- Pret a Manger: Usefully situated at the top of Cornmarket, this is an ideal place to work. There are a few seating areas to choose from, all open plan and split up by overhead beams (upstairs is best for working). It gets busy in the afternoon, but first thing in the morning it’s quiet and you can hear the the surprisingly good acoustic playlist. Plus the cookies are warm and you might even be able to grab a fresh croissant…
- The Handlebar Cafe and Kitchen: a fairly new café above a bike shop on St Michael’s which serves an amazing all-day brunch – the best kind of revision fuel. From the coffees to the bikes hanging from the ceiling it’s all very pretty and instagram-able, albeit at the more pricey end of the scale. The staff are friendly and it’s become so popular to work here that they’ve even intro- duced “study zones” during peak times.
- Waterstones Café: on the 2nd floor of Waterstones there is a café which overlooks the edge of Broad Street. It’s light and airy with floor-length windows, and there’s a mix of low armchairs, bench seats and classic tables. The coffee is good, and this is one of those places where you never feel pushed to order another to stay longer.
- Queen’s Lane Coffee House: this is one of the oldest coffee houses in Oxford, (alongside the Grand Cafe on the opposite side of the road) but isn’t stuffy or snooty and happens to serve paninis that rival even Taylors. There are two rooms and loads of tables; it’s not that special inside but the service is great. It has an extensive drinks menu too, so whether you’re a vanilla chai latte or simple filter coffee kind of person it will satisfy your essay cravings.
Brew: this tiny café on North Parade (just on the left from the Banbury Road side) has only a handful of tables and serves quality coffee in little teacups. It provides an escape from town without being in the library, and also brings you to the cute independent shops and sandwich bars close by. Bear in mind how small it is though – it’s not the place to spread out pages of notes and several books.