Old Parsonage Hotel in Oxford, England

SDOxford Boutique Hotels › Old Parsonage Review
Updated: May 24, 2022

• Location: Banbury Road, opposite Denys Wilkinson Building (University of Oxford).
• Hotel website: oldparsonagehotel.co.uk
• Hotel phone: +44 1865 310 210
Check prices for Old Parsonage

Review of Old Parsonage Hotel in Oxford, England.

The historic Old Parsonage hotel features luxurious and elegant rooms with modern bathrooms, a beautiful summer garden, an inviting library, and an excellent restaurant and bar.

Old Parsonage – Feel like you’re out in the Cotswolds rather than in the city center.

This wisteria-covered storybook cottage dating back to the 1600s is accessed via a small wooden door that leads into a lobby with low ceilings and a roaring fire. There’s a Summer Garden overlooked by the local church tower with a pergola and ornamental hedges, and a light-filled library with a direct line to the bar and sofas to curl up with a great book. The hotel is owned by Mogford, which also owns the Old Bank Hotel, Gee’s restaurant, and other Oxford institutions, and the company’s renovation has not only brought the interiors up to date, effortlessly fusing old levels of quality with new arty aesthetics, but it also tastefully extended the property to offer guests several mod cons (steam-demisting mirrors and underfloor heating, for starters). All this within a few minutes’ walk to the Ashmolean and Pitt-Rivers Museums, as well as having the quirky shops and restaurants of Jericho almost on your doorstep.

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Old Parsonage – Location

  • Address: 1-3 Banbury Road.
  • Area: The hotel is in trendy Jericho, whose cute side streets, full of quaint terraces, ooze community charm. Most importantly, the area features 2 of the city’s best museums, the Ashmolean and Pitt Rivers, and there are lots of great eateries, bars, and even a modest nightlife scene on Little Clarendon Street and the adjacent Walton Street. All that, and it’s still only 5-10 minutes’ walk to most of the city center colleges, the Bodleian, and the Covered Market, to name just a few of Oxford’s charms.
  • How to Get There: The hotel is easily accessible by car. From the train station, it’s a 15-minute walk (0.8 mile), or there’s a door-to-door bus (#500), which takes around 10 minutes. Gloucester Green Bus Station is an 11-minute walk (0.6 mile).
  • Handy to: Ashmolean Museum, Pitt-Rivers Museum.

Old Parsonage – The Basics

  • Ages: All ages are welcome.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: No private pools or jacuzzis.
  • View: Some rear-facing rooms have views of the Summer Garden and the next door church.
  • Laundry: Available for an extra charge.
  • Parking: There’s a small complimentary car park for guests.
  • Extras: Complimentary bicycles, guest library, fresh flowers, turndown service, in-room treatments, newspapers, concierge service, and bed-side reading material (Mogford Prize Food & Drink Writing winners).
  • When to Book: The hotel is busy year-round. Book at least 3 weeks in advance for weekend stays, and up to 3 months ahead for beginning of the term or graduation.
  • How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
  • Phone: +44 1865 310 210
  • Email: reception@oldparsonage-hotel.co.uk
  • Website: oldparsonagehotel.co.uk

Old Parsonage – Amenities

  • Pool: No pool.
  • Spa: No spa, but in-room treatments are available upon request.
  • Fitness Center: No fitness center.
  • For Families: There is a Family Package which includes breakfast; a children’s welcome pack; use of bicycles, board games, and children’s books; milk and cookies on turndown; and babysitting services and extra beds for an additional charge. A kids’ menu is available in the restaurant and there are interconnecting rooms.
  • For Disabled Guests: There is no elevator (most guest areas are on the ground floor, but the Library is upstairs). There are 2 fully accessible Deluxe Double/Twin rooms on the ground floor.

