Boswells 1738 Tea Room

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Come and enjoy our Boswells 1738 Tea Room with breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and as many cakes, tea, coffee and pastries you can fit in between.


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Broad Street Cafe     FAQs       News     Booking An Afternoon Tea    Reviews


 * In addition to this food menu we also have seasonal specials which can be seen on each table. Cakes change regularly and gluten free cakes are listed on a blackboard.



Truly Scrumptious TartWe are very happy to announce that our sandwiches and quiches will be made daily by the aptly named Truly Scrumptious based here in Oxford. These self confessed food geeks are looking forward to making our lunchtimes tasty with hot or cold quiches, locally made bread and satisfying fillings for the sandwiches.

Our cheese board is being filled by the Oxford Cheese Company and hot and cold pies fresh from David John butchers both around the corner at The Covered Market. Pickles & chutneys from the renowned Limes Farm near Brackley. Anyone else getting hungry just thinking about it all?


Afternoon Tea

What is a tea room without an afternoon tea with scones, little cakes and finger sandwiches?  So we are happy to report that Truly Scrumptious will also be making perfect scones for the jam & clotted cream treatment as well as the aforementioned sandwiches. We can also provide a bit of sparkle with locally produced sparkling wine! 


Twinings LogoWe are delighted to announce that are supply partner for Tea will be the world famous english brand Twinings Tea holder of the Royal Warrent. Hey if it it's good enough for the Queen we figure that they must be doing something right! In all seriousness it is Twinings reputation for quality, range and social responsibility that made the final decision relatively easy for Boswells.

Twinings Breakfast TeaTwinings started in 1706, so is even older than Boswells and although no longer owned by the Twinings family we are pleased to see Steven Twining working in the business and still with a passion for tea. As a member of the Ethical Tea Partnership Twinings takes ethical sourcing and support of local producers and workers very seriously, which as a trading partner we are delighted to support.

Last but not least they have a fantastic blog with lots of delightful ways to cook with their teas. Yum.

Can't wait for our first cuppa! Let us know if there are any tea flavours you can't live without.


Eros CoffeeWe are similarly delighted that we are buying Eros Coffee from the High Wycombe based company Peros. Peros chose Eros as the name for their coffee because of their love for the stuff and their passion to help fairtrade products become the norm! They source only fairtrade coffee from South America and Africa and have been a vital link to get food service providers rather than just individuals able to support fairtrade. They started in 2000 but have carved out a fantastic reputation for service and importantly great tasting coffee.




Where is the Tea Room?

Our Tea Room will be on our First Floor where the Bed & Bath Linens and Haberdashery departments are currently located. With a nice view over Broad St and immediately accessible by the stairs at our main Broad St entrance. Don't worry, we are still keeping the Bed & Bath Linens and Haberdashery departments! We are moving these departments up a floor as we expand our shop floor.

What is the Boswells 1738 Tea Room menu?

You can see our Full Menu Here and a List of our Cakes & Speciality Teas Here. Obviously sometimes individual items might sell out and as we learn what customers want the menu is likely to change and will be updated here.

We are providing continental style breakfasts, hot and cold lunches and the full range of afternoon tea with cakes and pastries available all day. Along side high quality tea, coffee and soft drinks. 

A full table service will be available as well as takeaway. 


Any other changes?

Yes!  We have expanded onto our second floor. As well as the new location for our  Bed & Bath Linens and Haberdashery departments we have a customer toilets with baby changing and handicapped facilities. Also a Click & Collect Customer service desk.

When did all this happen?

We opened to customers for live feedback on Wednesday 25th November with Santa cutting our ribbon for our "formal" launch on Saturday 28th November. Nice of him to fit us in at at such a busy time of year!


How will you help customers with allergies, intolerances or other dietary requirements?

For drinks we will have decaffinated versions of tea and coffee as well as wider choices of soft drinks. There will also be a milk alternative. Sandwiches and pies will always include vegetarian options. Cakes will include gluten free options too. We always recommend speaking to staff to check any specific ingredient that you need to avoid.


How do I book an Afternoon Tea?

We serve Afternoon teas every day and any time during opening hours so it doesn't even need to be in the afternoon. We don't require a booking. However if you have a large party (over 4) or just want to ensure that a table is available then please do contact us. Please advise the date, time, number of those attending and any special dietary requirements.

Email: or phone 01865 255531.


Do you have Wifi?

Yes indeed. For your protection the access will be password protected with the password available on our Daily Specials Menu on every table or from our staff.


Do you have customer toilets?

Yes after much feedback from customers over time there are finally be loos in the building! These are located on our second floor accessible by lift for wheelchair and buggy users as well as stairs. As you would expect there are female, male and handicapped enabled toilet facilities available. 


Do you have baby changing facilities?

Yes. These are located in the handicapped enabled toilet facility. Taking advantage of the extra space these have as standard.



Rosie from our Pharmacy

On my holidays I like to travel around the countryside taking in the beautiful views and searching out interesting places to explore. One day I might be visiting a historical town or a ruin. On another day I might be wandering around shops or somewhere fun. Oxford certainly ticks all those boxes. No holiday would be complete without trying the local cuisine, be it crabs in Cromer or pork pies in Melton Mowbray. Cream teas have been an especial favourite from delicious clotted cream in Cornwall to proper Yorkshire tea in Bettys in York. Boswells has been trading for a bit longer than most department stores, including Harrods. Last year Boswells finally opened up the second floor to provide customer toilets and a new parcel pick up station. What really put the icing on the cake, though, was the actual icing on the cakes in the new 1738 Tea Room (on the first floor, next to the toys).

I’ve watched and waited while things have evolved over the last few months and tasted some delicious sandwiches and tried the loose leaf teas. When I go up the stairs I look wistfully over at the range of cakes. They’re certainly nothing like the cakes I've seen in any other cafe in Oxford, or elsewhere. That's because Boswells have chosen top quality, locally produced goodies from David John Butchers, Limes Farm, and Truly Scrumptious—just one of the bakeries providing cakes. Twinings loose leaf tea is available in both china teapots or in revolutionary takeaway cups! 1738 Tea Room also has Eros coffee from as far afield as High Wycombe, supplied by coffee company, Peros, and Cotswold cider from Freedom Brewery. Oh yes, the tea room is fully licensed too, so make your afternoon tea extra fizzy!

What's that? Summer you say. Well 1738 Tea Room has an ice cream stand outside the Broad Street entrance selling Marshfields Farm ice creams. And if you don't want to sit indoors to eat then you can pick up a picnic basket from the tea room and head off to University Parks to sit under a tree by the river. How delightfully decadent! From Continental breakfasts with freshly baked pastries to set lunches at a bargain, there’s something for everybody to enjoy. The tea room now has loyalty cards, not just for hot drinks but for cakes too! Waitress service makes it a cut above your average coffee shop, so come in and treat yourself at the one and only Boswells 1738 Tea Room. What could be more quintessentially English than the view over Broad Street to St Giles?!

Very Vanilla
Truly Chocolate
Strawberries & Cream
Malted Banana 
Caramel Pecan 
Gin & Tonic