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The Store, Oxford

Nicole Trilivas spends the night at new opening, The Store, Oxford

The credentials

Stationed in the heart of Oxford, near Balliol and Trinity Colleges and around the corner from the much-photographed Bodleian Library, The Store is a new boutique hotel that delivers chic sense of modernity to the historic university town. The smart new digs occupy ‘Boswells’ of Oxford department store, a one-time institution that dates back to 1738. Now, the hotel offers 101 guest rooms; a bijou subterranean spa and gym; and three dining venues — including a fifth-floor rooftop terrace, an “untraditional” British restaurant, and a ground-floor bar hangout.


The 101 guest rooms start from around 21 square metres and come dressed in a pared-back style with fluted velvet headboards, fun lighting and panelled walls. Colour palettes are equally restrained with a gentle pop of colour — mainly forest greens and muted tangerines. Some ceilings are quite low, but the hotel benefits from good light. There are several options with terraces, including Arthur’s View Terrace Suite and the Superior Rooftop Terrace Rooms, which sit at the top of the property. Beds are lush and comfortable meaninig a sound sleep is all but guaranteed. Bathrooms are Scandi-chic and contemporary with on-trend tiling and fragrant Verden bath and body products. Some rooms like the Northgate Suite, have freestanding tubs.


You will eat well at The Store. The main spot, Treadwell is named after a once-dodgy alleyway, Treadwell Passage. With skylights and hues of sea green, the space is light and airy, though it can feel a bit like a canteen because of the coffee machines used during breakfast service. Speaking of… breakfast is lovely. There’s a small buffet, croissants and pains au chocolat, as well as yoghurt and coffee. Then, there’s a menu of hot options like poached eggs with sweet potato hash and egg muffins with bacon and chilli. The ingredients are all very solid and locally sourced and the creativity is appreciated. It’s hard to be different at breakfast time, but Treadwell certainly delivers. The restaurant also serves Sunday lunch (generous and perfect, two enthusiastic thumbs up) and a fine dinner of casual favourites like stacked burgers; Ruby Murray chicken pie, and Brined Pork Tomahawk.

The Bar at The Store is next to the restaurant, laid out along Broad Street and is ideal for catching food traffic. It’s inviting and easy on the eyes with globe lighting and a long marble countertop. There’s plenty of seating nooks and an artificial fire. Upstairs is the pièce de résistance, The Roof at The Store, with the most stunning views over the buttery-brown rooftops of Oxford and its tree-lined streets. Be careful ordering here because prices range from about £16 to £125. The cocktails pay tribute to the location; The 1738 (£16) is made with Glenmorangie, grapefruit and jalapeno honey. Some prices are a bit inscrutable, like the £50 Cambridge Negroni, with the ingredients simply listed as “blackberry, lemon thyme, anise and bay.”

Who goes there?

As the hot new opening in town, The Store is very buzzy, from uni students to their parents and everyone in between. It’s certainly after a cool and sophisticated crowd. The spa with soothing London-based Oskia treatments — will also be a big draw for the wellness set.

Out & about

The Store is fantastically situated. You’re within walking distance of most of Oxford top attractions including Blackwell’s bookshop; The Sheldonian Theatre; the Bodleian Library; the Divinity School; and the Ashmolean Museum.

The worst thing

Drinks could be a bit better — especially considering some of their sky-high price points. Service is still getting there but it’s a new opening and just needs some time to organise itself.

The best thing

The food will not let you down. Order away.

The details

Rooms start from £285 per night including breakfast.

The Store, 1, 5 Broad St, Oxford OX1 3AG