A blending of the classic and contemporary creates a welcoming environment — Photo courtesy of Skye RodgersOne of Tampa’s newest and most unique shopping experiences can be found at the Oxford Exchange. Based on the architecture and timeless elegance of shops and clubs found in England, the Oxford Exchange is an eclectic mix of retail space and community meeting place. Housed on the main floor are a bookstore, gift store, coffee shop, tea room and restaurant with the second floor hosting office and meeting spaces.
Originally built as stables in 1891 for the iconic Plant Hotel, now the University of Tampa, the building was painstakingly restored to preserve the historic details while bringing in contemporary elements. The interiors were also designed to combine the old and the new featuring reclaimed pine, inlaid marble floors, coffered ceilings, over-stuffed leather couches and a conservatory with a retractable roof.
Together, these elements create an open and welcoming, yet classic and cultured environment to browse, meet and mingle. On the main floor, retail areas are open to each other and feature many comfortable seating areas inviting visitors to linger.Comfy couches and armchairs are arranged to provide perfect conversation areas — Photo courtesy of Skye Rodgers
Merchandise found in both the gift store and bookstore is carefully curated to reflect the cultured and literary aesthetic of the space. The gift store is filled with a fascinating collection of objet d’art, collectibles and ephemera gleaned from sources in London, New York and Paris. The bookstore features a carefully selected collection grouped by themes such as “forces in nature” and “mind over matter,” as opposed to by author.
The result is both fascinating and thought-provoking. When you need a break, relax on a cozy leather couch and fortify yourself with a beverage and snack from local companies TeBella or Buddy Brew who run the tea and coffee emporiums.