Old Parsonage – Food and Drink

  • Restaurant/Bar: The cozy Parsonage Grill makes a fabulous setting for a meal or a drink. The walls are plastered in portraits from various eras and styles from the personal collection of owner Jeremy Mogford. There are great cocktails and a full (and locally renowned) afternoon tea. As well as healthy breakfast options between 7-11 am, the all-day menu kicks in at noon, serving up classy takes on retro treats like prawn and avocado cocktail or ham hock terrine, vegetable piccalilli with toasted sourdough, as well as hearty mains like confit barbary duck leg with seared liver and green lentils, and fabulous salads. Open daily 7 am-midnight. $$-$$$.
  • Breakfast: Healthy single item options like fresh fruits, organic granola, or porridge as well as traditional options like salmon, kippers, and eggs range from £3.50-12. Freshly squeezed and cold press juices. Full English (or full vegetarian) breakfast including drinks for £17. Served in the Parsonage Grill daily from 7-11 am.
  • Room Service: Drinks and snacks available 24 hours. Full meals available during restaurant opening hours (7 am-11 pm).

Old Parsonage – Rooms

  • Room Types: Luxury Suite ● Junior Suite ● Superior Deluxe ● Deluxe Rooms ● Accessible Deluxe Rooms ● Classic Rooms ● Small Doubles • List of all Rooms
  • Smoking Rooms: Smoking permitted in the outside areas only.
  • Best Room: The Luxury Suites are on the new second floor, but the décor is in keeping with the older part of the hotel, fusing traditional and bespoke pieces with clean lines and modern art. Suites feature king-sized beds, living and dining areas, leather writing desks, Nespresso machines, tea-making facilities, minibars with complimentary mineral water, plates of seasonal fruits and fresh flowers, smart TVs, Bluetooth radios, blackout blinds, climate control, safes, hairdryers, marble bathrooms with walk-in rain showers, double vanities, free-standing baths, steam-demisting mirrors, underfloor heating, Noble Isle toiletries, and linen bathrobes.
  • Family Rooms: No family rooms per se, but there are interconnecting rooms to accommodate families.

Old Parsonage – Local Transport

  • Walking: Everything in the city center, as well as the city’s most famous museums, is within a 20-minute walk of the hotel.
  • Tram/Bus: There are 2 bus stops just steps from the hotel – Keble Road (25m) and Radcliffe Observatory Quarter (0.1 mile) – where you can catch buses serving most areas in the city, including the main bus station, Gloucester Green, the train station, the park-and-rides, and even the X90 bus to London. However, due to city-center congestion, it’s worth knowing that buses can often take longer than walking, especially for short distances.
  • Taxis, Uber, Lyft: Uber is banned in Oxford. London-style black cabs can be hailed from the street, or can be found at taxi ranks dotted around town. There are also many local cab companies that will allow you to pre-book. 001 Taxis (+44 1865 240 000) is one of the most popular, has its own app, and operates 24/7.

Old Parsonage – What’s Nearby?

Recommended Nearby Tours

  • Uncomfortable Oxford – Aiming to combat the glossy version of Oxford that many tour companies espouse, these guys want to get behind the inequality, colonialism, and other unpleasant aspects of the city’s history. Essential stuff if you want to really understand modern Britain. Various starting points.
  • Oxford Official Walking Tours – The Oxfordshire tourist board puts on excellent walking tours covering not only the city and university, but also Harry Potter, Inspector Morse, and Philip Pullman tours. The meeting point is at the main office and shop in Broad Street, a 12-minute walk (0.6 mile) from the hotel.
  • Cycle Tours by Bainton Bikes – This bike shop in Jericho offers some of the best cycle tours of the city; it’s a great way to get out of the city center and see more of the gorgeous green spaces and waterways. (0.5 mile).

