Foodie shoppers are spoilt for choice, with Oxford a hotbed of artisan delis. Sitting pretty on the city’s most picturesque shopping street, 2 North Parade is your one-stop-shop for meticulously sourced fresh and seasonal produce. Stock up on British and Irish farmhouse cheeses and charcuterie, local apple juice and organic milk from a micro-dairy a little north of the city (where Josh, the farmer, knows all of his cows by name). Looking to eat or drink as you stroll down to Port Meadow? Grab a Missing Bean-roasted coffee and a selection of artisan bakes from Hamblin Bread.
After an obligatory trip to Oxford’s Covered Market, venture around the corner to Objects of Use, a contemporary homeware store with an ethos of “voluntary simplicity”. Products for the home, garden, kitchen and camping are all conscientiously sourced “archetypal” examples of their kind – from Ukrainian enamel bowls to Portuguese notebooks. Meanwhile, the shop’s impeccable displays are reason alone to visit the city. We’re especially taken by their hand-dipped beeswax candles.
A cavernous bookshop with 140 years of history, this was the original Blackwell’s Bookshop – and is still the best. The first to publish Tolkien, among other notable writers, the place is steeped in history. It’s grown a lot since the 1800s, of course – sideways, upwards and, most notably, underground, where the Norrington Room has more than 4km of shelving.