We spent time looking in shops and at lunch time we went to Prezzo, an Italian restaurant near the Castle. We had been given a gift voucher by Kendra as a 'thank you' for when she had stayed with us earlier in the year. This was in a very pleasant spot and we sat outside under a beautiful wisteria and ordered spaghetti carbonara. It was virtually empty of customers when we arrived but as we left it was really filling up with people.
We walked back towards the main shopping streets. Carol had compiled a quite extensive list of things she needed before she returned to work on Friday. This required visiting Blackwell's book shop in Broad Street. We visited Waterstones as soon as we had arrived in Oxford. She wanted a copy of E.M. Forster's novel "A Room With A View" but the only edition they had was paperback. She wanted to get a hardback copy and Waterstones didn't have one. We walked towards Blackwells and saw hoards of people being taken on walking tours of the city. Similar sights in Cambridge the other week when we were there. Fortunately, none of those people attempting to sell punting on the river which we found somewhat aggressive in their tactics.
We spent quite some time in Blackwell's. We discovered that the shop contains what is supposed to be the largest room in a shop in the world, with several miles of shelving. Well, this is according to their website. I was also unaware that Heffer's bookshop in Cambridge is part of the same company. We visited a branch of Blackwell's when we went to Newcastle last year to help Daniel, my stepson, to move flats. A considerable amount of time was spent in this shop. We love books, so it's hardly surprising. There was a great offer on Oxford Classic paperbacks: buy one and get one free. We Bought "Emma" by Jane Austen and we got "The Secret Agent" by Joseph Conrad free. This novel has recently been adapted by BBC Television and so I was keen to read it. It was somewhat amusing when Carol asked an assistant 'Do you have "A Room With A View"?' Well, we thought it was quite amusing and I think the assistant got the joke. It turned out that they had the same paperback edition that Waterstone's had.
We walked back towards the centre of Oxford and decided that we were in need of a cup of tea and went into Debenham's, principally to use their toilets. A long queue for the 'ladies' but that's what you get when you don't provide adequate facilities. Sat and drank our tea in a rather cramped area near the escalators. It was a branch of 'Patisserie Valerie.' There is a branch in the Milton Keynes Central Shopping Centre. It's quite expensive but they have a great range of food on offer.
By the time we'd finished in Debenham's, after Carol bought some ear rings, we decided that, because we had walked so far and it was exceptionally warm, we would catch the bus back to the park-and-ride carpark and return home.