Saturday, January 2, 2016

Oxford Exchange – Tampa, FL

It’s great living in the town I grew up in during the holidays because so many people come home to visit their families this time of year.  Luckily I’ve gotten to catch up with a lot of my friends who have since moved away from Tampa. 

Today a group of us went out to lunch at Oxford Exchange.  I don’t know how I somehow have missed writing a blog post about this place since I've been there many times, but better late than never.  It opened back in 2012 and having a background in design, I fell in love with it immediately.  They took two older buildings (one from the 1800’s) and transformed them into a multipurpose space with coffee a tea shops, a restaurant, bookstore, and gift shop. 

The interiors are beautiful with a gorgeous glass atrium that lets in the Florida sunshine, a mix of marble and herringbone wood floors, a grand staircase in the center, and a mix of brick walls and detailed wood paneling. 

It is right across Kennedy Boulevard from the University of Tampa, so it’s the perfect place for students to come study while enjoying TeBella tea or Buddy Brew coffee

Today I had an arugula salad with grilled chicken, quinoa, roasted butternut squash, crispy Brussels sprouts, dried cherries, pistachios, and feta with a citrus vinaigrette.  It was probably one of the best salads I’ve had – I would definitely order it again.  My friend Alex had a side of the fried Brussels sprouts and they were huge!  

I love all of TeBella’s teas – I’ve tried a different kind each time I’ve gone there.  With my lunch today I had the carrot cake rooibos tea which was sweet and cinnamon-y.  They bring you a little silver teapot so you can enjoy several cups. 

My only complaint is that the prices are pretty high.  Although the food is incredible, I spent $30 on a salad and tea, which is a lot more than I’d normally spend on lunch.  And their gift shop is outrageously priced – I played a game with my friend James once where we had to guess the price of different items in the shop.  They do have some really beautiful gifts and it’s nice to browse. 

I’ve actually been to two wedding receptions at Oxford Exchange – my friend Leslie’s in June of 2013 and my cousin Chris’s in March of 2014.  It is the perfect backdrop to celebrate and since the Oxford Exchange does the catering, the food at both weddings was delicious. 

Photos below of Leslie & Greg’s wedding are by Anna Kirby Photography

And these pictures from Chris & Marty’s wedding are by Jason Angelini Photography (who is our photographer for our wedding next April!)

The Oxford is located at 420 W Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, FL 33602 and is open 7:30am – 5:30pm Monday – Friday and 9am – 5:30pm Saturday – Sunday.  

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