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A recent Trip Advisor review…

April 7, 2014

“I used to come to the St Giles Café in the 1960s, when it was a greasy-spoon; I’d slope off with a friend from boarding-school, and we’d hide behind the dour padded pews, out of sight of any master who might be passing, and we’d eat over-margarined toast and planks of rindy bacon adrift on puddles of disreputable-looking baked beans.
Coming back to Oxford half a century on, I was thrilled to find the café still open, but though the grease had remained, the place had mislaid its charm along with its authenticity. Unfriendly staff, unexceptional food, and, worst of all, you couldn’t enjoy a cup of tea by itself, or a late breakfast, after a certain hour.
That’s all changed. Under new management, the St Giles Café is, quite simply, everything you could want from a café-cum-restaurant – and this in a city which, for some curious reason, seems abysmally shy of decent eateries, despite what you may read. First, the breakfast: as someone always in hopeless pursuit of the platonic English Breakfast, all I will say is that the St Giles Café offers the best in Oxford, with home-made sausages, immaculately soft fried eggs, and mushrooms which taste of pre-mass-production mushroom. I liked my first experience so much that I went back to sample the bangers and mash at lunch. And then I discovered that the café was open for dinner – further, that you can bring your own wine (corkage £2.70). Last week, for our birthdays, I took my wife there to a Spanish-themed meal. A guitarist was playing discretely in the corner, and an Argentine chef served a memorable steak cooked in sherry. The three-course meal for two came to £46, the Spanish waitress was enchanting and efficient, and I count the evening among the most memorable culinary experiences that we have had during the five years we’ve lived in Oxford.”

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