Planning on visiting the wonders of Oxford? There’s so much to do! From checking out the Harry Potter and Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland locations, the historical buildings, to visiting the long list of film locations. There is something for everyone! There is another thing you should add to the list, no matter what you are doing, and that is afternoon tea. Oxford is the perfect place to indulge in one of the most traditional meals of the UK. Which is why I’ve put together Guide To Afternoon Tea Oxford. You will be sure to find one that will suit your budget and tastes.
Guide To Afternoon Tea Oxford
The Macdonald Randolph Hotel is an iconic Oxford landmark. It’s a 5-star hotel that epitomises traditional English style and charm, with top-notch service to match. The warm and inviting atmosphere has attracted Presidents and Prime Ministers from around the world. Not only that, it has featured in many films. It even has a bar named after Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse. All of this makes the Macdonald Randolph Hotel the perfect place for afternoon tea and a great addition to the guide of afternoon tea oxford.
As afternoon teas go this one is fairly traditional, but extremely well done. You’ll find a plethora of goodies on offer. From traditional sandwiches, such as honey roast ham and wholegrain mustard, to cream cheese and cucumber. The scones are to die for and much lighter than you would expect. There will also be plenty of sweet treats, cakes, and pastries to tempt you. It will be hard to choose which one to have first. As well as the traditional afternoon tea, that comes with all of this plus a choice of delightful teas, you can go all out and upgrade to a Champagne afternoon tea.
The Macdonald Randolph Hotel is located in Oxford City centre. You certainly won’t get lost trying to find this place. They get booked up pretty quickly. So, if you are planning a trip, book in advance.
If you are looking to have afternoon tea in an idyllic location. You can’t go wrong with The Folly! This small but charming restaurant is right beside the river. Giving you wonderful views come rain or shine, making it the perfect addition, to this guide of afternoon tea oxford.
A small move away from the Macdonald Randolph Hotel. The Folly offers afternoon tea with a bit of a twist. We are talking finger sandwiches with fillings such as chicken with tarragon and red grape mayonnaise. Don’t worry! They still do some traditional fillings too. The scones on offer are all home-made, with delightful clotted cream, and delicious jams. All of the cakes are also home-made. Making everything on offer top quality and not to be missed.
Afternoon Tea is only available at the weekend. So, it would be best to book. If the weather is nice, you can even book a table on the floating platform, right next to the river. Fear not, if it’s raining, ask to be seated next to the windows, to take full advantage of the views.
The Malmaison is another iconic Oxford landmark. This hotel and restaurant are set in a converted prison, within the medieval Oxford Castle. Malmaison has been serving up luxurious afternoon tea and dining experiences, in these unique surroundings, since 1994. Making it the perfect addition to the list of Afternoon Tea Oxford.
A far cry from traditional afternoon teas. The menu at the Malmaison has put an inventive twist on what you’d expect an afternoon tea to be. You’ll find the likes of a standard smoked salmon finger sandwiches swapped out for a bagel. There’s even a Louisiana slider on the menu. Of course, you’ll get the usual fruit or plain scones, with clotted cream and jam. But, you’ll also find delightful seasonal cheesecake, salted caramel chocolate brownies, cupcakes, and seasonal fruit shakes, on the menu too. There is certainly something for everyone’s sweet tooth tastes in this tea. As you’d expect for afternoon tea, there is a champagne option, but you can also get a cocktail option too.
For the location, reputation and quality of the afternoon tea at the Malmaison, it’s really affordable. Even if you choose the champagne or cocktail option. Booking is essential for the full afternoon tea. However, they do cream teas, if you fancy popping in for some light refreshments, to fuel the rest of your sightseeing.
I’m grouping the Quod Restaurant and Old Parsonage Hotel afternoon tea together. As they are owned by the same people, which means the afternoon tea menus are the same. This isn’t a bad thing. Both have very different charms. Which makes them the perfect addition to the guide of afternoon tea Oxford.
There are 3 types of afternoon tea on offer at both Quod and Old Parsonage Hotel. First off, you’ve got light tea, which is essentially a cream tea. The High Tea, which includes classic finger sandwiches, a selection of homemade little cakes, and of course, fruit and plain scones, with lashings of clotted cream and jam. Last but certainly not least. Is the Graduation Tea! Which is the same as the High Tea with the added extra of a glass of Henry Favre Champagne. The menus may sound pretty straightforward. But, the food is perfectly done and made with top quality ingredients, making every single thing utterly delicious.
As mentioned above, both Quod and Old Parsonage Hotel, have different charms. I will forever have a special place in my heart for Quod and the Old Bank Hotel. I created lots of happy memories there, which is why I would recommend this place first. Not only because of those memories, but because it has a fantastic atmosphere, nice relaxed decor, and the service is top notch. Old Parsonage Hotel is pretty similar. I haven’t been since the refurb. It’s had a facelift and now has a more modern look. Service matches Quod. Which is exactly what you’d expect, for establishments owned by the same people. Quod is the easiest of the two to find, it’s on the High Street, and is a stone throws away from Oriel College, and other Oxford landmarks. The Old Parsonage Hotel is a little further away from the city centre, close to the Oxford University Parks than the hustle and bustle of the town centre.
