Where are the best places for afternoon tea in Oxford?
30th May 2014
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Where are the best places for afternoon tea in Oxford?

Ever wondered what the difference is between a cream tea and afternoon tea?  In case you can’t wait to check the menu to find out, cream tea is tea served with a scone, jam and cream, traditionally served in Devon and Cornwall.  Afternoon tea is a ‘mini-meal’ which was created to fill the gap between lunch and a late dinner. It usually consists of sandwiches, scones with cream and jam as well as pastries and cakes.   

The quintessentially English pastime of indulging in Afternoon Tea is practically obligatory when spending any time in Oxford.  Here are a number of our suggestions - feel free to pick one, or pick them all – it looks like a lovely excuse to keep coming back for more!

Macdonald Randolph Hotel, Oxford

Beaumont Street, Oxford, OX1 2LN

Served from 12pm-6pm every day in one of Oxford’s premier city centre hotels, afternoon tea at the Randolph is an Oxford tradition. The Drawing Room in this beautiful building is warm and inviting and a perfect place to enjoy a traditional afternoon tea.

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Cotswold Lodge Hotel

66A Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 6JP

Just outside the city centre, this hotel serves afternoon tea in its drawing room or restaurant from 10.30-5.30pm. Enjoy afternoon tea or high tea in this elegant Victorian building, from £8.95.

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The Folly

1 Folly Bridge, Oxford, OX1 4JU

This is a wonderful riverside location for afternoon tea, practically unrivalled within the city.  Afternoon tea is served from 3-5pm and prices start from £14.50. You can dine inside the restaurant, or if the weather is balmy, perhaps venture out on to the riverside pontoon.  If you are feeling really adventurous you can go on an afternoon tea riverboat cruise!

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Old Parsonage Hotel

1 Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 6NN

From a light tea, to a champagne high tea, Old Parsonage can satisfy your every afternoon tea desire.  Delightful sandwiches, pastries and scones served in a quirky 17th century building at the end of St Giles. Afternoon tea is served Monday – Saturday 3.00 – 5.00pm, and on Sunday from 3.30 – 5.30pm. Booking recommended – particularly on graduation days.

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Old Bank Hotel

92-94 High St, Oxford OX1 4BJ

Located very centrally, Old Bank Hotel and Quod Brasserie provide a great place to stop and have a break whilst investigating the Oxford colleges.  You can enjoy your afternoon tea either looking out over the colleges, or in the summer months, in the Terrace.  Choose from Light tea, Afternoon Tea or Graduation Tea, served between 3 and 5.30pm every day.

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The Grand Café

84 High St, Oxford OX1 4BG

According to Samuel Pepys diary, this is the site of the first coffee house in England, but today they serve a fantastic afternoon tea. In a beautiful gold-leafed building you can have cream team, high tea or a grand high tea.  Prices start from £8.95.

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The Vaults Cafe and Garden

University Church, High Street, Oxford OX1 4BJ

Housed in Oxford University's Old Congregation House near the Radcliffe Camera, the Vaults Cafe offers a delicious and healthy seasonal menu; from salads to quiches to home made hot dishes. In the summer, the garden is one of the finest spots in Oxford to sit in. You will be surrounded by architectural treasures, flowers and aromatic herbs. Hot water bottles & blankets are provided during the winter!

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Vanbrugh House Hotel

20-24 St Michael’s Street, Oxford, OX1 2EB

An elegant 18th century building close to the Oxford union, the Vanbrugh House Hotel serves a quintessentially English afternoon tea. This luxury boutique hotel has an array of teas to choose from to go with your sandwiches, pastries, scones and their unique Vanbrugh House cake.  Prices from £6.25 for scones and cream.

Ashmolean Dining Room

Beaumont Street, Oxford OX1 2PH

Within the confines of the Ashmolean musem is a beautiful restaurant with amazing city centre views.  The Ashmolean Dining Room serves afternoon tea from 3pm till 4.30pm both in the restaurant, and during the summer, from the roof terrace. Prices from £5.95 for a cream tea, to £19.95 for Champagne Afternoon Tea.

See details here

Article researched and written by:

Vicky Jones


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Helen I

Member since: 13th May 2014

Tim and I own and run thebestof Oxford, a local online and offline marketing service for the best recommended businesses in the Oxford area. Our award winning website showcases these businesses, as well...

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