The Jam Factory Oxford
A stone’s throw from Oxford’s railway station, you’ll find this arty café located in the old jam factory where Frank Cooper’s marmalade was once made.
The Jam Factory Oxford once home to Frank Cooper’s Marmalade
If you find yourself in need of a pause and a bite to eat in the City of Dreaming Spires, the Oxford Jam Factory is a relaxed bar, restaurant and gallery close to the railway station (a 3-minute walk away). Its jam-making history gives it an extra spoonful of interest for Foodie Travellers. Crafty types will love its knitting circle, art classes and workshops.The Foodie Travel Guide
- Discover Marmalade history
- All day dining
- Art and craft classes
- Close to Oxford station
Frank Cooper’s Marmalade
In 1874, Sarah-Jane Cooper, the wife of Frank Cooper, an Oxford grocer, made 34 kg of marmalade using her own recipe. It proved so popular, production was moved from their shop in the High Street (look out for the blue plaque at number 83), to a new factory close to Oxford station. The factory had separate floors for cutting fruit and bottling the finished product. The boiling of the marmalade and jam was housed in a building at the back of the yard.
Oxford University and Marmalade
Frank Cooper’s marmalade was popular with university dons and the students. It was taken to Antarctica on Scott’s expedition to the South Pole where a jar was found buried in the ice many years after the ill-fated expedition. Readers of Alice in Wonderland will also know that a jar of Cooper’s Vintage Marmalade was found down the rabbit hole.
Knit and Dine
At The Jam Factory, you’ll see a small cabinet showcasing Cooper’s Marmalade memorabilia but most of this light and airy space is dedicated to displaying artwork. There’s an active programme of events for creative types. Come here for life drawing and painting classes, felt-making workshops, knitting circles, scrabble and writing groups.
Eat The Factory Breakfast
The café menu changes throughout the day. We especially like their ‘Wakey Wakey, Rise and Shine’ breakfast menu. Although it would seem wrong not to order toast and marmalade, you can tuck in to ‘The Factory’ if you fancy a full English. If you’re in the mood for something fishy, a plate of kippers from the Isle of Man might float your boat instead. There’s a daily Happy Hour so pop in and try the Cotswold Cider and Cotswold Cask Ale.
- The Jam Factory is open 7 days a week.
- If you make your own marmalade, why not enter the Dalmain Marmalade Championships which take place every year in March? The winning marmalade is stocked by Fortnum and Mason.
Seville oranges are the best to use for marmalade-making due to their high pectin content. You’ll find them in the shops in January.
WHERE TO STAY IN OXFORD
The Oxford Townhouse
The Oxford Townhouse offers B&B accommodation within a 10-minute walk of Oxford city centre.
Rooms from £95 a night.
A stunning boutique hotel offering unique luxury accommodation in historic Oxford.
Rooms from £125 a night.
There’s a small outdoor courtyard so you can take me with you. We could go for a walk along Port Meadow afterwards and head to the Trout, a riverside pub that was a particular favourite of Inspector Morse.