Travel & Life Digest

Atomic Burgers & Rooftop Cocktails in Oxford

The closest to a real "Big Bang Theory" day out you'll ever get...with a hint of 80's "Goldbergs" & a touch of "Star Wars"!

Boozy milkshakes under Spiderman's watchful eye in the Atomic burger

If you are not watching any of these shows, or if you are not an 80's child like the rest of us, here's what I'm going on about: first of all you are in Oxford, home of academia and all the creativity that comes with student life.

Don't be fooled by the seriousness of the old part of the city, just cross the river Cherwell next to the very romantic gardens of Magdalene's college and you are in the cool part of the town.
Take the "Ultimate Picture Palace" for example, a bijou independent cinema, standing there, in all of its' glory with an art-deco aura amongst a very hip neighbourhood.

Then you step into this seemingly easy-going burger joint the "Atomic Burger", where you are caught off guard with all of the 80's gadgets and Star Wars figures. A geek's paradise!  

Oxford's skyline from Varsity Rooftop's Bar

This week has been very strange weather-wise - we're in England, the weather IS a point of conversation, don't shrug your shoulders! Rain one day, sunshine with 24C the next and then down to 11C again. I'm stuck home with a cold as a result. 

On one of those warm spring evenings that we've had a couple of weeks ago (summer is over by the way, hope you all enjoyed it) my husband had an unexpected burst of energy and announced that he's taking me out for dinner after Oxford! 

Oxford is 35 minutes from us and I knew just the place to go for drinks: The Varsity Club, with a rooftop lounge, right in the middle of it all, overlooking the colleges and the church roofs. 
The entrance to the Varsity Club is in Oxford's Covered Market, where I had my first encounter with English sandwiches 22 years ago.
I was in a language summer college in London and on a daytrip to Oxford the school packed jam sandwiches with gherkins for us, for lunch. Imagine a Greek girl, who's idea of a "simple" lunch is moussaka and pasta with meatballs, having to eat jam for lunch?
I remember actually looking at this piece of bread with pink jam and saying out loud: "Is this a joke?"
Oh, how times have changed  since then, my dear Watson!  

Anyway, the Varsity Club is spread over four floors, stop on the third floor to grab a cocktail (for a wonderful £6-£7, you don't get this view and price combo in central London!) and carry on to the fourth floor for the most breath-taking view. 

The rooftops and spikes of colleges and churches form a spectacular honey-coloured dancefloor for the evening colours to develop on.
A massive spotlight shone straight into the sky, it made me wonder: "is Batman going to be joining us for drinks?"   There are lovely blankets and covers to keep you warm and the tall fire heaters provide quite a gothic frame for the landscape around.
After drinks, we walked across the river and noticed this playful burger joint the "Atomic Burger".
It started raining so we didn't give it more thought, in we went!

We sat down, looked up: there was Spiderman's perky backside shadowing my boozy milkshake - nope, not complaining! 

The menu will take you a while to get through.
Pick your burger wisely: beef, chicken or veggie and pimp it up whichever way you fancy!
You can go as simple as "Forrest Gump", burger standing proud on its' own, as they put it, or you can go "Dolly Parton": double freaking everything, as I put it!
Don't try to save face with your choice of side: you want to go for "Trailer Park fries", covered in pulled pork and cheese. Kaboom! A meal on its' own!
Then come the dogs...mine came topped with pulled pork. My side of choice: home-made spicy coleslaw, a bit heavy on the garlic, or whatever it was that made it sharp, but I finished it nevertheless!  

I lost my husband for a while shortly after we ordered though. He was like a kid in a candy shop, drooling over Star Wars figures, an Optimus Prime model and lots and lots of other cool preps from all of the geeky movies we've all been brought up with.  

Word of advise girls: don't bring your boyfriends here if you expect to be the centre of his attention for the evening, you'll lose miserably to R2D2! 
Unless you dress up as Princess Leia,  off course - what's up with that, by the way, I just don't get it!

Get yourself a Jack Rabbit Slim - sounds like a condom make, I agree - a cherry liqueur-vodka-ice cream concoction and...enjoy the cherry on top! ;)  

1 comment

  1. Back in the 80's with Spiderman ! When I'm travelling I enjoy to find this kinf of ambiance in the same day I visited churches or classical sites.


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