Part 1: Oxford

Contrary to popular belief, Oxford University is not in London, it lies in its own adorable little city about an hour outside the capital. My sister, a student at Oxford for her year abroad, was my tour guide, but more importantly my food guide, when I visited her for spring break. With six months of experience under her belt, her choices were spot-on. Here’s some of my favorites.

Ben’s cookies

I’ve enjoyed quite a few chocolate chip cookies in my life, and I can say with full confidence that the one I ate at Ben’s cookies was one of the most perfect cookies I have ever tasted. I went for the classic milk chocolate chip. There were generous chunks of high-quality chocolate, the cookie was incredibly soft and buttery, melting in my mouth without seeming raw. My sister ordered the dark chocolate ginger, which was an interesting twist on a simple chocolate chip cookie. They have so many wonderful flavors, it's hard to make it through their website without craving one. There's also a Ben's Cookies in NYC!

Vaults & Garden

Right across from Radcliffe camera, Vaults and Garden lies in one of the most beautiful spaces at Oxford. 

turkey, beer
Louisa Kuper

The inside of the eatery is just as charming, with a rich history. The cafe dates back to the year 1320, when it was Oxford University’s congregation house. We ordered the classic British afternoon tea. The scones with clotted cream and jam were wonderful, and it was a fun novelty to drink from our own pot of tea. Our only regrets were that we didn’t come when the scones were fresh out of the oven, and that it was too rainy to sit in the beautiful garden that surrounds the cafe.

cream, coffee, tea
Louisa Kuper


This cafe feels like you’re eating in a greenhouse, with very insta-worthy decorations and presentation.

The food was a bit pricey, so we immediately opted for the fixed-price two course lunch menu. The salad was very fresh with some chopped up vegetables and a lemony dressing, and was well-presented. The pesto pasta too oily for my taste, it may have been a mistake to order that instead of the rack of lamb which was the other lunch special.

Although our lunch was not as flavorful as other spots, the overall presentation of the dishes at Gee’s was fresh and interesting. I experienced some meal envy with the burger artfully placed on a cutting board at the table next to us. Overall, Gee’s is just a fun place to be with their beautiful ambiance and aesthetic. 

Part II: London

London was huge. Most of our days could be summed up as having way more adorable/delicious looking places to eat than money, time, or stomach room. Through some research and also some spontaneity, we found some great restaurants. 


After unsuccessful attempts to find ice cream on the street, my sister and I decided to embark on a journey to what she said was rated as the best ice cream in London. Gelupo was well worth our half mile walk to get there. I opted for Raspberry Eaton Mess to try British cuisine through ice cream. For those of you that don’t know, Eaton Mess is a British dessert with strawberries, heavy cream, and broken meringue. The gelato was creamy and rich like authentic gelato is, and was true to the flavor, complete with little pieces of meringue folded in.

To go with the Eaton Mess, I impulsively went for a lemon flavor. I don't usually like lemon-flavored ice cream, but this wasn't a sorbet you'd expect. It was creamy and rich, with chunks of pistachio that added an interesting texture and more grown-up flavor combination. My sister ordered chocolate earl grey flavored gelato, and oh my god, I've never had anything like it before. I like chocolate flavored ice cream, but always feel that it pales in comparison to the flavor of a bar of dark chocolate. This ice cream was so chocolatey, it was almost grainy with chocolate, but in the best way. The hint of earl grey made this already perfect ice cream even more sophisticated. 

Masala Zone

On the walk to Gelupo’s, I spotted Masala Zone and decided it looked like the perfect place to grab dinner. I'd heard that England has close to authentic Indian food, and Masala Zone did not disappoint. We shared a Thali, which was a platter of assorted traditional curries and chutneys with rice. The Thali we ordered was meant for one, but with the addition of an extra curry and our side order of naan it ended up being the perfect amount, and a more affordable 25 pounds (around 30 dollars). The platter was beautiful and fun, looking something like this:

The chicken tikka masala was rich and and had a lot of flavor, tasting more like tomatoes than any other one I've tried. The daal, or Indian spiced lentils, was also delicious. The vegetables were soaked in oil, which was a little unsettling but also made them not taste like vegetables at all and just taste delicious. The chutneys added fun pops of flavor and we liked them so much we had little scoops of them plain. Overall, the presentation made our dinner fun to eat, and the curries were delicious.


The Wahaca we went to (they have several locations around London) was in the adorable Southbank area, just a short walk from the Tate Modern. It was our last meal out, so we decided to go all out. We ordered four Mexican street food dishes, which were like tapas for sharing, chips and guac, and margaritas.

mushroom, pasta
Louisa Kuper

All of the dishes were delicious, with fresh ingredients and modern takes on classics. The passion fruit margaritas were 100% worth the 7 pound splurge. It was the perfect finale to our vacation.

If you ever make it to England, I would 100% recommend trying out all these places. For now, I'll be heading to NYC to get some more of these!