Destination Tea: Oxford Exchange

Where:  Tampa, Florida
Style: Bohemian industrial
Tea Selection:  40+ premium loose leaf teas from TeBella Tea Company
Teatimes:  Sunday, 3 pm
Reservations:  Advance pre-paid reservations required
Contact: 813-253-0222 x805, Reserve here
Cost:  $48 Royal Tea; $36 Afternoon Tea; $18 Children’s Tea
Destination Tea Tips:  Don’t leave here without stopping by the TeBella counter to take home some excellent teas for later, or as gifts. If you’re a “Sunday Funday” sort, come early to lounge in the Champagne Bar.

Prices and teatimes are subject to change. Please see our Florida afternoon tea directory for the latest details.

afternoon tea at Oxford Exchange in Tampa, FL

Destination Tea Notes: Oxford Exchange is itself one of the stars of this afternoon tea experience, alongside an excellent loose leaf tea selection by local tea company TeBella, and a very scrumptious 3-tiered tray. You may notice that this review has an above average number of photos and when you visit, be prepared to see cameras out wherever you turn. Our teenage reviewer calls this renovated 1890’s building an “Instagramers’ Paradise” (scroll down to see why), and we definitely recommend you dress for the occasion, and plan to pose for portraits. Taking inspiration from the historic clubs, libraries and shops of London to create a place that would spark social interaction, Oxford Exchange now houses an upstairs shared work space, and main floor book shop, champagne bar, restaurant, tea bar, coffee counter, home goods/gift shop, private events like weddings, and a Conservatory, where afternoon tea is served. All ages gather in this beautiful space, appointed with stunning flower arrangements from a recent wedding, and the staff’s private event expertise shows as they smoothly execute afternoon tea service to all guests in one sitting. Speaking of the service, our server ranks amongst the select few who have a respectable level of tea expertise, such that she not only helps us choose teas we will love, but also makes spot-on recommendations for their preparation. Thank you Jessica!

hallway at afternoon tea at Oxford Exchange in Tampa, FL
Dark paneled hall opens onto the atrium.
atrium at afternoon tea at Oxford Exchange in Tampa, FL
Portrait gallery of famous world leaders and icons overlooks richly upholstered porter’s chairs and bar seating. Love the greenery cascading down the staircase wall.
pretty reviewer at afternoon tea at Oxford Exchange in Tampa, FL
Our 11-year-old reviewer
champagne bar at afternoon tea at Oxford Exchange in Tampa, FL
Looking like an Anthropologie catalogue, the Champagne Bar has its own set of wicker porter’s chairs.
gorgeous flower arrangement at afternoon tea at Oxford Exchange in Tampa, FL
Stunning flower arrangement
chaise lounge at afternoon tea at Oxford Exchange in Tampa, FL
Salmon velvet tufted chaise lounge the perfect perch as we check-in at the restaurant
afternoon tea at Oxford Exchange in Tampa, FL
The gift shop opens onto the atrium.
leather couches at afternoon tea at Oxford Exchange in Tampa, FL
Long tufted leather sofas, armchairs, and wooden chests welcome tea and coffee drinkers to gather in between the two counters.
conservatory for afternoon tea at Oxford Exchange in Tampa, FL
Breathing in the ambiance of the Conservatory: trickling stone fountain, potted trees, black and white tiled floor, sunny exposure
stone fountain at afternoon tea at Oxford Exchange in Tampa, FL
Gorgeous flowers from a previous wedding, the perfect crown for the fountain, whose base doubles as bench seating.
vining trellis at afternoon tea at Oxford Exchange in Tampa, FL
Love the trellised vines as backdrop for this tea table

Tea Service

awesome server at afternoon tea at Oxford Exchange in Tampa, FL
Tea Chops! Our server Jessica starts with an overview of the tea menu that is informed and succinct.
champagne at afternoon tea at Oxford Exchange in Tampa, FL
But first, champagne
Each guest may choose one tea (hot or iced), and additional pots are $3.50 each. A first glimpse of the tea menu tells us we will be ordering second rounds — too many interesting teas to taste! I start with the Oolong Nirvana with lemon myrtle and vanilla (so delicious!) and move on to the naturally sweet Coconut Pouchong with coconut and pineapple.
tea choices at afternoon tea at Oxford Exchange in Tampa, FL
Jessica is right to recommend a latte when we order a White Coconut Dulce with cream and sugar.
sipping tea at afternoon tea at Oxford Exchange in Tampa, FL
For the iced Florida Orange Blossom and Pineapple Ginger Matcha teas, Jessica supplies a small pitcher of simple sugar for easy blending.

Scones & Spreads, Savories and Sweets

3 tiered tray at afternoon tea at Oxford Exchange in Tampa, FL
Our 5th grade reviewer has learned that exercising patience while the 3-tier tray is photographed only sweetens the anticipation.
scones and sandwiches at afternoon tea at Oxford Exchange in Tampa, FL
A generous array of savories includes: Deviled Egg with Caviar and Chives, Ham with Watercress and Mayo, Honey and Peanut Butter with Strawberries, Whipped Feta with Tomato Relish and Arugula, and Hickory Smoked Salmon Pâté with Cucumbers.
brown sugar scones at afternoon tea at Oxford Exchange in Tampa, FL
Warm, soft Brown Sugar Cinnamon Scones are served with cream and homemade mixed berry preserves.
sweets at afternoon tea at Oxford Exchange in Tampa, FL
Each of the desserts is divine: moist Orange Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache, Lemon Blueberry Bars, Strawberry Layered Cheesecake and Strawberry Macaron.
happy friends at afternoon tea at Oxford Exchange in Tampa, FL
Afternoon tea makes us smile!
TeBella Tea Company at afternoon tea at Oxford Exchange in Tampa, FL
Love that TeBella gives our server a free tea when we mention her at the TeBella counter, where we stock up on our new favorites.
tea selection at afternoon tea at Oxford Exchange in Tampa, FL
Ummm, we’ll take one of each
tea tasting journal at afternoon tea at Oxford Exchange in Tampa, FL
Tea tasting journals!!
loose leaf teas at afternoon tea at Oxford Exchange in Tampa, FL
Wall of happiness
DestinationTea
Tea Voyageuse, discovering the world of afternoon tea, based in Atlanta, Georgia.

1 Comment

  1. Loved the vast selection of tea offered at OE. As always, I wish I had left more room to try more teas, but I bought a few to take home and can’t wait to try them. I would definitely return to OE and get there early to enjoy the Champagne Bar, which had a delicious assortment of classic bubbly cocktails.

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