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Hotel Review: The Lion at Wendlebury, Bicester in Oxfordshire

Spring has finally sprung and with it comes the urge to re-feather our nests with some fresh attire. As an Oxfordshire girl, Bicester Village with its designer outposts, is my natural port of call – just a stone’s throw from home.

So after one recent Saturday spent luxe bargain hunting, the other half and I decided to splash out and bed down at The Lion – a swanky gastropub just five minutes’ drive from the upscale mall.

The Lion at Wendlebury is a quintessential country pub, boasting a laid-back vibe thanks to its country-chic dining room and traditional pub area, complete with open fire and nooks and crannies to cosy up in. Its extensive a la carte menu offers both light bites and hearty feasts, each prepared using only the freshest, seasonal ingredients.

The country-chic dining room has an open and welcoming atmosphere

The pub was buzzing – typical for a Saturday night there we were told. We started our evening off by supping fishbowls of pink gin, paired with upmarket tonics and their set accompaniments, to whet our appetites. And after enjoying the bar’s merry Friday night banter, we slided into the sophisticated and somewhat quirkily-designed dining room.

My beau’s starter of pan-roasted Atlantic scallops with pea velouté, pancetta crisp and green herb oil was to die for. Likewise, my smoked ham hock and pea terrine offered layers of texture and flavour – the only complaint would have been I could have eaten more of it.

Next, we shared The Lion’s signature Chateaubriand with creamed spinach and truffle fries – divine. The waiter also keen to explain to us how the premium steak entrée gained its famed name – worth looking up if you are a steak-lover.

The extensive a la carte menu offers both light bites and hearty feasts

Puds were of the liquid persuasion – White Russians, as it was the weekend – mixed expertly by The Lion’s own mixologist.

After dinner we retired to our Deluxe suite, overlooking the gardens. A tasteful grey colour scheme, luxurious cotton sheets and a Nespresso machine all helped us enjoy the overnight stay a little more. An excellent choice to retire to after a spot of retail therapy.


The Lion at Wendlebury offers superb food and friendly service along with quality ales and fine wines in a traditional pub setting. Located just 1 mile from the M40 Junction 9 and only 2 miles from Bicester Village, The Lion uses locally-sourced ingredients.

The comfortable bar has a blazing log fire for those chilly days, and is the perfect place to meet family and friends for a pre-dinner drink, morning coffee, or afternoon tea. The Lion will be hosting an array of events in 2019 including a vegan night, garden takeover party, opera dinner, summer walks and wine events.

The Lion offers a choice of 13 en-suite bedrooms all with their own individual character and charm. Guests can choose from Deluxe, Superior or Classic rooms, with neutral contemporary decor enhanced by luxury touches and premium fabrics.

Rooms at The Lion at Wendlebury start from £110 per room per night based on two sharing on a B&B basis.

Address: Wendlebury Rd, Bicester OX25 2PW
Phone: 01869 388228.