A short distance away from student accommodation on Iffley Road there’s a cafe that is right at the heart of the local community.

Silvie, which is run alongside Browns guesthouse, can’t boast the impressive architecture of the Dorothy Wadham Building but it offers just as warm a welcome.

Jess McHugh is the cafe owner and runs the business, taking it on from her parents, who launched Browns as a traditional bed and breakfast in 1968.

Read again: Volunteers act as human bollards

Oxford Mail:

Mum-of-three Jess added Silvie cafe in 2016 and it has been gaining a loyal following ever since. The rooms at Browns have been run as short lets since June.

On Friday, staff at Silvie will celebrate its sixth birthday and regular customers are invited to join in the fun from 7pm.

Ms McHugh said: “We are open seven days a week from 9am to 3pm - I would like to work four days a week but my customers insist on seven!

“I like to think we’re now a focal point for the community - we get lots of students here, mums and kids, local workers, lots of families and older people - we have definitely built up a loyal following.”

The staff team and family are all looking forward to Friday night when they can mark the anniversary with cakes and tacos.

Read more: Can you spot yourself in our Pride gallery

“I think a celebration like this is long overdue,” Ms McHugh added.

Oxford Mail:

“It was quite hard during the pandemic, having to rethink our business model but I’m glad we have come through it.

“The party will be open to all our friends, family and our customers in east Oxford.

“We bake every day in-house so we will be able to make our own cakes.”

She added: “We always have a lovely counter full of cakes and bakes and everyone loves our cinnamon buns.

Oxford Mail:

“We do brunches and on weekdays there are lots of lunch options.

“As well as making cakes for the cafe, we supply wedding cakes to local pubs including The Crown in Woodstock and The Anchor in north Oxford.

“We will definitely make a few cakes for Friday and there will be champagne too - it’s going to be a big celebration.”

Silvie is run by a small staff team led by Ms McHugh and it’s a family affair with two of her children helping out, and additional weekend workers. She added: “We took the opportunity to do the place during the pandemic - we’ve got about 40 covers inside.

Oxford Mail:

Read more: Pictures of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee

The cafe has a garden and Ms McHugh’s partner, Mitch Ross, will be in charge of the tacos at the celebration.

“We’ve got a little garden and some tables out the front,” Ms McHugh added.

Oxford Mail:

“We’re really looking forward to the celebration - it’s been a lot of hard work and I think people are ready for a big night. We wanted to celebrate our fifth birthday but that couldn’t happen because of the pandemic.”

Read more from this author

This story was written by Andy Ffrench, he joined the team more than 20 years ago and now covers community news across Oxfordshire.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Andy.ffrench@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter @OxMailAndyF