• Emily Gess

Op-who? The Opera Cafe of Oxfordshire

Updated: Jul 17

Initial Impressions and Thoughts

Today’s study space/lunch find is a sweet little Cafe down Waldon street in Oxford. Located further away from the city’s noisy center, you’ll find a more relaxed vibe at this gorgeous little place.

Here in Oxford, they are facing unseasonably warm weather this July- I think we brought the California heat with us! This is a great place to escape the heat while enjoying the sunshine and good weather. With both a garden and a front patio, there is plenty of natural light in the main body of the restaurant. There is even a roof over the back patio that allows in light while blocking those tiresome British rains.

If you are looking for lower, lighter and fewer people, there is also seating downstairs, although we found the space to be a little unfinished. They even provided a miniature library, and ask readers to place stickers on their book choices! This way you can check out which books have felt the most love! A very cute and unique idea that makes up for lack of beautification in the lower level.

All in all, if you can find a comfortable chair, this is an amazing space to sit and study for the day, with food and drinks for every meal and mood, and plenty of water bottles around for great hydration in this bizarrely warm British Summer!

-Trina

Our Thoughts

Ambiance

(8/10) The ambiance of the place is very friendly with amazing natural light in the back garden and in the main seating of the cafe. However, the downstairs seating is very dark and smells weird -Emily

(7/10) Overall, lighting is good for studying, lots of natural light, downstairs not the best. Love the massive wall mirror that really makes the space feel even larger than it is -Trina

Aesthetic

(8/10) Amazing upstairs, in the garden, and out front. The color scheme is calming and compliments to wall art. The wall art is a mix of local artists, event fliers, and cute prints. Overall it is a very bright and welcoming place. I just would not recommend sitting in the downstairs basement. The aesthetic of the food is very well done, complimenting the overall appeal of this cute cafe -Emily

(7/10) Love the eclectic chairs mismatching, and the food will definitely be picture perfect. The lower score is only for the poorly finished downstairs space, with bad lighting and little decoration -Trina

Drinks

(9/10) The Nutella hot chocolate is a MUST HAVE. If you go to the Opera you owe it to yourself to have it! Their lattes are decent but nothing amazing (get the Nutella hot chocolate :) ) They also offer 4 milk alternatives at no extra cost! -Emily

(9/10) Delicious! Hot Chocolate varieties are to die for, and their sheer number of options is admirable. Good presentation of drinks in very cute cups. -Trina

Food

(7/10) I had the sunny-side-up egg on sourdough with a side salad. The eggs came a little overcooked and the sourdough was dry. I would recommend requesting a jam or butter. The salad of cucumbers and tomatoes was so crisp and refreshing! They have an extensive menu for food and pastries- perfect for a quick snack. -Emily

(8/10) Very aesthetic, very well made food. Every order is individually made, feel free to ask for specifications or changes on certain meals if you like! I recommend adding some avocado to the Florentine Sandwich, Yum! -Trina

Friendliness

(8/10) A very kind staff that created a welcoming atmosphere which encouraged a steady crowd of people to come in and out all day. I felt at ease and comfortable around them the entire time I was there. -Emily

(8/10) Great staff, loves to discuss their food and food specifications, very kind when picking up plates and dropping off food. -Trina

Seating

(7/10) The seating in the garden and front areas were not comfortable to sit on for an extended period of time. I would recommend sitting outside if you are stopping by for a quick drink or snack. However, the chairs inside the cafe were much more comfortable (and new!) If you plan to stay for an extended period of time, definitely sit inside. -Emily

(6/10) Some chairs are very comfortable, and I appreciate the mismatch of many types of chairs, unfortunately within 30 minutes on one of their wooden chairs my whole backside was fast asleep, and there are no cushioned chairs in the outside garden, all the comfortable seats are down in the dark, undecorated basement. -Trina

Crowd

(7/10) The crowd picked up around 12-2 with people staying for lunch and extended periods of time. Before and after that time a majority of people came for a quick drink and did not hang around for longer than half an hour or so. There was one other individual working on their laptop, but a majority of people were locals ranging from young children to elderly women. -Emily

(7/10) Not exactly a local hangout, but you will find a nice mix of people there to work, and people there just for a quick bite of food. The drinks seem to have a good number of locals coming through, but in general, all guests were friendly, no one was particularly loud or rude. -Trina

Price

(Medium) The prices were consistent with other cafes around Oxford. The food was more affordable as compared to the US. -Emily

(Medium) Not an expensive place, cheaper avocado toast then the US for sure! Drink are fairly standard pricing, Cafe Nero-Starbucks realm pricing, acceptable but not a budget find. -Trina

Wifi

(10/10) Amazing wifi that was easy to connect to and use. -Emily

(10/10) Yes! Very fast and posted on the walls! -Trina

Dog-Friendly?

I really hope so. Usually, cafes with gardens and outdoor seating are welcoming.This cafe is almost perfect and being able to bring my dog here would be amazing. -Emily

Music

(10/10) The best! For the hours I was there working on my laptop I heard no repeats of songs. The playlist fit the ambiance and aesthetic of the cafe itself. -Emily

(10/10 Incredible playlist! A great collection of acoustic covers of some favorites.-Trina

Outlets

(5/10) Few, new but spread out and none are in the garden :( . -Emily

(5/10) A few outlets, but not readily available outside or downstairs. -Trina

Overall Score: 8.5/10

Why you should check this place out

The quaint cafe is the perfect place to stop and sit down for a coffee and pastry. The staff, being so friendly, makes the place warm and super welcoming. Feel free to bring a deck of cards or grab a book from their library and have a relaxing afternoon.

The light is immaculate, the atmosphere amazing, and I definitely recommend bringing your mum there next time she is in town. Next time it is sunny, I will definitely go to relax in the garden and learn about local events.

I would not recommend going for longer than a couple of hours. The only reason I am marking it lower for the chairs, which ended up mattering more due to how long I stayed there.

- Emily

Best food/drinks at the cafe

Food: Avocado Toast with eggs

Drink: Nutella Hot Chocolate

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