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    The View from Down Under

    An Aussie’s take on Oxford’s Breakfast Scene

    Feeling flat out like a lizard drinking? Need some ‘Down Under’ café culture to get you relaxed? Or maybe you’re also an Aussie missing our classic brunches, baristas and arvo teas? Well, here are some solutions that don’t involve a $1000, 25-hour flight, but will get your coffee buds tingling and Instagram posts colourful. Although they can never be fully replaced, here are some Aussie breakfast classics that you can find hidden away among the dreaming spires.

    If there’s one place that is an Australian’s second home, in equal positioning to the beach or ocean, it’s their nearest boutique café. The home of the ‘flat white’ is known for cafes with cute and artsy interior spaces, affordable bills, the friendliest baristas, and, most importantly, REAL coffee. In my opinion, the closest thing you’ll get to this is Jericho Coffee Traders (JCT), offering a viable alternative to the classic laneway Melbourne café. This hidden gem on High Street is the perfect go-to before, during, or after a grind in the RadCam or lecture in the Exams Schools. It surpasses the all-tocommon tendency among British cafes to serve excessively watery or milky brews, and instead provides a balanced blend of sharp flavour to pick you up from any revision-fatigue. You can really taste the beans!

    Along with a wide range of coffee options, JCT also impressively boasts a wide range of milk options which, for someone who is both lactose intolerant and allergic to Soy, was a caffeinated dream come true. From almond, coconut, and oat milk to the classic soya and regular milk, JCT is the nearest thing to an Aussie café’s milk selection, satisfying every dietary requirement and taste bud. And, even if you’re not intolerant or vegan, why not give one of the alternative milks a try? Coconut milk will give your drink sweetness without sugar, while almond milk adds a richness with a little hint of sweet. Finally, Jericho Coffee ticks the Aussie café box of approval with its intimate setting which gives it is warm, welcoming character. While some might say it could be a little claustrophobic, it’s this kind of space that gives it its buzzing individuality and makes the experience of buying and drinking a coffee more personal – matching the sheer friendliness of the baristas!

    If you’re looking for something a bit more substantial than coffee, the next best thing has got to be the classic avocado on toast. Although it may seem like the easiest brunch dish to whip up by anyone, a lot of nuance is needed to this Aussie fav; there perfect balance of softness, smoothness and chunkiness is required. Too soft, and it doesn’t have substance and the taste of bread becomes overpowering. Too hard or chewy, and it clashes with the texture of the sourdough. Therefore, this balance must be both delicate and accurate. Handlebar Café does this perfectly.

    This cosy retreat is famously located beneath a bike shop of all places. What could be more Oxford meets the vibrant Newtown of Sydney? Labelled on the Menu as ‘Smashing Avocado Toast’, this explosion of taste balances the density of feta, spice of paprika, zest of lemon, crunchiness of almond seeds, the thick richness and funkiness of beetroot hummus, the texture of either tomato, poached egg, or bacon, with the perfectly smashed, but not chunky or liquid, avocado filled fully onto the freshest piece of sourdough bread.

    Finally, the most Aussie of all breakfasts has to be the Health Bowl: the ultimate hangover cure. Probably the best alternative you’ll find to this Aussie staple is in George Street Social. With its open, aesthetic interior, this café offers you the refreshing environment and food you need. And their baked egg Shakshouka is a hearty feast that proves this. With a delicious and healthy mix of baked eggs, tomato, peas, spinach, edamame and feta, served in an aesthetic and insulating metal bowl with a side of sourdough, it is the perfect stomach filler, and guaranteed Instagram winner. My final piece of Aussie advice would be to avoid walking into the first big-chain cafe you see on a busy street, but instead, look around the little laneways. That’s how you’ll get a little taste of Australia.

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