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Muddy goes mental!

We came, we saw, we partied. Hard! Muddy attended the launch of glam new restaurant Victors in Oxford. Here's what we can remember of it.

We’ve been working very hard on Muddy recently –  your favourite award-winning, impeccably curated, leading lifestyle site doesn’t create itself, doncha know! – so it was high time we let our collective coiffs down and embarked upon a Muddy night out.

First drink. Still focusing.

And, what a night! Well, the bits of it we can remember anyway.

We rocked up at the launch party for Victors, a sleek new modern American (The Hamptons, to be specific) restaurant on the rooftop terrace of Oxford’s Westgate shopping centre. Restaurant it may be but there was more of a nightclub vibe going down, with a DJ (wearing sunglasses at night, the wally) playing lashings of slinky Nineties R&B. Check out this amazing video of editorial assistant Sophie grinding to R Kelly with a couple of cocktail waiters cum backing dancers. Er, things have slightly moved on since my days of fluffy bras on podiums!

Any savvy new restaurant owner these days ensure their interiors are intensely Instagrammable and Victors really ups the ante on this front, with its striking wisteria vines and blooms that hang from the ceiling and wind their way around gnarly tree-trunk pillars that dot the vast dining room (it seats 120).

It’s all totally fake, of course, but looks fabulous. Flattering lighting is so important to create the right ambience (as anyone who’s ever attended a school evening event under hideous fluorescent strip lighting will know) and here it’s spot-on, with clusters of chic lanterns. There’s lots of sociable circular tables to gossip around and comfy banquette seating around the edge of the room, perfect for people watching. We also spent a lot of time on the large, foliage-filled outdoor terrace, taking in the twinkly lights and dreaming spires of the city below.

Uh oh…

Meanwhile over at the large bar, run by enthusiastic young guys clutching cocktail shakers (I can’t bring myself to use the term ‘mixologists’, sorry) there’s an extensive and devastatingly delicious cocktail list. We tried a pretty pink fizzy one that involved Prosecco, gin and, er, some pink ingredients. What else did we drink? Erm, what didn’t we drink. There was a magnum or three of Veuve Clicquot rosé, picture-perfect G&Ts garnished with juniper berries and rosemary springs and (yikes) endless shots of tequila and vodka.

We soaked it up by scoffing every canapé we could get our mitts on, including chicken satay, Indian spiced prawns on skewers, sushi rolls and smoked salmon on bagel crisps. The dishes were a great showcase for the restaurant’s small plates menu, which majors on seafood. We’ll definitely be back to try the soft-shell crab tempura, lobster rolls and miso black cod, and there’s also pizzas and steaks for more traditional palates.

With Muddy associate ed Kerry Potter and two bubbly friends

As you can see from the photos, our Girl’s Night Out was a total blast – so much so we stayed out until 1am on a school night. Rock’n’roll! Victors is a welcome addition to the nightlife of a city that can sometimes be lacking in glamour. It’s also a brilliant spot for a swanky girls’ lunch (coupled with some retail therapy) or a treat-y outing with your mum or daughter. Just don’t drink all the tequila shots like we did – the following day wasn’t one of the Muddy’s office’s most productive, it must be said.

Victors, 307 The Westgate Queen Street, Oxford OX1 1PG.

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