Best Nearby Restaurants

  • Gee’s – Superb Mediterranean food from the same people as Quod in town. The Victorian glasshouse makes for a very romantic setting for dinner or a drink at the well-stocked bar. $$-$$$. (0.3 mile).
  • The Jericho Cafe – Neighborhood bistro, whose website description nails it: “delicious home-made food served by friendly people from early ’til late”. Good variety of Mediterranean/Middle-Eastern influenced entrees. $. (0.4 mile).
  • The White Rabbit – Looks like a traditional pub from the outside, but rebranded as a “pizza and beer” joint inside, offering a wide range of handmade pizzas (including excellent gluten-free options), and craft brews. $. (0.4 mile).
  • Jericho Grill – Come here for a steak or burger from the best meat and cooked to perfection. Excellent grilled fish too. Not much choice for vegetarians. $$. (0.4 mile).
  • Brasserie Blanc – Although many towns now have an outpost of Raymond Blanc’s popular French restaurant, this is the original. It’s open from 9 am for breakfast and there are excellent value set menus. $-$$$. (0.5 mile).
  • Bbuona Pizza Bar – Excellent Roman pizzeria that offers a choice of flours for your base and several toppings. As you’d expect from a good Italian restaurant, this place is open from 8 am daily and also does great coffee and spritz. $-$$. (0.5 mile).
  • Glut – Opulent burgers and loaded fries with great options for meat-eaters, vegans, and veggies alike. $. (0.5 mile).
  • The Handle Bar – A good selection of freshly-made, healthy, and inventive meals served all day in a warehouse attic filled with old bicycles. $-$$. (0.6 mile).
  • No. 1 Ship Street – Excellent bar-restaurant that describes itself as a “modern British brasserie”. Good value lunch menu. $-$$. (0.6 mile).
  • Edamamé – Tiny, family-run Japanese restaurant that offers different menus depending on the day of the week. Arrive early for the popular Sushi Thursdays as it does not take reservations. Open Wednesday-Sunday. $-$$. (0.6 mile).
  • Quod – Sophisticated modern European brasserie on High Street with a dramatic and beautiful bar and an excellent value set lunch. $-$$$. (0.7 mile).
  • Cherwell Boathouse – Delightful riverside restaurant that does British fine dining in a converted Victorian boathouse on the river. Reservations essential in the summer months. $$-$$$. (1 mile).

Best Nearby Cafes

  • G&D’s – Oxford institution that is George & Danver in the city center, George & Delila on Cowley Road, and George & Davis in Jericho. Freshly made ice cream, waffles, bagels, and great hot chocolate. George & Davis is a (0.1 mile).
  • Barefoot – This picture-perfect bakery and café is filled with flowers and quaintness. (0.5 mile).

Best Nearby Bars

  • Eagle & Child – 17th-century pub with flagstone floors and cozy snugs. Nicknamed “The Bird and Baby” by former patrons J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. (0.2 mile).
  • Jericho Tavern – Quirky pub and famous music venue where Radiohead played their first gig; beer garden and great food, too. (0.4 mile).
  • The King’s Arms – Pub by the Bodleian with great food selection: traditional British pies, classics like fish and chips, and modern favorites like burgers. (0.5 mile).
  • Rickety Press – A modern take on the neighborhood local, this place has tons of character and truly great pizza. (0.5 mile).
  • Turf Tavern – Atmospheric pub with a cozy courtyard hidden among the college buildings where Bill Clinton famously “did not inhale”. Pub food and Sunday roasts, too. (0.5 mile).
  • Old Bookbinders – “The Bookies” is a true original, a family run local where the walls are plastered with curios and the French-inspired food is truly excellent. (0.6 mile).

Nearby Shopping & Cool Shops

  • Oxfam Books – Oxfam started in Oxford and this was the non-profit’s first dedicated bookstore, which opened in 1987. Great selection of academic texts. (0.2 mile).
  • Cornmarket Street – Central pedestrianized shopping street that is of particular interest for its small arcades and markets running off it, like the Golden Cross arcade, Covered Market, Clarendon Shopping Centre, and Westgate mall. Make sure to check out Oxford’s oldest building, the Saxon-age tower of St Michael at the North Gate, built between 1000–1050; you can ascend it for good city views. (0.4 mile).
  • Illyria Pottery – Stunning handmade pottery, much of it made using the Raku process, by artist Katie Coston in the workshop below the shop. (0.5 mile).
  • Blackwell’s – Bookshop drenched in literary and retail history, whose Norrington Room long held the world record as the single largest room in the world selling books – it’s quite a sight. (0.5 mile).
  • Boswells of Oxford – A family-run Oxford department store with a long history – it is rumored that Captain Cook used Francis Boswell’s handmade suitcases in the 18th century. (0.6 mile).
  • Westgate – This new mall has injected life into this often-overlooked section of the city center, drawing big crowds to its sleek passageways filled with cult and international brands, as well as to its rooftop bars. (0.7 mile).

