“Did you see the man with the Einstein hair?” I said to Betsy. “We followed him past that old stone building with the magnificent spire. The impressive one.” 

She was understandably confused. With 38 separate colleges, some dating back as far as the 1100’s, Oxford University is a conglomeration of impressive buildings. Everywhere we went, I found myself gasping, “What is THAT?” Half the time, she wasn’t sure. 

Betsy is at St. Catherine’s College, founded in the 1960’s. Designed by distinguished (and picky) architect Arne Jacobsen, those buildings look like this:

St Catz, Betsy’s home since last October.

My yen for fancy shmancy architecture was satisfied by our overnight stay at Keble College, established in 1870. In the morning we breakfasted in the dining hall, a gargantuan room with 50-foot ceilings and long, stained glass windows. I stifled the urge to hold up my bowl and say, “If you please, suh, may I have more?” 

Keble College Chapel
Keble College Oxford

By the way, English breakfast is an experience, with eggs, two kinds of sausage, bacon, baked beans, stewed tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms, juice coffee and pastries. The only way American breakfast beats that is in the bacon department. British “bacon” is only thinly sliced ham, not the crunchy delicacy we enjoy at home. 


  1. A true dream… I would love to stay at one of the 38 colleges… eat in the dining hall… and just meander around campus (and town).

    Gorgeous photos, Jane!! I feel as though I am there with you 🙂

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