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The Grand Cafe
The Grand Cafe has for many years enjoyed and (dare we say?)
traded off an unspoilt reputation as the best tea in Oxford. For once
we're not going to dispute this fact. Where other establishments
have let complacency become their undoing the Grand seems to go
from strength to strength and simply raise their prices every second
Sunday of the month to keep up with increasing demand. A friend of
ours at Oxford used to spend most mornings in there with a
newspaper and an espresso and spent well in excess of 400 over
the course of a term.

It's not just coffee they specialize in. There's a good line of loose
leaf teas and if you stick it out till six o'clock or so they do a line of
very respectable cocktails. The food's pricey by the standards of the
regular tea-goer but for your money you can expect stops-out service
and some very fine fare. Ever seeking new highs for the discerning 5
o'clocker, we developed a simple test of a tearoom's integrity. The
Toast Test - so called because you order a single slice of toast and
award points on an arbitrary basis for speed, quality, presentation
and price - has yet to be beaten as a reflection of an establishment's
worth. The Grand passes this test with flying colours on the basis of
this we deliberated for a long time with whether to award the highly
coveted Five Pot rating.

Snappy service and the gilt deco veneer not only make it a very
enjoyable experience but make you very inclined indeed to hang
around much longer, and spend much more than you had originally
intended. And for once, we didn't begrudge it one muffin.

The Grand Cafe,
The High