Monday, August 11, 2008

"Tour of the South"--Stop 1, Oxford, MS

Hollie, Annie, and I and some large drinks at The Library

When I say that I was prepared to not like Oxford, MS, that is probably an understatement. Being the LSU Tiger that I am, I had only visited Oxford to give the Rebels a beat-down in football, handily, I might add. And two different times. I had never ventured to the downtown area though, and thanks to my friend and Ole Miss alum, Annie Barnes, along with our other great friend Hollie Bryson, we headed down on a random summer roadtrip to take it all in. It's very quaint and a really good spot to head for a day and a half.

Iced coffee on the upstairs porch at Square Books

Faulkner anyone?

We started with a shrimp-cake po-boy at City Grocery, an Oxford main stay and had afternoon coffee (the best iced coffee I've ever had outside south Louisiana--rich and syrupy like in New Orleans) at Square Books, where they have an entire section devoted to William Faulkner, Nobel Prize winner who grew up in Oxford. Square Books is one of those charming but rare mom-and-pop-owned book stores that still remains, it seems. They carry lots of books from local and Southern authors, many of which are signed editions. We also shopped at what has to be one of the oldest dept. stores still around, Neilsens, open since 1839! They had an exceptional Voluspa candle selection. My favorite stop was Cicada--although pricey, it had the sensibility of a boutique that you would find in a bigger city, with hard-to-find brands and a beat on what is on-trend. Other stops included:
  • Glo, a very hip home furnishings place
  • Mustard Seed Antique Emporium, one of those multi-booth, antique places that's like a giant awesome garage sale
  • Chique, a shoe store that supports Brazilians who manufacture the shoes designed by the owner
  • Therapy, shoes, jewelry, & clothes
  • Oxford Floral Company, way more than a flower shop, they have a great selection of unique china, yummy candles, and great gifts
  • Off-Square Books, the discount counterpart of Square, which had an impressive selection of indie band CDs.
  • Zoe, tons of bath stuff, perfume, cosmetics.
Other places we ate and drank...ummm, and danced:
  • 208, very hip and some GREAT food! I had grouper with this unforgettable succotash.
  • The Library Sports Bar, watch some sports, drink some big vodka tonics.
  • Newk's, literally the biggest and best salad I've had in a long time. Try their signature sherry vinaigrette. Yumarooni.
  • Bottletree Bakery, apparently everyone who is anyone eats there on a regular basis. Homemade breads, sausage-n-biscuits, and a homey atmosphere that feels like your grandma's.
  • The Lyric, a new music/bar/dance club venue soon to host such acts as Jenny Lewis and Shawn Colvin
  • The Burgundy Room, upstairs from Old Venice Pizza Co., sit on the balcony, enjoy a reasonably-priced cocktail overlooking the square
For a very good and exhaustive list of other places to hang...I found this guide pretty much hits the high points. Geaux Tigers!

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