I’d spent the week in London, working, playing and brunching as a tag-along on my boyfriend’s work trip. Truly, it’s hard to find a better city for shopping, brunch, and coffee than London, and I had made the most of it. On Friday, we headed out to Oxford to visit some friends studying at the Uni and to explore the charming, historic campus and surrounding town. It had had been a very late night of interesting conversation and too many drinks at Oxford’s pubs, and we were all a bit worse for the wear.
Our lovely host, Elly, is an Aussie gal working towards her dual MPP and MBA at Oxford Uni. In her two years in the college town, she’s acquired an impressive amount of historical facts and good restaurants, and she was an excellent tour guide. She suggested we make time for brunch at Gee’s Restaurant before we headed off to a day at SoHo Farmhouse.
Located conveniently right near town and campus, Gee’s Restaurant has a charming, vintage-style sign and bicycles out front. You enter the restaurant, which is built into a greenhouse, through a hallway covered in beautiful greenery. The décor is neutral farmhouse shabby chic, with marble tables, linen napkins and canvas accents.
We began with coffees and teas: a latte for Elly, a cappuccino for me, and some English tea for the beau. Naturally, I was keen to order the pastries, mostly for the sake of Instagram and photos—I was fortunate that the pastries were absolutely beautiful upon arrival to the table. The single croissant, served with jam and butter was large enough to divide between the three of us. We all enjoyed the buttery, flaky bites slathered in more butter and jam.
The chocolate banana bread was an excellent call—thick loaves of moist, dense banana bread served with cream cheese, which seemed odd but tasted delicious. Our pastries and coffees were impeccable, so we were off to a wonderful start.
Boyfriend ordered the avocado and salmon toast, though that was what I wanted. The beautiful, clean dish consisted of a slice of thin, whole grain bread topped with fresh smoked salmon, a perfectly poached egg, and slices of avocado, drizzled lightly with olive oil and sea salt.
Meanwhile, Elly placed a custom order of chorizo, sliced avocado, and a poached egg on toast. The dish was a combination of two options and the menu, and the restaurant was happy to accommodate her wishes. The chorizo was delicious, the avocado fresh, and the egg perfectly poached.
Toast seemed to be the name of the game at this brunch, which is appropriate given that it’s England. My Eggs Royale (the salmon version of an Eggs Benny) was served atop a slice of bread rather than an English muffin. While I was surprised by the presentation, I actually quite enjoyed having the bread rather than the muffin. The salmon was incredibly fresh, and the eggs well poached—this is a kitchen that can poach an egg. The Hollandaise had a great lemon flavor that I really enjoyed. I consume quite a lot of Hollandaise, and I really enjoyed the sauce at Gee’s.
The Bitches say: A. Gee’s is Oxford’s go-to brunch spot, and it’s easy to see why. The space is stunning and the food is divine. Should we find ourselves back in the UK, we’ll be repeat customers.
61 Banbury Road