Oxford Exchange. It's certainly the talk of the town right now in Tampa. And for good reason. It is a beautifully renovated space across from University of Tampa that looks more like it should be in a big city like Chicago or Boston. But it's here in Tampa, and it's awesome - so let's rejoice!
Recently I checked out Oxford Exchange for lunch and here are some of my photos.
Peach tea from TeBella Tea Company. The original location is in Davis Island but now they have an outpost at Oxford Exchange with a tea list to satisfy English royalty. We ordered this with lunch and I was pretty impressed by how much our server knew about all the varieties of tea and how they are made.
Grilled cheese (I added pear, from a list of toppings you can choose from for an upcharge.) This was a pretty perfect grilled cheese. The gaspacho on the side was awesome and was the standout of the plate for me.
Chicken Burger. This was moist and tasty and I appreciate that they didn't skimp on the toppings, which were chunks of feta and half an avocado.
Oxford Exchange does not serve alcohol, but I heard there is no corking fee for your first bottle of wine. Is that true? If anyone knows, please feel free to verify that in the comments section! (How's that for relentless blogger fact-checking? No stone unturned here, folks!)
This is the beautiful open-air atrium. And this is where my main complaint lies. This was my first time at Oxford Exchange and when we arrived at 11:45 a.m., the place was not busy yet. At all. (By 12:30p.m. it was packed, on a Tuesday, so make note when you make your lunch plan here.)
It was a BEAUTIFUL day, the kind that makes you glad you live in Florida, crisp and cool and sunny -- a reward of sorts for making it through the blistering hot summer. We were not even offered the option to sit outdoors, and without knowing about this area, we saw it after we had our lunch. I really would have enjoyed it out here...I had a "WTH!" moment when I saw how awesome the outdoor seating was and wished I had only known...Maybe next time.
This library-esque bookstore is part of Oxford Exchange. The obvious question here is whether or not it smells of fresh mahogany, and the answer is yes.
Books, books, books. I love my Kindle but this place was so quaint, it almost made me miss the feeling of turning the pages of an actual book.
There is also a homegoods store at the end of the atrium with lots of pretty, artisanal items.
An aerial view from the Commerce Club. Apparently you can buy a membership and use this amazing space for business meetings and office space.
I finished up my time at Oxford Exchange with a latte from Buddy Brew Coffee, who, like TeBella, has a location inside the atrium here.
It was perfect, as all Buddy Brew Coffee always is, and a great way to wrap up a quick afternoon field trip to the most-talked about spot in Tampa.