28 June 2013
I am not sure how to express to you how much I enjoyed this place. Other than to say- this place was made for me! Ever since I heard about the new addition in Tampa, I have been aching to go. Aching like I ache to go back to Oxford, England (okay, maybe not quite as much). But Oxford Exchange is much closer.
Oxford Exchange is in a historic building renovated with such old class and beauty. It contains a restaurant, bookstore, tea bar, coffee bar, and home store. Also, this central seating area in the middle of it all, complete with classy furniture and a staircase leading up to the second floor. The glass atrium ceiling allows so much light inside, and you can go upstairs to gaze back down to people-watch. Everything is thoughtfully designed and richly decorated. Dark wood paneling. Black and white floors with eye-catching geometric designs. Wood floors. White brick walls. Rich fabrics in pleasing colours like golden rod and caramel.
Emily and I had such a blast here. Everything about the day was relaxing. We ate a delicious breakfast, browsed the home store and the bookstore, and got some tea from the tea bar. We each ordered a Lavender Fog, which was the most delicious drink ever. It's a London Fog (Earl Grey with steamed milk and vanilla) with lavender.
The thing I love about this place is the way it invites you to slow down. To sit and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee. To find a book in the bookstore and take some time for reading. A good place to meet friends and have a cup of tea with a delightful place to hang out. This is the kind of place I could spend a lot of time at, and we did. It has that European charm of a place that is open to all and promotes taking time to just enjoy the day.
I am afraid I will making many more trips over to Tampa for you, Oxford Exchange.