Gail's Bakery Oxford- Summertown's new hot spot - by the brunching barber

Gail's Bakery, breakfast bar and afternoon tea spot is the first branch outside of London.

What to expect from a chain of artisan bakeries was the question.

I was pleasantly surprised though. Greeted by every single member of staff when I arrived, I sat down quietly in the corner from where I could view the entire place, although most tables are shared which creates a really convivial, communal atmosphere.

Looking around, the shop was filled to the brim with fresh pastries, freshly baked breads, sandwiches, cookies and frittata, overflowing with wonderful smells, food, staff and customers.

Looking at the menu, it was a bit more expensive than your average breakfast, but due to it being in Summertown, I wasn’t surprised. It was also more unusual so ordered some of their wild mushroom ragu, smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, croissants, a vegan fruit and grain salad, sides of bacon and avocado, some coffees and juices were ordered.

No I was not on my own!!!!

Unfortunately they did not have any smoked salmon for the scrambled eggs, but the chef came out from his busy hotplate to explain and apologise. I especially appreciated this personal touch given my original expectations of a ‘chain’ style cafe.

The scrambled eggs were great; fluffy, creamy and served on a fresh sourdough. As they say, test a chef by his scrambled eggs, an easy thing to get right, and he passed with flying colours.

The ragu was amazing, despite my misgivings that goats cheese, spinach, mushroom and egg on toast at 11am would be a little overwhelming. It worked perfectly, the creaminess of the cheese complementing the mushrooms. One of the best dishes I have had for breakfast and my first taste of a vegetarian breakfast.

The pastries are all cooked fresh and really delicious and overall the food was excellent, and the service was great.

For such a small place it seemed overstaffed, until I witnessed the hoards of people coming in for takeaway lunches, and very quickly the mass of sandwiches, salads and pastries disappeared as fast as I had watched them being created.

It’s a shop everyone can use, from your locals mums, to local businessmen snatching a quick lunch.

My original reservations have been quelled by this little charming business. It gets a big thumbs up from me and I will be visiting again for a coffee and a cookie soon.


251 Banbury Road

Oxford OX2 7HN

Opening Times

Monday – Friday: 7am - 7pm

Saturday, Sunday & Bank Holidays: 8am - 7pm

01865 513450