I've found in Oxford where it includes black pudding, which gets it a definite thumbs up from me). I'd never tried it in the evening, however, so I was particularly pleased to be able to test out their cocktail range, especially as certain cocktails are only £3.95 between 10pm and closing (at 1am).

Cafe Coco is owned by the same people as one of my very favourite Oxford haunts, The Grand Cafe, which also offers cheap cocktails every evening, so I was pleased to find that the ones at Cafe Coco were just as good. It's a fun place with a lively atmosphere, not to mention some rather interesting pieces of art:

When I came to Cafe Coco for brunch with a friend last year, I was sitting in a chair facing away from the clown in the bath, when suddenly my friend went a little pale and told me to turn around. I did so, only to see a rush of ice cubes pour out of the little gold pipe above the clown, *into the bath*. Apparently it's where they keep their ice. I was quite happy to finish my cup of tea, but my friend had a slightly harder job enjoying his iced water after that ... he said he couldn't quite enjoy it after thinking of it swimming around next to a naked clown mannequin. Fair enough, I suppose, but the bizarre sculptures certainly add to the atmosphere!

Sunday dawned bright and (not so) early, and we indulged ourselves with a reviving meal at the wonderful Edamame -- another absolute favourite which will some day merit a post to itself. After I'd waved goodbye to my friends, I then went on a Mission. And this time, I succeeded: I have New Boots!

I was *very* happy to find these at Marks & Spencer, exceedingly well priced (I fell in love with a pair at Sassi the other day, but they were £300, and my love has limits...) and also extraordinarily comfortable. The heel is sturdy enough to stand a good chance against the cobbles, whilst also looking nice with a skirt. They may not be perfect, but they are certainly a welcome addition to my wardrobe.

I pottered round the shops a little more in the afternoon, and was pleased to find a great new dress for the end of term Christmas dinner and party at College, which is coming up in early December. I wanted something a bit different, and I think this dress from French Connection fits the bill:

It is a little more risque perhaps than my usual choices, with the sheer front and carefully placed sequins (!), but it's fun and frivolous and perfect for getting into the Christmas spirit. And sometimes it's good to have a change. To tone it down a little, I'm going to pair it with black tights and a pair of black patent high heels like these...

... and look forward to dancing the night away. I'll make sure to tell you all about it!

For now, I'm off to get myself some lunch, and then I must stop thinking of frivolous matters for the time being and get back to the library. Or, as Sir W put it in his 1600 essay 'Of Fame':

'I will from henceforth follow Vertue silently in my study'.


verity said...

What a gorgeous dress Sophie!

I'm a big fan of The Grand cafe :)

Sophie said...

Thanks Verity! I am looking forward to wearing it. Glad you are also a fan of The Grand Cafe -- I love it.

skirmishofwit said...

Love the dresses!

Sophie said...

Thanks Miranda! Me too, haha.