USA // The South //

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Oxford’s visitor centre (Mon–Fri 8am–5pm, Sat 10am–4pm, Sun 1–4pm; t 662/232-2367, w http://www.oxfordcvb.com), with lots of information on William Faulkner and local events, has offices in the courthouse and an adjoining cottage on the town square. Accommodation includes the Downtown Oxford Inn, just off the square at 400 N Lamar Blvd (t 662/234-3031, w http://www.downtownoxfordinn.com; $81–100). There’s a great selection of places to eat on the square, from the huge plates of soul food at the Ajax Diner (t 662/232-8880; closed Sun), to the more sophisticated Southern cuisine at the buzzy City Grocery (t 662/232-8080; closed Sun), which has a balcony and upstairs bar. The friendly, funky little Bottletree Bakery, just off the square at 923 Van Buren Ave (t 662/236-5000; closed Mon), serves healthy breakfasts, scrumptious home-baked pastries – including their trademark humble pie – soups and sandwiches. Fifteen minutes’ south of Oxford, in tiny Taylor, Taylor’s Grocery (t 662/236-1716), on Hwy-338, is a rickety old shack dishing up amazing catfish to a raucous crowd. Oxford has the lively nightlife scene that you’d expect from a progressive college town. On the square, Rooster’s Blues offers live blues at the weekend, while Proud Larry’s, nearby at 211 S Lamar Blvd (t 662/236-0050, w http://www.proudlarrys.com) hosts indie, rock and Americana bands.

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