Nearby Attractions

  • University Parks & the River Cherwell – University Parks, northeast of the city center, is one of the city’s most pleasant green spaces. The University turned it into a landscaped park in the 19th century with the aim of creating a space for “town” as well as “gown” – locals and students alike. There are lots of different areas to explore, but one of the loveliest is the riverside walkway alongside the River Cherwell (pronounced “Charwell”), one of the largest tributaries to the River Thames. The river goes south through Magdalen College’s gorgeous grounds and Christ Church meadow. (0.2 mile to University Parks.)
  • Pitt Rivers Museum & Museum of Natural History – Two of the city’s best museums, great for kids and adults alike, are wrapped up in one cool building in the University’s Science Area. The Pitt Rivers Museum is undoubtedly one of the best museums, not only in the UK but also in the world. Established by a Victorian collector, it is a fascinating romp through human psychology via displays that group together objects from different time periods and cultures by use, such as drug paraphernalia, farming tools, warrior clothes, or body modification equipment. Next door, the Museum of Natural History boasts a ‘skeleton parade’ of mammals throughout the ages, as well as the world’s best surviving dodo remains, dinosaur bones found in Oxfordshire, fossils, stuffed animals, gemstones, and more. There’s also a café overlooking the awesome atrium. (0.3 mile).
  • Ashmolean Museum – If you only visit one museum in Oxford, it should be the Ashmolean, just north of the city center. It carries the weight of being Britain’s first public museum with ease, thanks to its awesome collection of world treasures from Ancient Egypt, China, Japan, and the Middle East, as well as awe-inspiring art from Goya, Manet, Michelangelo, Raphael, Turner, and many more. Don’t miss its classy rooftop restaurant. (0.3 mile).
  • Sheldonian Theatre – The University’s graduation ceremonies are held in this striking building wedged between the Old Bodleian Library and the Weston on Broad Street. The main attractions of touring the 17th-century building include Christopher Wren’s ingenious engineering, the enormous ceiling mural, and the panoramic city views from the Cupola. (0.5 mile).
  • Bodleian Libraries – The Bodleian Libraries, comprised of the Old Bodleian Library and the modern Weston Library, are the second largest in Britain after the British Library. The Old Bodleian Library is made up of many smaller parts: most famously, the striking circular Radcliffe Camera, but also the intriguingly named Divinity School and the 15th-century Duke Humfrey’s Library, both of which featured in the Harry Potter films. You have to take a tour to see inside. Meanwhile, at the Weston Library on Broad Street, there’s an exhibition dedicated to the Bodleian’s most famous books and some of the scholars who have studied at the library. (0.6 mile).
  • History of Science Museum – Next door to the Sheldonian is this remarkable museum which features many beautiful antiquities as well as more modern curios like a blackboard used by Einstein when he gave a lecture at the University, and the original penicillin culture specimen. (0.6 mile).
  • Oxford Castle Quarter – The main attraction of the so-called Castle Quarter is, unsurprisingly, the castle, as well as the next-door prison, which is now a plush hotel. The Oxford Castle & Prison museum/experience spans several significant historic sites: the Saxon-era St. George’s Tower, a 900-year-old crypt, an 18th-century prison, an 11th-century Motte-and-Bailey castle, and lots of folklore and gruesome local history along the way. (0.7 mile).
  • University Church of St Mary the Virgin – The University’s main church, just opposite the hotel and next to the Radcliffe Camera, offers the highest view over Oxford from its spire. It has a great cafe, too. (0.7 mile).
  • Port Meadow – Wander among free-range horses, cows, and sheep on this 440-acre plain along the River Thames. A big draw is that you can start or end a walk at The Trout or The Perch: historic inns with heavenly riverside terraces. It’s a 14-minute walk (0.7 mile) from the hotel; simply head west from Jericho along Walton Well Road.
  • Museum of Oxford – Run by the local government, this is a great showcase of people’s history of the city and proves there’s much more to the town than just the University. (0.8 mile).
  • Christ Church College – Of all the colleges, the crown jewel for tourists is Christ Church. It is the most open to the public and features an art gallery, a cathedral, a meadow, and the bit most people are here for (even if they don’t admit it), the Great Hall, otherwise known as Hogwarts’ dining room. If you’re into Renaissance painting, the Picture Gallery boasts works by Tintoretto and Michelangelo, among others. (1 mile).
  • High Street – The hotel is on the graceful curving High Street, packed with University colleges, including Brasenose, St Edmund Hall, All-Souls, Queen’s, and the confusingly named University College. The top pick for most will be the beautiful 15th-century Magdalen College (pronounced Maud-lin), whose gorgeous grounds, which include a deer park, should be taken advantage of in good weather. Opposite the college is the University’s lush Botanic Garden & Arboretum; it’s the oldest in the UK and features over 6,000 different plants across 130 acres. Don’t miss the cluster of fairytale cobbled streets just south of the High Street, with names like Magpie Lane and Logic Lane. They lead to Merton College, one of the original three colleges that made up the University (along with Balliol and University colleges) in the 13th century. Features to look out for include its quaint Mob Quad, the chapel, and the gargoyles adorning some of the buildings. It’s a 13-minute walk (0.7 mile) to the corner of the High Street and St Giles’, and it takes 6 minutes (0.3 mile) to walk the length of it east to Magdalen College.

