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The Randolph
Such is the reputation of the Randolph we made our separate ways
to Oxford with reservations made and expectations high. To ring
the changes we'd agreed to wear Edwardian morning attire but Lily
- who was dubious from the outset - 'forgot' at the last minute so I
couldn't help feeling the effect was somewhat lost. I arrived first
(uncomfortable and not a little self-consciously in starched wing
collar and spats) only to be informed that someone with exactly the
same name had just left (I may even have passed him in the lobby
but he certainly wasn't dressed as dashingly as myself). This is all
by way of preamble really because the tea itself, once we'd sorted
out the confusion of two people with the same name wanting
separate tables, was much less interesting.

Impressive as this Ruskin-acclaimed five star mock gothic monster
is from the outside and exorbitant as the prices are, these are no
real reflection of what receive. The scones didn't taste particularly
fresh, the Twinnings tea bags dangled pathetically on string and
considering I'd gone to the effort of getting dressed up for the
occasion one might have expected somewhat less perfunctory
service. We left after thirty minutes shortly after a party of
American tourists descended upon us and started taking photos of
the sandwiches.

We'd strongly encourage you to spend you hard-earned at the
Grand, or the Rose.

Beaumont Street,
Tel. 01865 256 400