Oxford Literary Festival

Oxford Literary Festival | Miranda's Notebook

On Saturday, I set off with my Mum to Oxford to attend the Judith Kerr talk that was being held as part of the Oxford Literary Festival. I’d been to the Oxford Literary Festival last year and had had a fabulous time so I was eager to book again this year. There were several talks I wanted to go to, but in the end I settled on Judith Kerr’s. I absolutely adored The Tiger Who Came to Tea and the Mog books as a child, and I still have a fabulous time reading them to the children I teach in Primary school. When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit was another favourite read of mine as when I was little, and I couldn’t wait to hear its author speak in person.

I settled down to reread When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit on the train journey from London to Oxford, and it’s just as wonderful as I remembered. A slightly fictionalised autobiographical account of the Jewish author’s escape with her family from Nazi Germany, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit is an endearing tale of courage and an unbreakable family bond. It was lovely to reread it, and whilst in Oxford, I picked up the two sequels which I’ve never read, so I have a treat in store!

When we arrived in Oxford, it was lunchtime, so we hopped in a taxi to take us to The Oxford Kitchen. In the past, I’ve often been disappointed by Oxford’s choice of restaurants, but this time I was determined to try somewhere different, and I’d read good things of The Oxford Kitchen.

The Oxford Kitchen | Miranda's Notebook

The restaurant offers a great set menu: £20 for three courses and a Kir Royale.  I started out with rabbit and ham hock terrine, pistachios and pickled carrots.

The Oxford Kitchen | Miranda's Notebook

It was delicious, and surprisingly light and flavourful. Next, I chose duck confit with salt baked beetroot, braised fennel, madeira and blackberry jus.

The Oxford Kitchen | Miranda's Notebook

Duck confit is one of my favourite things and this was perfectly done. On to dessert – whipped chocolate ganache with peanut and pear sorbet.

The Oxford Kitchen | Miranda's Notebook

I scoffed this down in a flash! Is there a better combination than chocolate and pear? I’m not sure there is! The meal was a fabulous deal, and I’d definitely recommend The Oxford Kitchen if you ever fancy a bite to eat in Oxford.

After polishing off our lunch, it was time to head to the beautiful Sheldonian Theatre for Judith Kerr’s talk.

Oxford Literary Festival | Miranda's Notebook

Judith Kerr was a fabulous speaker, and it was fascinating to learn more of her life, from being forced to flee Germany as a child to her love of illustration and how she first came to write and illustrate her much loved books. Kerr is clearly a lovely person, and she spoke with wonderful thoughtfulness, honesty and humility. I feel really lucky to have heard one of my very favourite childhood authors speak in person. Judith Kerr is also giving a talk at the upcoming Cambridge Literary Festival – I urge you to go if you get the chance!

Oxford Literary Festival | Miranda's Notebook

Of course, I had to pick up a few books at the talk. As there were so many people, Kerr wasn’t signing books, but photocopied bookplates of her signature were given out, and they’ll certainly serve as lovely reminders of my fun afternoon!

When the talk was over, Mum and I had some time to kill before heading onto The Old Parsonage, where I’d booked us a table for afternoon tea. Despite the rather grey and miserable weather, we had a lovely time wandering around the beautiful city.

Oxford Literary Festival | Miranda's Notebook Oxford Literary Festival | Miranda's Notebook Oxford Literary Festival | Miranda's Notebook Oxford Literary Festival | Miranda's Notebook Oxford Literary Festival | Miranda's Notebook Oxford Literary Festival | Miranda's Notebook Oxford Literary Festival | Miranda's Notebook Oxford Literary Festival | Miranda's Notebook

After working up our appetites again, we headed to The Old Parsonage, where we were delighted to be greeted by a roaring fire (it was getting decidedly cold by this point!).

Oxford Literary Festival | Miranda's Notebook

The Old Parsonage is beautiful, inside and out. I definitely want to go back in the summer to make the most of its charming outside terrace!

The Old Parsonage, Oxford | Miranda's Notebook

This time, though, we were more than happy to take a seat right by the fireplace and tuck into a delicious afternoon tea, complete with sandwiches, scones, jam, cream, cakes, tea and champagne.

The Old Parsonage, Oxford | Miranda's Notebook

It was the perfect end to a lovely day and fuelled us for the train journey back to London.

My day in Oxford marked a fabulous start to the Easter holidays, and I can’t wait for some more excursions over the next few days too.  I’ve decided to take a little bit of a holiday from blogging, as I’ve got a lot of running around to do, but will be back to posting next Tuesday. I’ll still be on instagram and twitter so do please feel free to keep in touch! I hope you all have a wonderful Easter!

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