Where Can I Have a Quick Café Meeting in Oxford?

Feb 14, 2012 by

This entry was written by , one of the OxonDigital members. The author's views below are entirely their own and may not reflect the views of OxonDigital.
Where Can I Have a Quick Café Meeting in Oxford?

Thought I’d get really local for this month’s article.

I’m always being asked “do you know where we can meet in Summertown for a coffee, chat and maybe wifi?”.  So for Oxfordshire businesses, here are some of the places I have meetings – or get on with work away from the office.

Please add your favourites too in the comments and we’ll update the list.

Remember not to abuse the venue’s hospitality and make sure you buy plenty of drinks and food to ‘pay’ for the facility.  And don’t forget that other local businesses may be there too – that includes competitors, suppliers and customers!

My ideal local one-to-one meeting place has:

  • A quiet corner
  • Not too loud music
  • Free/cheap wifi or good 3G reception
  • Good coffee
  • Comfortable seating
  • Mains power outlets
  • Understanding staff
  • Parking nearby

So here are some of my meeting choices.

 

Starting with my local area…

Summertown

Plenty of parking at Summertown car park or up to 2 hours on some of the local roads.

Starbucks

Hits most of my checklist items, but it is very popular and often full.  Manager Matt and his is very accommodating and will help you to get settled in and maybe point you to mains plugs.

Costa

If Starbucks is full I go here.  It’s often a little noisy as it’s a favourite for North Oxford mums during the day.  Hint: you can pick up Starbucks wifi if you’re near the window (sshh…don’t tell them)

Joe’s Bar & Grill

Great for a meeting over coffee or lunch (and they do have some tempting £5 lunch specials).  Free wifi: ask your waiter for the code.  They get very busy at lunch, but it is good for a mid-morning or early afternoon meeting in very relaxed surroundings.

Summertown Wine Café

Good for a quiet discussion.  If it’s available, you can get exclusive use of the tiny ‘summer house’ in the garden

If you want to have a meeting over an inexpensive lunch, Summertown has plenty of locations (As well as Joe’s): check out the restaurant section of Summertown Info for more.

Some of my other regulars

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the other places I use for a quick meeting.

Botley: McDonalds – anyone got a preferred Botley business location?

Oxford City Centre: Starbucks High St, Cafe Puccino (in the Golden Cross)

Cowley Rd: Costa, Pegasus Theatre Cafe (limited opening hours, but a great change for meetings)

Oxford Science Park: Sadler Building (free wifi,  good food and coffee – often very quiet!)

 

Now over to you.  Share your favourites (and secret locations if you have them) and if there’s enough interest, let’s compile a fuller list of locations.

David runs Refreshing Business, an Oxford-based business improvement consultancy often starting with the question 'Just what gives YOU the right to take money off that customer?'. His other interest is in leading IT support and consultancy firm The Oxford Knowledge Company.

6 Comments

  1. Zappis on New Inn Hall Street is lovely, I was reluctant to recommend it as it’s a gem of a find but lovely staff, reasonable food / drink and great relaxed atmosphere. Just don’t have long meetings at lunch over a coffee when I want to have lunch 🙂

    The Fishes is a better bet than McDonalds for meetings near Botley, it’s in North Hinksey. The food is a bit more on the pricey side so maybe one for when you’ve got a client to impress!

    The Jam Factory is also good, central to the train station and free wi-fi, definitely somewhere you could set up office for a couple of hours and is normally quite quiet early on…

    I’ve also heard Ricks Cafe on Cowley Road is a good find but I’ve never actually been there myself.

    I think we’re spoilt for choice in Oxford! Here’s to more meetings in cafes!

  2. This post is really helpful. I tried looking for a decent meeting place in Oxford for ages but only found places in Headington. Hopefully we will get lots of recommendations and we can create a comprehensive list or David can update this one.

    Holly: Ricks cafe would be a definite recommendation of Marcus Taylor, he even has a latte named after him so make sure that you ask for that when you are in there.

    I tend to meet people in Starbucks in Headington, nice and central and has free Wifi, but make sure you buy a coffee. Only issue with Starbucks is that they kick you out at 7pm on the dot.

    Alternatively you can go to the White Horse also in Headington, has a decent food selection if that is what you are after, has free WiFi and bar 🙂 What more do you need. If you see me in any of these do come and say hi.

  3. Agree with Holly, I was going to recommend the Jam Factory. Convenient for people coming down via train as well.

    The other place would be No1 Folly Bridge, surprisingly enough on Folly Bridge at the bottom of St Aldates. Very friendly, free Wi-Fi and personal service.

  4. Another one to add to your list is the Kings Arms Sandford. You have access to free WIFI, a bar and great food.

  5. I can feel an App coming on. Any of you OxonDigitallers want to discuss?

  6. I think it would be a great app. Is there any members of the group that can create phone applications?

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