Raise a toast: 10 local brunch spots for every occasion
A bona fide excuse to drink before midday, plus, it's way easier to get a table booking for a morning slot. What are you waiting for? Bag brunch at one of these Bucks and Oxon gems
Who doesn’t love a bloody good brunch? Pancake stacks, avo on toast, bottomless flat whites… Throw in a mimosa and we’re there.
Plus, with tables booked up across the counties, brunch is a good shout if you can’t nab that sought-after lunch booking.
Whether it’s a wholesome bircher muesli with a pal, coffee and the weekend papers with your other half, or a full-on cocktail-quaffing affair with your besties, here are some cracking brunch spots that should fit the bill.
Brunch at Fego is served until 5pm so it doesn’t matter what time you get out of bed (hey, we’re not judging). The South African influence means there’s a laid back vibe here, and a cosmopolitan quirk to the menu. We love the spicy scrambled eggs with jalapeños, avocado, baby spinach, sautéed red onion, cheddar, feta and basil marinated tomatoes with toasted sourdough (yup, all on one plate) or the chai tea infused porridge if we’re feeling virtuous. Currently open for eat-in in the urban garden, then for indoor dining from May 17. Open 8.30-4.30pm Mon-Weds (and until 8.30pm Thurs-Sun)
Fego, Gerrard’s Cross
Vaults is right in the heart of cobbledy Oxford off the High in the 700 year old University Church. Its vision is to create a ‘socially positive café’ with sustainability at its heart. Suppliers include Willowbrook Farm in Kidlington and Worton Organic Garden. It also serves darn good food – colourful, fresh, seasonal dishes that are as yummy as they are Insta-perfect. We love the Oxford cheese rarebit – sourdough bread (natch) topped with a gooey combo of cheddar and Gruyere, or there’s the classic eggs and salmon – Upton Smokery Salmon and organic eggs from FAI farm in Wytham. Currently open Monday-Sunday , 9:30am- 5:30pm, for eating in the garden.
Vaults Garden Cafe, Oxford
The rooftop of Oxford’s glam shopping centre, Westgate, is a pretty fabulous spot on a sunny day – dreaming spires plus trendy dining. What a combo! The Breakfast Club is a barrel of laughs for brunch. We love the tongue in cheek menu – disco hash or Daddy MacHaggis anyone? The menu is mind-blowingly comprehensive but our faves include the blueberry pancakes with bacon and maple syrup, and for a blow-out, the cornflake chicken and waffles (cornflake buttermilk fried chicken, waffle, fried egg, caramelised onions, American gravy, spring onion, chives & maple syrup). You can reserve a table outside, or from May 17, indoor dining is game on. Open Sunday-Thursday 8am-8pm and Friday-Saturday until 10pm.
The Breakfast Club, Oxford
This place is cafe by day, tap room and bar by night, serving craft beers, wine, and grazing boards. That’s a lot of boxes ticked. And did we mention the Bottomless Boozy Brunch? With mimosa, prosecco, craft beer and G&Ts on tap, that’s everyone happy, together with dishes such as smashed avocado with chilli, lime and red onion on toast or garlic mushrooms with halloumi, poached eggs and siracha. It’s £35 per person and includes a cake and a 90-minute limit, which sounds like a challenge to us…You’re on! Right now there are a few tables on the street if you want to have your brunch in, or from May 17, you’ll be able to eat indoors and indulge in the bottomless booze.
Black Goo, Thame
Foodies are falling over themselves to bag a table at one of Oxfordshire’s most anticipated openings – The Double Red Duke in Clanfield. The snazzy gastropub with rooms will have food overseen by Hawksmoor supremo Richard Turner who has put dishes such as steak, eggs and hash brown, and open omelette with local nduja, on the brunch menu. There’s a choice of casual but cool dining areas and spaces for groups – perfect for a family reunion brunch. Breakfast served 7.30-10.30 daily.
The Double Red Duke, Clanfield
The Ivy Garden is your go-to for a girls’ brunch – indulgent, glam and sophisticated, plus it’s right on Marlow High Street, so the perfect spot for shopping (Mint Velvet and Whistles, we’re coming for ya!) There’s a classic breakfast menu served during the week , or at weekends you can choose from a more indulgent brunch offering which includes all the best bits from breakfast, like buttermilk pancakes, and Eggs Benedict, plus lobster linguine, tempura prawns, and so much more. The brunch menu also features a pleasing tipple section with cocktails, fizz and a variety of gin and tonics. Reopening May 17 with brunch served Mon – Fri until 8-11.30am (11am-4pm on Sat and Sun)
The Ivy Garden, Marlow
Nonna’s, in the heart of Woburn Sands, has won awards for its breakfast which puts a quirky Italian twist on home-cooked classics, including Italian steak and egss, and a winner with the kids, toasted croissant sandwiches. The brasserie has a hearty, welcoming atmosphere (Nonna means grandma in Italian obvs), with Maltese decor inside, a pretty sun terrace for al fresco dining and market deli at the front selling authentic Italian produce. The alfresco area is currently open Mon 9.30am-2.30pm, Tues – Sat 9.30am-8pm, and Sun 9.30am-2.30pm.
Nonna’s, Woburn Sands
Out on the town
The Bull on Bell Street is one of those places that somehow ticks all the boxes. In the centre of town but minutes from the river, the interior is packed with character (nooks, crannies, beams, exposed brickwork), the food is great and you can dine here whether you’re with girlfriends or out and about in Henley with the kids. There’s a small yet perfectly formed brunch menu with the option to order a glass of fizz or a Bloody Mary with your food. It’d be rude not to, wouldn’t it? The garden is currently open from midday every day so you can just about squeeze in a brunch from the menu of grazing boards, salads and burgers, but the full brunch menu and indoor seating will be available after May 17.
The Bull on Bell St, Henley
Taste of Spain
If you’re looking for something completely different from your usual fry up or smashed avocado, La Bobina is a great choice just over the border in Glos. With quirky vintage interiors (the building was once a 19th century haberdashery and still has original features) and a laid-back vibe, this buzzing Spanish tapas bar serves a range of Iberian-influenced breakfast sharing dishes, like Flamed Chorizo with chilli and honey and Manchego with Serrano ham, as well as a selection of pastries and Spanish omelette. Brunch is served from 9am – 12pm on Sat only.
La Bobina, Cirencester
OK, so we’re a few hundred metres over the border here in Berks, but we think it’s time you braved leaving Oxfordshire. Especially if it’s for the epic weekend brunch menu at Coppa Club at The Swan in Streatley. Take your choice of covered or uncovered seats on the terrace and drink in those river views (not literally of course, there’s ample coffee, cocktails and softies here to quench your thirst). Dishes include the garden breakfast (two fried eggs, grilled halloumi, portobello mushrooms, tomato, greens, toast), and buckwheat and rye pancakes with berries, granola, seeds, coconut yoghurt…arguably a dessert to the former? Go for it… The weekend brunch menu is served 10am-3pm Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays. Book early for a table outdoors, or indoors from May 17.
Coppa Club, Streatley