Oxford Exchange in Tampa, FL is an oasis... with a twist.
Walk into this bookstore-cafe-conservatory-restaurant-teashop-refuge and step out of the world for a little while. The classic yet modern decor and soothing yet stimulating ambiance have introduced a new type of public space to Tampa. Time seems to stop in a way that reminds me of Rome's Caffè Greco or Padua's Pedrocchi Cafè. Impressive since OE opened in 2012, not in the18th or 19th centuries.
|"party appetizers in a pinch"|
Recently I had the pleasure of attending a blogger-event at this lovely locale. It is already one of my favorite haunts (although I don't visit nearly as often as I daydream about it). This was my first sojourn at night though, which gave the place a magical air. The candles and Edison bulbs added to the cocooning vibe.
|view of the tea/coffee area from stairs to club level|
Guests enjoyed adult beverages with party appetizers from Executive Chef Erin Guggino. The dates with walnuts & goat cheese and butternut squash shooters were very popular and are easy to make. (I have the recipes; if you're interested let me know & I'll add them to this post). I apologize for the poor quality food photo. My iphone's camera finds low light to be challenging sometimes.
|playing with a closeup of Tebella's antique cash register|
Sweets came next. While sampling the decadent combination of Tebella teas with Mast Brothers rich chocolate I was secretly lusting after this old National cash register. Years ago I helped restore a similar machine to working order and have been a bit of a groupie ever since.
|oops - accidental selfie in a teapot|
Check out this fabulous bit of decorative architectural filigree below.
Art nouveau maybe?
Nah – just some teacups waiting to be filled. (tilt your head to the left)
I love tea and Teabella has some fantastic combinations. With almost 100 loose leaf teas from around the globe they should be able to satisfy every palate.
Across the room, this gent from Buddy Brew was pairing their robust coffee with delish Dandelion Chocolate. We were offered some advice on how to get the most from this decadent experience.
Oxford Exchange is made up of several rooms, each lovelier than the last. After sweets, we were given a history filled tour of the building. In addition to the tea/coffee area, there are shopping, dining and studying/relaxing spaces. Everywhere you look there is a fascinating tableau or rustic antique to captivate your attention. This was all too fabulous for just one post, so I will share more pics of this dreamy space soon.
In the meantime, here is your chance to perhaps enjoy a tasty bit of OE in your own home! Oxford Exchange is sponsoring the prize for Day #4 of 7 Days of Giveaways. On 11/28 one lucky winner will get to take home....
... 3 decadent bars of artisanal chocolate from Mast Bros. and Dandelion Chocolate - Yum!
To enter the random drawing please leave a comment before 7 a.m. (EST) on 11/28. It is that easy to enter. Drawing is open worldwide and prize ships free to winner. Please add your email address if it is not already in your profile.
Want to Check out/Enter the other giveaways? Visit links for more info:
Day 1 - Win $20 gift certificate to Artsnark's Artifacts on Etsy.com. Ends 11/25
Day 2 - Winner's choice of 1 matted print from Artsnark Instagram gallery. Ends 11/26
Day 3 - Enter to win $10 Gift card from Michaels Craft stores. Ends 11/27
Disclaimer: The Tampa Bay bloggers were invited by Oxford Exchange to the enjoy their Holiday Blogger Event. I was paid with food, drink & a tour in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.