Best High Tea in Oxford

Best High Tea in Oxford

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Welcome, tea enthusiasts and curious foodies, to a journey that’s steeped in elegance and sipped with sophistication! If you’re on the hunt for the crème de la crème of high tea experiences in the charming city of Oxford, look no further.

We’re about to embark on a delightful escapade through quaint cafes, luxurious lounges, and rooftop retreats, all united by the delightful art of high tea.

Hold your teacups high and your pinkies higher as we explore the hidden gems and well-known wonders that Oxford has to offer. From the sumptuous sweets to the perfect pastries, we’re diving headfirst into a world where tea is an event, a ritual, and an excuse to indulge.

Whether you’re a local looking for your next favorite haunt or a visitor seeking the quintessential Oxford experience, this guide will have you covered like a warm, cozy cup of tea. So, loosen your belts (just a smidge!) and prepare to discover the best high tea in Oxford, one delectable sip at a time.

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Best High Tea in Oxford
Best High Tea in Oxford

The Ivy Oxford Brasserie

Our high tea exploration begins in style at The Ivy Oxford Brasserie, where classic elegance meets modern flair. Nestled in the heart of the city, this iconic establishment offers a high tea experience that’s as tasteful as it is Instagram-worthy.

Picture yourself indulging in dainty finger sandwiches that seem almost too pretty to eat, alongside freshly baked scones that practically melt in your mouth. The Ivy’s curated tea selection adds a touch of sophistication to every sip.

With its sophisticated ambiance and impeccable service, The Ivy Oxford Brasserie sets the bar high for the rest of our high tea adventures.

So, dear reader, if you’re ready to sip, savor, and swoon, this is a destination that deserves a spot on your must-visit list.

The Grand Cafe

Prepare to step back in time as we venture into the historic allure of The Grand Cafe, a place where tradition and opulence intertwine. Housed in Oxford’s oldest coffeehouse, this establishment boasts a rich history that dates back to 1650.

As you settle into the plush seats, you’ll be transported to an era of refined indulgence. The Grand Cafe’s high tea offering is a nod to its heritage, featuring a delightful array of pastries, sandwiches, and, of course, a selection of teas fit for royalty.

With its vintage charm and a touch of whimsy, The Grand Cafe invites you to relish every bite and embrace the elegant grandeur of Oxford’s past.

Best High Tea in Oxford

The Randolph

Elegance takes center stage at The Randolph, where high tea becomes an artful affair. This iconic hotel’s tea service is a symphony of flavors and aesthetics, set against a backdrop of timeless luxury.

The Randolph’s grandeur is matched only by the exquisite treats on offer – delicate pastries, savory bites, and scones that crumble with perfection. The tea menu reads like a voyage through tea gardens around the world, promising an experience that caters to both connoisseurs and casual sippers.

As you bask in the refined atmosphere, The Randolph invites you to partake in a tradition that’s as much about indulgence as it is about savoring the finer things in life.

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Brown’s Oxford

Welcome to Brown’s, a haven of sophistication where high tea becomes an artful blend of tradition and modernity. Nestled in the heart of Oxford, this contemporary brasserie adds a twist to the classic high tea experience.

Prepare to be charmed by innovative flavors, where time-honored recipes meet a dash of culinary creativity. Brown’s high tea boasts a delectable fusion of sweet and savory, accompanied by a carefully curated tea selection that caters to all palates.

With its chic ambiance and culinary prowess, Brown invites you to explore a reimagined world of high tea, where every bite tells a story of flavor evolution.

Best High Tea in Oxford

Ashmolean Rooftop Restaurant

Elevate your high tea journey, both literally and figuratively, at the Ashmolean Rooftop Restaurant. Perched atop the Ashmolean Museum, this unique destination offers a breathtaking panoramic view of Oxford’s skyline.

As you sip your tea amidst the artful ambiance, you’ll discover a menu that mirrors the museum’s dedication to creativity. The high tea here is a fusion of taste and aesthetics, from delicate finger sandwiches to artistically crafted pastries that are almost too beautiful to devour.

The Ashmolean Rooftop Restaurant invites you to indulge in a cultural and culinary experience that’s bound to leave you both nourished and inspired.

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The Old Parsonage

Step into the timeless charm of The Old Parsonage, where high tea whispers of bygone eras. This boutique hotel captures Oxford’s quintessential allure, and its high tea offering is no exception.

The Old Parsonage invites you to unwind in a cozy, intimate setting, where each bite carries a hint of nostalgia. Delight in handcrafted pastries and scones that pay homage to tradition while sipping on a selection of teas that promise warmth and comfort.

With its intimate setting and culinary craftsmanship, The Old Parsonage invites you to savor not just the flavors, but also the enchanting ambiance that makes high tea a truly unforgettable experience.

Best High Tea in Oxford

The Rose Cafe

Nestled within the vibrant streets of Oxford, The Rose Cafe blooms as a charming high tea haven. This cozy gem combines a rustic aesthetic with the allure of a secret garden, making it an idyllic escape from the bustling city.

The high tea at The Rose Cafe is a celebration of simplicity, where homemade treats take center stage. From hearty sandwiches to freshly baked goods, every bite exudes a sense of comfort and familiarity.

As you sip your tea surrounded by floral accents, you’ll find solace in the uncomplicated joy of good company, great flavors, and the soothing ambiance that defines The Rose Cafe.

The Orangery at Blenheim Palace

Venture beyond Oxford’s borders to discover high tea in the enchanting embrace of The Orangery at Blenheim Palace. Set against the backdrop of stunning architecture and lush gardens, this destination promises a regal experience.

