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December 9 2013 Latest news:
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You can enjoy the quaint charms of historic Oxford and escape to the country with a stay at Sandford on Thames REVIEW BY EMMA MAYOH
It is little wonder the geese were looking so pleased with themselves. This large flock of birds had the best view in the house.
In front of them were the picture perfect views and activity on the River Thames and behind them the historic Oxford Thames Four Pillars Hotel in Sandford on Thames. Not a bad place to spend your day.
Luckily, we were able to enjoy that same splendid vista from our luxurious Pembroke Room in the hotels Grade II listed College Hall, which dates back to the 15th century. This is the oldest part of the building at the four star hotel the majority date back to the 18th century and all the rooms are named after colleges at Oxford University.
Sandford, just three miles from the city centre, is a lovely village which hugs the banks of the river. This area and the hotel site are connected with the famous order of the Knights Templar, the Holy Crusades and the Hospitallers. Take a close look and you might find several inscriptions on the hotel building thought to refer to the latter.
Although there were no knights around when we visited, there was plenty to keep us entertained. We spent a couple of hours walking along the River Thames into the stunning centre of Oxford. Here we looked around Christchurch College, the Bodleian Library and joined a number of people for evening drinks on the outdoor terrace of the Ashmolean Museum along with a host of must see places.
If you dont want to venture too far you can watch the narrow boats navigate their way through the nearby, take a walk around the walled garden in the hotel grounds, gaze at the beautiful riverside homes or wave at the rowers who regularly pass by. There are also some lovely courtyards to sit out on and enjoy the sun at the hotel, you can absorb the history at the Crusaders Bar, take a dip in the swimming pool or spoil yourself with a beauty treatment.
At the end of our busy day there was no better way to relax than enjoying those lovely views from our room before heading to the River Room Restaurant. Although popular with the business community, there was nothing corporate about this fine dining establishment which overlooks the hotel grounds and the river. The service was impeccable and the food excellent. Enjoying a glass of wine on the river view terrace, was the ideal way to finish off a fantastic day.
For more information about the Oxford Thames Four Pillars Hotel visit oxford-thames-hotel.four-pillars.co.uk.