Fancy the student life again?
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Just had a case of deja vu up Cowley Road in Oxford. Still the same number of nutters as when I lived here twenty years ago – bumped into a couple of Transformers walking up the road last night! – and still a studenty, grungy, and occasionally fractious vibe.
We went to the art-house Ultimate Picture Palace, the oldest cinema in Oxford. The phrase ‘no frills’ must have been invented for this place. You go through the main door on the road and straight into the one-room screening room, with booze, hot drinks, cakes, ice creams etc served in the corner bar. It’s bare concrete between the seats and the screen, but who cares? The seats were comfy enough, and the film was in focus and Crazy Stupid Love was the perfect rom-com date movie.
Then it was a pattie and rum and coke at the Hi-Lo Jamaican Eating House, an Oxford stalwart since 1981 that’s resolutely un-PC and looks like it’s been time-warped from a Kingston roadside. David Cameron used to come here every week with his mates to talk reggae with the owner (above) but don’t let that put you off. If you want to come out of party retirement, there’s a DJ til 3am every second Saturday of the month. It won’t be pretty, but I reckon it’ll be fun.
Ultimate Picture Palace: Jeune Street, Cowley Road, Oxford OX4 1BN. Tel: 01865 245288.
Hi-Lo Jamaican Eating House: 68-70 Cowley Road, Oxford, OX4 1JB. Tel 01865 725 984.
Parking: Parking on Cowley Road is impossible. Save your sanity and go to the small car-park on St Clements Street, behind the Angel and Greyhounds pub. It costs a princely £1 after 8pm, and it’s only a two minute walk to Cowley Road.