The Orangery’s high tea is a symphony of elegance, featuring an array of delicacies that reflect the grandeur of the palace itself. From the fragrant aroma of freshly brewed tea to the exquisite pastries, each element is meticulously curated for a taste of luxury.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply seeking a majestic escape, The Orangery invites you to dine like royalty and savor a high tea fit for kings and queens.

Best High Tea in Oxford

The Ashmolean Rooftop Restaurant (Again)

Yes, you read that right! We’re revisiting the Ashmolean Rooftop Restaurant because it’s just that remarkable. This time, we’re focusing on its artistic approach to high tea. As you bask in the gallery-like setting, every bite is a masterpiece – a blend of flavors that dance harmoniously on your palate.

The second visit allows you to explore a different facet of their menu, ensuring that each experience is a surprise waiting to be unwrapped.

So, take an encore trip to the Ashmolean Rooftop Restaurant and let your taste buds mingle with artistry in a symphony of flavors.

The Folly

Prepare for a whimsical high tea adventure at The Folly, a place where imagination meets culinary excellence. Tucked away in Oxford’s charming corners, this eclectic eatery is a playground for those seeking a unique experience.

The Folly’s high tea is a delightful journey of flavors, where unexpected pairings and creative presentations steal the show. From savory surprises to sweets that’ll make your taste buds sing, each bite invites you to embrace the unexpected.

As you dine amidst a setting that’s part fairytale, part bohemian paradise, The Folly encourages you to indulge in the art of culinary exploration with a playful twist.

Best High Tea in Oxford

Victors Oxford

For a high tea affair that’s equal parts chic and charming, Victor’s Oxford reigns supreme. This stylish eatery effortlessly blends coastal vibes with urban elegance, offering a high tea experience that’s as Instagram-worthy as it is delectable.

Victors’ high tea is a modern interpretation of tradition, featuring a medley of flavors that cater to contemporary palates. From savory bites with a twist to desserts that redefine sweet indulgence, each offering is a testament to culinary innovation.

Whether you’re seeking a fashionable rendezvous or a gourmet delight, Victors Oxford invites you to sip, savor, and soak in the trendy ambiance that sets the stage for a memorable high tea.

MacDonald Bear Hotel

Our high tea journey concludes in the picturesque embrace of the MacDonald Bear Hotel, where history and hospitality unite. Set in the charming town of Woodstock, a stone’s throw from Oxford, this historic inn offers a cozy and traditional high tea experience.

The Bear Hotel’s offering is a nod to classic flavors and rustic charm, inviting you to unwind by the fire with a cup of perfectly steeped tea. From hearty sandwiches to time-honored scones, every bite tells a story of comfort and heritage.

As you bid adieu to our high tea adventure, The Bear Hotel leaves you with a taste of nostalgia and a longing to return to simpler times.

Best High Tea in Oxford

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between English tea and high tea?

English tea typically refers to the afternoon tea tradition, a refined and light meal including finger sandwiches, scones, pastries, and a variety of teas.

High tea, on the other hand, is a heartier evening meal, often consisting of more substantial dishes like meats, cheeses, and savory pies, served with tea. High tea originated among the working class and got its name from being served at a higher table.

What is tea with milk called?

Tea with milk is commonly referred to as “tea with milk” or “milk tea.” In some cultures, it might be called “chai,” particularly in South Asian countries where spiced tea with milk is a popular beverage.

In the UK, the term “tea with milk” is often used, and this combination is a central aspect of the traditional British tea-drinking culture, often served as “tea and milk” or “builder’s tea.”

Do British people people people drink tea with milk?

Yes, the British often drink tea with milk. It’s a longstanding cultural tradition in the United Kingdom. The tea is typically brewed strong, and then milk is added to the cup before or after pouring the tea.

This practice is so ingrained in British culture that it has led to terms like “builder’s tea,” which refers to a strong tea with milk that’s often enjoyed by workers during breaks.

Is Ceylon Tea black tea?

Yes, Ceylon tea is primarily known as a type of black tea. It’s named after the island nation of Sri Lanka, which was formerly known as Ceylon. Ceylon tea is renowned for its bright and brisk flavors, often with a well-balanced profile.

However, Sri Lanka also produces other types of tea, including green tea and white tea, but black tea is the most prominent and widely recognized.

Which country invented tea?

Tea is believed to have been discovered in ancient China, making China the country often credited with its invention. According to legend, Emperor Shen Nong accidentally discovered tea when tea leaves blew into a pot of boiling water he was preparing.

This led to the creation of the world’s first cup of tea. The practice of drinking tea then spread to other countries and cultures over centuries.

Can I wear shorts to high tea?

The dress code for high tea can vary depending on the establishment and its level of formality. In many cases, wearing shorts might be considered too casual for high tea, which is often considered a more elegant and refined experience.

It’s generally recommended to opt for smart-casual or semi-formal attire when attending high tea. This could include dresses, skirts, slacks, blouses, and collared shirts. It’s a good idea to check with the specific venue or restaurant where you’ll be having high tea to ensure you’re dressed appropriately for the occasion.

What can I bring to a high tea party?

When attending a high tea party, it’s thoughtful to bring a small gift or contribution. Consider items like a box of gourmet tea, a decorative tea infuser, a pretty tea towel, or a selection of pastries or baked goods. Flowers, a handwritten note, or a small keepsake can also be lovely gestures. It’s a chance to show appreciation to the host and enhance the enjoyment of the event.

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