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St Giles Cafe

Home > Oxford > Afternoon Tea | Brunch | Cafes | Dinner | Lunch
by Cressida Ryan (subscribe)
Classicist and traveller
Published June 28th 2014
Cool & chic place to eat
Under reasonably new management the St Giles café is no longer the 'greasy spoon' it first looks like, but a rather chic little place out of the hubbub of Oxford city centre.

st giles, cafe, oxford
St Giles Cafe


The menus are a step up from basic café food, with a good range of ambitious, hearty, wholesome fare on offer. They're setting themselves up as a reasonably bijou, locally-run, independent enterprise, and in general this seems to be working.

The food is good, but I wasn't overwhelmed. Afternoon tea is a great British concept, but rather than offering a great, good value arranged platter, they expect you to piece together the various parts, which is always going to be more expensive. The scones were excellent, but the sandwich unremarkable, and dripping in oil which made it less appetising than it might have been with a bit more mustard to go with the ham instead. We did enjoy some very good herbal teas, in a great pot to share.

st giles, cafe, oxford, afternoon, tea
Afternoon tea


They do fun things, like running a competition to come up with a romantic menu for Valentine's Day. Extra effort like this suggest it's a cafe with great hopes for the future, and a real interest in engaging customers old and new.

st giles, cafe, oxford
Paper table mats to cheer the customer!


One initiative is their Wednesday night dining club. Limited to 18 guests per night, at £40 a head for a 5-course night, this sounds like a pretty epic way to have an evening's interesting entertainment at a 'public dinner party'. The care does very much feel like it's trying to be a home away from home; there are even books in the toilet, for example!

st giles, cafe, oxford, dinner, club
Preparing for a candlelit supper


Clearly very versatile, this is somewhere to grab lunch, lounge over tea, or even stop off for a candlelit supper. Hopefully this diversity and extended opening isn't going to be at the expense of great food.

st giles, cafe, oxford, dinner, club
A chic, cool place


You can follow them on Twitter @stgilescafe
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Why? An independent, lovely cafe out of the manic city centre
When: Monday - Wednesday 08:30-17:00, Thursday - Saturday 08:30-21:00, Sunday 08:30-16:30
Phone: 01865554200
Where: 52 St Giles
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