Nearby Markets or Grocery Stores

Old Parsonage – The Hotel

The hotel is located on Banbury Road.

The Old Parsonage hotel is the first building on Banbury Road, one of the main arteries heading north. It’s an extension of the grand boulevard St Giles’ which brings you to the city center.

The hotel offers free parking and bicycles to guests.

It is clearly signposted and has its own carpark, visible just behind the sign on the left in this picture. The hotel’s vintage-style brown bikes are free for guests to use during their stay.

The hotel's main building is in a 17th-century parsonage.

Although many of the rooms are in modern extensions, the hotel’s main building is an iconic 17th-century parsonage. Entering the garden, which offers space for al fresco dining in good weather, feels like you’re entering a different world.

The original wooden door marks the entrance.

The dense wisteria and tiny wooden front door covered in metal studs makes for a charming entrance.

The welcoming lobby has a big fireplace.

The lobby is dark, calming, and welcoming. In winter, the huge fireplace is kept alight, adding to the feeling that this is an escape from the modern world.

The reception is connected to the Parsonage Grill.

The reception flows into the Parsonage Grill, a bar-restaurant that prides itself on its club-like bohemian atmosphere. Part of this can be attributed to the owner’s personal, eclectic art collection that adorns the walls.

The dining area is cozy and bright.

The dining area is both bright enough to enjoy the excellent afternoon tea spread and cozy enough for an intimate cocktail.

The Summer Garden has a beautiful pergola.

The hotel’s modern extension centers around a Summer Garden whose picturesque pergola offers a charming escape from the city. You can see the Old Parsonage’s former church, Saint Giles’, in the background.

The bright library is very popular with guests.

Another common space for guests is the delightful, light-flooded library, whose booth-like sofas are perfect to crawl up with a good read and a glass of wine (there is a phone with a direct line to the bar).

Rooms are luxurious, warm, and well-appointed.

This Classic Double showcases the hotel’s style: luxurious fabrics in clashing patterns, clean lines, and pops of warm colors. Each room also has unique artwork and booklets by the bed of every winner of the Mogford Prize for Food & Drink Writing.

Suites have King beds.

The Suites feature king-sized beds.

Suites have large living areas.

They come with separate living areas with comfy chairs and sofas as well as desks…

They come with Nespresso machines.

…and fully-stocked hot drinks stations.

Suites feature bathtubs, dual vanities, and rain showers.

The suite bathrooms have glorious modern standalone baths with double basins in addition to separate rain showers.

The bus-stop on Banbury connects to the city center.

Almost immediately outside the hotel on Banbury road is a bus stop that serves a ton of routes; all of them go to the city center.

St Giles' houses Oxfam bookstore and Eagle and Child pub.

Just south of the hotel is St Giles’, a wide boulevard that leads to the St Mary Magdalen Church which marks the start of the city center. On the left, there’s a great used-books store, Oxfam, while at the far end is the famous Eagle and Child pub.

Little Clarendon Street has several good eateries.

The neighborhood to the left of the fork in the road where St Giles’ splits into Banbury Road and Woodstock Road is Jericho. One of its main drags, Little Clarendon Street (pictured), is just steps from the hotel. There are tons of restaurants and cafes on it and on the adjacent Walton Street.

G&D cafes are great for light bites.

G&D cafes are an Oxford institution. This one nearby is great for early morning bagels and late night waffles (or the other way around).

The Oxford University Press is a very famous landmark.

