Second sweet treat post of the week! While I plan to write a longer post on Oxford’s Covered Market later on, I had to give this particular shop a post all to itself. Ben’s Cookies is one of my most favourite shops in the Covered Market and something I really will miss when the time comes for me to leave Oxford.
The shop is small and simple but once you’ve had a cookie from Ben’s I guarantee you won’t forget it very easily. Cookies are baked fresh in the shop every day – seriously, sometimes you can smell those cookies as soon as you step foot into the market. Is there any smell better than the smell of cookies or cake fresh out of the oven?
I’m a cake and biscuit addict and if anyone has a sweet tooth out there, I would recommend you stopped by Ben’s if you’re ever visiting Oxford.I can’t remember when I discovered Ben’s, but I do know I dragged most of my friends over there when they came to visit.
I have fond memories of stumbling out of the Bodleian on a Saturday after a full morning (and sometimes afternoon) of hitting the books for my MA dissertation and making a beeline for the Covered Market. A sugar-high of the highest caliber is needed when you’ve looked at so many books and pages of text you no longer know why the hell you decided to do an MA in the first place. Don’t get me wrong – being able to study in the Bodleian was a huge honour and privilege, but also unfortunately left me feeling highly stupid at times. What aids I’m-too-stupid-to-study-at-the-Bodleian-induced-low-self-esteem? Molten chocolate, chewy, gooey, cookie-doughy amazingness, that’s what.
It’s a real pleasure if you manage to stop by Ben’s just as the most recent batch of cookies have come out of the oven, the smell is heavenly and they are warm to the touch. Plus it makes the cookie’s already delicious chewy centre into an amazing cookie-dough-goo. Another unique thing is that Ben’s is the only place I’ve ever come across that sells cookies by weight. Ben’s isn’t cheap, don’t be surprised to pay nearly £1.30 for one cookie, but it’s worth it. These cookies are hefty. Ben’s don’t do cookies for wimps.
Established in 1983, the shop in the Covered Market is the original Ben’s Cookies store. They have 10 shops in the UK so far, the majority are located in London with two more branches in Bath and Brighton. I was surprised to learn that Ben’s has also gone international – according to their website, they now have shops in far-flung locations such as South Korea, Kuwiat, UAE and Saudi Arabia. Sadly not Australia though. They aren’t even looking for franchise opportunities there – yes believe me, I have actually checked. Does Melbourne possess anything similar? I hope so and I look forward to seeking it out…especially as Ben’s won’t deliver to me :-(.