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Queen's Lane Coffee House
Queen's Lane Coffee House,
40 The High,
Oxford

The sun, as midday waned, smiled kindly upon the beautiful
sandstone buildings and cobbled streets, and in the quads,
courtyards and cloisters - where folk have gone about their lives
seemingly unchanged for hundreds of years - a wonderfully
peaceful sense of benevolence settled upon this lovely city.
The visitor really is spoiled for choice for tea on such occasions
and - not known for our decisiveness, and with no good reason to
rush - we decided to stagger our meal over three different
establishments by way of making a comparison.

The Queen's Lane Coffee House was to be our first, as it reputes
to be the site of the oldest tea-shop in Oxford, possibly the
country. They serve breakfast, lunch and tea, snacks, dinner and
drinks, all at very reasonable prices but without much imagination.
Tea in particular was a pretty drab affair with a handful of
uninspiring cakes and scones and the bill unceremoniously
slapped down on the table when we were done as if they couldn't
wait to see the back of us. Indeed, such is its convenience (or
was its convenience before Oxford City Council decided to turn
the whole city into a bus lane) that it's popular with students and
tourist alike. Our table must have been much coveted as we had
barely stood to leave when a circling group of Chinese holiday
makers made a lunge for it sending the remains of Lily's tea
flying.

There was nothing strictly wrong with food or service we received
and it would take more than an indifferent review to dissuade the
incessant stream of clientele, but the serious tea loved would be
much better tipped to make for either the Rose or the Grand
Cafe, both of which are within sight.