The OUP along Walton Street in Jericho is known worldwide as a publisher of high-quality academic texts; indeed, its books have helped shape the world as we know it. It features a fascinating little museum about the history of printing (by appointment only).

The Jericho Grill serves hearty dishes.

The Jericho Grill is popular for its whopping burgers and chunky chips (steak fries), but there’s loads more on offer, too, from steaks to risotto.

Illyria sells beautiful pottery and ceramics.

The interior of the Illyria ceramics shop is just as lovely as the pottery itself.

Barefoot Cafe serves delicious cakes.

Almost opposite Illyria is the Barefoot Cafe, where you can stop for delicious coffee and cake while getting to know the neighborhood.

The Old Bookbinders pub in Jericho is a gem.

Wander through Jericho’s cute backstreets full of colorful little terraced cottages to find the Old Bookbinders pub, a not-so-secret gem. The stroll can be combined with a wander in Port Meadow.

Port Meadow is a welcome rural getaway.

Port Meadow, which runs parallel to the west of Jericho, is an enormous expanse of common land, extraordinarily flat, where locals still graze their animals. The River Thames and the Oxford Canal run through it. From the Old Bookbinders pub in Jericho, it’s a pleasant walk across to the wonderful Perch pub with its enviable riverside location.

The Perch in Binsey in beside Port Meadow.

The Perch is in Binsey, which is technically one of the city’s neighborhoods, but thanks to Port Meadow, it is still a rural idyll in character.

Najar’s Place serves excellent falafel.

Back on St Giles’, head south past this excellent falafel hut, Najar’s Place, towards town. On your way, do not miss the Ashmolean Museum; you can see the corner behind the hut.

The Ashmolean has a great collection of international exhibits.

One of the UK’s most important museums, the Ashmolean features many international treasures, and there’s an awesome gift store and top-floor restaurant as well.

Bbuona serves great pizzas.

If you continue south past St Mary Magdalen Church on Magdalen Street, you’ll notice a small Tesco supermarket. Nearby there’s a little passageway, Friars Entry, which leads to Gloucester Green, a square with regular markets. On its corner is one of the best pizzerias in the city, Bbuona. There are often queues and in hot weather, tables spill into the square.

The Visitor Information Centre has a wealth of local info.

From here, head east on Broad Street, better known as The Broad. At the municipal Visitor Information Centre, you can book all kinds of tickets for transport and tours, including their excellent official walking tours.

Blackwell bookstore is one of Oxford's oldest businesses.

One minute further east along The Broad is one of Oxford’s oldest businesses, the university bookstore Blackwell. It’s like a Tardis; it looks small from the outside but the basement Norrington Room is one of the largest rooms in any bookstore in the world.

Museum of the History of Science and Sheldonian Theatre can be found on Broad Street.

Opposite Blackwell is the wonderful Museum of the History of Science (right), the Sheldonian Theatre (left), and the modern part of the Bodleian Libraries, the Weston Library.

Radcliffe Camera of the Bodleian Libraries is a must-visit.

Behind the Sheldonian is the Old Bodleian Library and the Radcliffe Camera. You will not want to miss a tour of these ancient halls where some of the world’s greatest minds have studied (not to mention all the famous films and TV programs that have used it as a set).

The Pitt Rivers Museum is an unmissable attraction.

From the Bodleian, it’s an easy stroll north up Park Road to the Pitt Rivers Museum. It’s one of the coolest museums in the whole world. You’re guaranteed to learn things you didn’t know about different cultures and tribes and how humans use objects and adorn themselves around the globe.

The Natural History Museum is fun for kids.

Housed in the same building as the Pitt Rivers is the Natural History Museum, a heaven for kids. Both are free to enter and make a great rainy-day activity.

University Parks is a very popular attraction.

Just north of the museums is University Parks, a lovely green space in the neighborhood known as the Science Area. There are pleasant river walks along the Cherwell.

Gee’s is one of Oxford's most romantic restaurants.

A short walk north of the Old Parsonage on Banbury Road is sister Mogford business, Gee’s Restaurant & Bar. It’s one of the best places to eat in town thanks to the excellent food and heavenly surroundings – it’s housed in an ornate Victorian conservatory that was built in the 1890s as a garden center. Check rates and availability: Old Parsonage.

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