Tommy West’s Oxford

The Oxford of the Tommy West novels is fictionalised. Of course. But there are some places he goes, and some he would go, that are real, and mark must-see destinations on the Tommy West walking tour of Oxford (as it will one day be known). Tommy is an aesthete who loves the finest things life has to offer. He also loves the beating heart of a city, its hidden places, undiscovered haunts.


Several of the characters in The Company of Fellows meet up regularly at Vincent’s, and what Vincent’s is never gets explained in the book. Which is largely deliberate, designed to make readers wonder. Well, what it IS is an ancient (ish – 1863) club in the back streets of Oxford behind Christ Church and Oriel, near The Bear, allegedly the oldest pub in Oxford and home to a famous collection of tie-ends snipped from its customers’ necks. It is a social venue and eatery for those who have been awarded sporting blues at Oxford.

The Albion Beatnik Bookstore


New York writer and model Katelan Foisy reads in the Albion Beatnik Cafe

Specialising in travel, music and, of course, Beat Poetry, decorated with art made in store, the physical and spiritual home of dozens of the coolest cultural collectives, complete with midday opening and “whenever, some time after midnight” closing, the Albion Beatnik hosts the hippest cultural happenings in Oxford and is, quite simply, the best bookstore in the world. They also do the best coffee in the coolest mugs in Oxford.


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