What is the use of a book, without pictures or conversations?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The thing about Oxford - the thing - is that it is home to one of my favourite shops in the entire world. It's a bookshop, one I've mentioned here a few times before, where all books are £2.00. All books, any books - hardcovers and softcovers, new releases and classics, books on philosophy and books on food, biographies and war books, cooking books and childrens' books, books that have that new book smell and books that are still wrapped up in plastic or paper. Mm.

And so, here we are after our first stop in Oxford. Stuart has one book, all wrapped up in a brown paper packet. Granny has one too. And Graeme? Well, he's putting on a brave face as he carries all my bags full of beautiful new books...

...all around Oxford.

We celebrated our gigantic haul of nice new books with dinner at Jamie's Italian.
We've been to Jamie's before - the one in Canary Wharf, London - but it was an enormously rushed affair that made me think of Primi Piatti in Cape Town. This one, however, was cosy and comfortable as well as filled with attentive staff (with their ridiculous skinny ties) and delicious-looking pasta. Trust me to be difficult and order a burger (a dish which was neither here nor there) but at least everyone else got some very impressive dishes.

Here's Graeme's Scallop and Squid Ink Angel Hair.

...and here's Stuart feeling very pleased with himself - he's just flown home for two months of sunny South Africa and left us here in the freezing cold as the snow starts up again.

I couldn't possibly leave the restaurant without taking a photograph of their bread table. I'd love to have one of these in my kitchen! I think they display it at the entrance to the dining area so that you crave it and order some for the table. Ho-hum, coercive restaurant layout?

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