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"It's clear from what has happened it needs to be properly designated – we can't let it be at risk again."The decision is a great endorsement, the Inspector has recognised the importance of Oxford's heritage.One of those is now the more rarefied Radisson Blu Edwardian, embraced by Mercer and Monmouth streets.While harmoniously fitting into its historic setting, there are few hints as to its gin palace past – though an excellent drop of the hard stuff is served in its superlative cocktails – my favourite being the Valencian: a tantalising concoction of gin and orange over crushed ice and served in a chilled copper cup which left my fingers tingling as much as my tastebuds.The attached Monmouth Kitchen restaurant is a minimalist dream of dark bricks, industrial lamps and ridiculously good-looking staff and specialises in Spanish and Peruvian tapas.These are not like the tapas you may have tried on holiday or your local Spanish eatery, though.Brightly-painted Neals Yard, with its cool street art, is still an alternative, free-thinking spot, home to astrologers and new age traders along with healthy food.

For a massive clue, stand at the foot of the landmark Sundial Pillar and spin around.

Fanning out are seven streets, like spokes on a wheel, bounding grand frontages, tapered into triangles – like a neatly carved cheese – or pieces in a game of Trivial Pursuit.

There’s nothing trivial, though, about what’s on offer in this secluded and cosy part of town – squeezed by the honey pots of Soho, Covent Garden and Leicester Square, yet so much more chic, hip and refined than its neighbours.

Mc Laren Property said after working on the scheme for almost seven years they remained committed to bringing the project forward A spokesman for the company said: "We are clearly very disappointed with the appeal decision.

"We remain committed to delivering a successful student scheme at Manor Place to assist in alleviating Oxford’s housing crisis and will be discussing our options with the landowners." Magdalen College bursar Mark Blandford-Baker said: "Naturally Magdalen is pleased that this scheme will not now be built.

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