Home > Old Parsonage Hotel Review
Updated: August 3, 2020
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.
Old Parsonage – Location
- Address: 1-3 Banbury Road, Oxford.
- 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 16-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.
- Wi-Fi: Free Wi-Fi throughout the property.
- 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: [email protected]
- 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
- 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, 1-minute walk) and Radcliffe Observatory Quarter (0.1 mile, 2-minute walk) – 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, 10-minute walk).
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. $$-$$$. 7-minute walk (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. $. 8-minute walk (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. $. 9-minute walk (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. $$. 9-minute walk (0.4 mile).
- Brasserie Blanc – Although many towns now have an outpost of Raymond Blanc’s popular French restaurant, this is the original. It’s open from 9 am for breakfast and there are excellent value set menus. $-$$$. 9-minute walk (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. $-$$. 10-minute walk (0.5 mile).
- Glut – Opulent burgers and loaded fries with great options for meat-eaters, vegans, and veggies alike. $. 11-minute walk (0.5 mile).
- The Handle Bar – A good selection of freshly-made, healthy, and inventive meals served all day in a warehouse attic filled with old bicycles. $-$$. 12-minute walk (0.6 mile).
- No. 1 Ship Street – Excellent bar-restaurant that describes itself as a “modern British brasserie”. Good value lunch menu. $-$$. 13-minute walk (0.6 mile).
- Edamamé – Tiny, family-run Japanese restaurant that offers different menus depending on the day of the week. Arrive early for the popular Sushi Thursdays as it does not take reservations. Open Wednesday-Sunday. $-$$. 13-minute walk (0.6 mile).
- Quod – Sophisticated modern European brasserie on High Street with a dramatic and beautiful bar and an excellent value set lunch. $-$$$. 13-minute walk (0.7 mile).
- Cherwell Boathouse – Delightful riverside restaurant that does British fine dining in a converted Victorian boathouse on the river. Reservations essential in the summer months. $$-$$$. 18-minute walk (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 2-minute walk (0.1 mile).
- Barefoot – This picture-perfect bakery and café is filled with flowers and quaintness. 9-minute walk (0.5 mile).
Best Nearby Bars
- Lamb & Flag – One of the only pubs owned by a college, the Lamb plows its profits back into its students by funding scholarships – who said drinking was detrimental? 3-minute walk (0.2 mile).
- 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. 4-minute walk (0.2 mile).
- Jericho Tavern – Quirky pub and famous music venue where Radiohead played their first gig; beer garden and great food, too. 8-minute walk (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. 10-minute walk (0.5 mile).
- Rickety Press – A modern take on the neighborhood local, this place has tons of character and truly great pizza. 10-minute walk (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. 11-minute walk (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. 11-minute walk (0.6 mile).
Nearby Shopping & Cool Shops
- Exclusive Roots – Boutique dedicated to ethically-made gifts and homeware from around the world. 1-minute walk (100m).
- 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. 4-minute walk (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. 8-minute walk (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. 9-minute walk (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. 11-minute walk (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. 12-minute walk (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. 14-minute walk (0.7 mile).
- 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. 4-minute walk (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. 5-minute walk (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. 7-minute walk (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. 11-minute walk (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. 11-minute walk (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. 11-minute walk (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. 14-minute walk (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. 14-minute walk (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 (0.7 mile, 14-minute walk) 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. 16-minute walk (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. 19-minute walk (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
- Tesco Metro – Mini supermarket selling the basics. Conveniently open daily 7 am-midnight. 7-minute walk (0.4 mile).
- Gloucester Green – A modern square behind the bus station that hosts lively markets Wednesday-Saturday, each day offering something slightly different, from produce to street food and crafts. 10-minute walk (0.5 mile).
- Covered Market – Foodies should not under any circumstances miss the Souvlaki Brothers, The Oxford Cheese Co., the coffee at Colombia Coffee Roasters, or the gelateria at iScream. 11-minute walk (0.6 mile).
Old Parsonage – The Hotel
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