I have recently moved out of the city into rural Oxfordshire. Being a regular frequenter of Oxford’s (currently excellent) mix of coffee shops, it begged the question of where I take my crew for our Saturday morning caffeination.
I thought I’d make a feature of my search, we’ve really enjoyed the variety and challenge of finding these different places. This list is absolutely no means exhaustive (and mostly includes places in North and West Oxon), so please do send us your suggestions and we’ll endeavour to update soon.
1. Buzzy Beans *
A4260 between Adderbury and Deddington buzzybeanscoffee.co.uk
A little truck located in a layby just outside Deddington, this was hands-down the best experience and a great coffee. Go on a bright day and enjoy sitting by the little stove aside the coffee truck and take in the lovely views. Their coffee is their own blend of Honduran and Brazilian beans made by Edge Hill Coffee, there are slices of cake available and Paddy (the barista) is great company too!
2. Blakes, Clanfield *
Main Street, Clanfield, Oxfordshire, OX18 2SH blakeskitchen.com
If you like your coffee with a bun, this is the place. Blakes has been in the same family for a couple of generations, the building still hosts the local post office originally run but the current generations grandparents. These days, the building has been transformed into lovely bakery-cum-cafe. If you’re after an excellent all-rounder look no further, super Has Bean coffee, the county’s finest Cinnamon Buns (they sold three whole trays (that’s 36!) whilst we ate lunch). We also ate an amazing scotch egg (made with Kelmscott Pork and coated in deliciously cruddy sourdough crumbs) and a hearty veggie brunch ciabatta.
3. Lynwood & Co *
Various Locations lynwoodandco.com
Originally based in Lechlade, there are now Linwood outposts in Fairford and Burford, with another branch due to open in Carterton soon. Always stocking Sourdough Revolution bread, the best Sourdough in Oxfordshire (even Gary Barlow stood in the Christmas queue to secure his loaf: instagram.com/p/BrxGQXbnQ24/). We’ve been to Burford a few times and Lechlade once – similar décor across the shops, lots of exposed brick, grey paint and industrial light fittings. They offer consistently good coffees (roasted by Easy Joes Coffee), nice homemade cakes (all dietary requirements covered) and lovely, simple breakfast and lunch offerings, mostly on that Sourdough Revolution bread.
4. Natural Bread Company, Woodstock
30 High Street, Woodstock OX20 1TG naturalbreadcompany.co.uk
Even before leaving Oxford this was one of our go-to coffee places, Woodstock is often an en-route stop-off for us and, whilst there are good offerings at Barefoot and The Woodstock Coffee Shop, for our money this is the original and best. They also use Has Bean coffee – a Brazilian Yellow Bourbon, It’s not a middle-of –the-road-smooth job either, it’s got tonnes of flavour lots of dark chocolaty, nutty, fruity notes in there. They also stock all of the Natural Bread Company’s excellent breads, viennoiserie and cakes all baked using super-local Wessex Mill Flour.
5. Baker Girl *
The Old Post Office, 23, The Green, Great Tew, OX74DB bakergirl.co.uk
Another amazing location, great to visit combined with a walk. If it’s a nice day get takeaway and luxuriate on one of the many communal green patches in Great Tew. Their coffee is from Origin, it’s a Brazilian and Columbian blend called Resolute Espresso, it has lovely sweet caramelly notes, perfect with a bun. Speaking of which, whilst I appreciate they aren’t for everyone we loved their cheese and marmite buns, there’s also a small but tasty selection of bread, ubiquitous cinnamon buns (these come with cream cheese frosting), great viennoiserie and cake spread including super Bakewell croissants.
6. The Batch
Greenhill Farm, Bletchington OX5 3BQ thebatchcafe.uk
The Batch has an ever-enticing Instagram featuring their delicious-looking homemade cakes, often changing and always tasty. I’ve dropped in here a couple of times, it’s a small, great value café servicing a caravan park, working farm and locals. They stock UE house roast that was well executed and served in pretty vintage cups when we visited. We also sampled some yummy salted caramel millionaires and some cloud-like sponge cake with buttercream and raspberry jam. The lunchtime food comprises of three or four specials, using mostly seasonal food as well as some great-looking breakfasts using locally sourced meat and eggs.
7. The Milk Shed
Manor Farm, Northampton Road, Weston on the Green OX25 3QL themilkshedstore.co.uk
On the Friday morning I visited The Milk Shed, there was a queue for the car park. A testament to how good this place is. Simple but excellently cooked breakfasts, salads and delicious-sounding platefuls like Pea and Avo Mash with Halloumi on Rye or Coconut Dal, there’s also a lovely selection of changing specials. They also use the UE Coffee house roast, which I drank down swiftly with a cracking bacon sandwich made with proper streaky bacon on sourdough bread. GREAT start to the weekend.
8. Charlbury Deli & Cafe
Old Bank House, Market St, Charlbury OX7 3PL charlburydeli.cafe
This is our new local, serving excellent Missing Bean Coffee (whose roaster was also our local in Oxford, so nice to have a home-from-home brew). It’s owned by the community of Charlbury and offers a good selection of cakes, sandwiches, breads and deli items. For those of you with families in tow, it also has a separate side room with a collection of toys to keep the kids occupied.
9. Daylesford Farm Shop
Daylesford near Kingham, Gloucestershire GL56 0YG daylesford.com
It divides opinion for sure, but I love visiting Daylesford. Yes, it can be eye-wateringly expensive, but it also showcases the UK’s finest organic produce with a level of aesthetic beautifully upmarket supermarkets can only dream of. In the café (the drinks come in at the same cost as any other self-respecting coffee shop) they use coffee from Bristol’s own Extract coffee made from 100% Arabica beans, it’s both organic and fair trade too.
10. Eden Café *
6A Wesley Walk, Witney OX28 6ZJ edencafe.kiwi
I think this is the county’s first vegan coffee shop (though I’m happy to stand corrected on this). It was the place most recommended to me to visit, so we duly went, the coffee was good (by Allpress) but not outstanding. The café does offer easy space for families, nice staff and good vegan lunch and brunch fodder.
N.B. A little personal fixation since recently becoming dairy free is the type of oat milk used in coffee. If you’re in the same situation and love coffee you’ll probably be the same. Those places denoted with a * means that unsweetened oat milk was available.