Please forgive me for adding a chain to the guide to afternoon tea Oxford. The reason why I’ve added it is because Browns Brasserie in Oxford, was the second ever Browns restaurant. So, it kind of has its own little history, of being a landmark in the city. Plus, the surroundings are beautiful. From the window, you’ll see St Giles Church and 18th-century terrace houses.
I don’t know if you have been to a Browns Brasserie before, they serve pretty standard food, and as a chain, the quality is pretty much the same, in all locations. The afternoon tea itself is pretty traditional, with some modern touches added. Such as smoked salmon and cream cheese on whisky and thyme oatcake. That sits alongside traditional finger sandwiches. You will, of course, be served with homemade scones, with clotted cream, and a choice of black cherry or strawberry jam. If you love salted caramel. You are in luck! They serve a salted caramel profiterole, which by all accounts is one of the best desserts on offer. As well as the traditional afternoon tea, you can get a champagne afternoon tea or a Hendricks GnT afternoon tea.
Located just outside of the city centre, but still close enough, to drop in after a morning of sightseeing. Browns Brasserie is close to Oxford University Parks and the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. I don’t think you will need to book in advance here. But, to be on the safe side, I would suggest that you do.
The Cotswold Lodge Hotel isn’t in the city centre but is a short walk from it. The elegant hotel is set in a beautiful conservation area. The hotel combines period features of large bay windows, high ceilings and beautiful fireplaces, with modern elegance. So, you can enjoy afternoon tea in a nice relaxed location. Which is exactly what will be needed after a morning of full-on sightseeing.
Afternoon Tea here is very traditional, and on the smaller side, than others on this guide of afternoon tea Oxford. You’ll find traditional finger sandwiches, with fillings such as smoked salmon, egg mayonnaise or cucumber. Fresh scones with clotted cream and a selection of jams. As well as a nice slice of cake. As I said. Much smaller than others. But everything is extremely well done and delicious.
As well as being a smaller serving of afternoon tea, it is a lot cheaper than others on the list. Which is a good or a bad thing? Depending on the occasion. No matter what. It is a nice location to visit. They serve afternoon tea every day. So, you are sure to be able to book the time you want.
Now, we are going to get into the Afternoon Tea Oxford, that is just a little bit outside of Oxford. You’ll be glad you made the journey to the truly elegant Eynsham Hall. It’s a picturesque country house hotel, set in stunning surroundings, of the Oxfordshire countryside. Perfect, if you are planning an afternoon tea, for a special occasion.
You’ll find a pretty traditional afternoon tea here. But, the food is so tasty and well done. There will be the standard finger sandwich fillings, such as Severn and Wye smoked salmon and cucumber on malt bread, and honey baked ham and mustard. You’ll also be served warm homemade scones, with lots of clotted cream, and of course delicious jams. The sweet treats on offer, are the things that really stand out. You’ll be served up with, Bakewell Tart, Dark Chocolate Opera Cake, and a delightful orange and almond polenta cake.
If you are looking for something a bit more festive. You’ll want to head here in December. During the festive period. Eynsham Hall will be serving up a delightful festive afternoon tea. You’ll be served up finger sandwiches with fillings of roast turkey, cranberry sauce on malted bread. As well as Cotswold cheddar cheese, with caramelised red onion chutney, on white bread. The scones have had a festive makeover. Instead of standard fruit scones, you’ll find cranberries, in these festive babies. The sweet treats are truly impressive. We are talking eggnog cheesecake with cherry gel, warm mini mince pies, and a ginger almond polenta cake. Booking in advance is essential.
Last but certainly not the least in any shape or form to the guide of afternoon tea Oxford. Is the beautiful, historic, and not to mention, iconic Blenheim Palace. What better way to end the morning, of walking around the beautiful building and grounds of Blenheim Palace, than with an afternoon tea.
There are three afternoon tea options at Blenheim Palace. The first is a very traditional Blenheim Palace afternoon tea. We are talking the standard freshly made sandwiches with traditional fillings. That changes with the seasons. Home-made scones, cakes and delightful delicacies. That also changes with the seasons. The second option is the Marlborough Champagne Afternoon Tea. Which is the same as the traditional but with a glass of Searcys Cuvee Brut NV Champagne. The third and final option sounds excellent if you have cause for celebration. The Orangery Celebration Tea with Bubbles includes all the delicious food as the traditional. But, with a tasting trio of Cuvees Brut, Rose, and Blanc de Blancs bubbles.
Blenheim Palace is certainly the place to go if you have a day spare when visiting Oxford. It’s the furthest option away from Oxford city centre. Not like it’s an issue. When you are visiting such a beautiful place. The only real thing to note about this afternoon tea. Is that unless you hold an annual pass to the palace. You’ll have to pay for entry into Blenheim Palace as well as the afternoon tea. And of course, booking in advance is essential.
I hope you enjoyed my first foodie delight of Oxford. I visit Oxford often, so decided to add Oxford food and travel inspiration, to the blog. To help you have the very best time in this beautiful city.
If you enjoyed this guide to afternoon tea oxford. You might want to check out “10 Quirky And Instagrammable Afternoon Teas in London”. If you love afternoon tea. You’ll love this.
I’m Heather, Hetty is a nickname, given to me by my besties daughter. I’m a Social Media Recruiter by day and a foodie by night, weekend and any time i’m not working. My main hobby is searching London for food I find on the Internet.