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Café Critique: Opera Café

Jericho continues to echo its historic role as a place for travellers to rest as we feature another café on Walton Street. This time it’s Opera, the café with a classy name and even classier interior. It claims to offer, coffee, teas, fresh juices alongside oriental sweets, patisserie and pizzas – a slightly muddled array. We went to see if Opera was worth singing about.

As usual we sampled a variety of hot beverage options on offer although we were both tempted by their excellent range of juices. The mocha was sweet and you could tell the coffee was good, not brilliant, but good. There was a bit too much foam as well, but that’s a minor quibble. If you’re looking for comfort and indulgence on a winter’s late afternoon (which is basically night considering how dark it gets by 4pm) the flavoured hot chocolates with cream sound like a good option! The drink prices are also slightly cheaper than the Oxford average.

There was a wide range of tea options available including: fresh lemon, ginger and honey, peppermint, masala chai and a pot of Moroccan tea. However they did lack some herbal tea staples such as green tea. However, the peppermint tea more than made up for this coming served with fresh mint and a wedge of lemon – a classy touch.

They have a range of sweet treats, many of which are North African in origin, such as the Moroccan pancake which sounds very good! The almond and cherry tart was a little dry but, apart from that, absolutely delicious. The baklava looked stunning as well and it’s tempting to return just to try them!

The breakfast options are quite different to other cafes, in that they seem slightly healthier- scrambled eggs with salmon and salad instead of eggs benedict for example! A notable cheap breakfast is the porridge with cinnamon which is just over £2, one of the cheapest options I’ve seen in Oxford.

Lunch-wise, they offer a selection of wraps, such as harissa chicken, which are apparently really good.

The big benefit of this café is its sense of calm, it is not too busy and the décor and colour scheme definitely make you feel serene and tranquil. The chairs are deceptively comfy and really supportive for your back, just what you need after hours spent hunched over books or your laptop.  It even has a very inviting conservatory at the back! The café does not have a distinctly ‘student-y’ vibe, so if that’s your thing you may want to look elsewhere to some more familiar student haunts.

They also offer a student discount, which combined with a scheme that utilises both ruthless self promotion and millennial narcissism, taking a photo of yourself in the establishment and uploading it to Facebook, makes everything very affordable!

Verdict: Elegant and calm, Opera is probably better suited to a brunch/lunch with family or if you want a treat with friends and have a bit of time to enjoy the atmosphere and food.

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