Review – Bicester Village – Discovering Soho House’s Farmshop Café and designer discount deals!
A day out at Bicester Village is sure to grab you some pretty amazing bargains. With big labels such as Dior, Prada, Stella McCartney and Vivienne Westwood to name a few, this outlet village is a haven for any fashionista or those who would like to own a piece of high-end bling at a discounted price. A 45 minute train journey from Marylebone will have you arriving in the beautiful countryside near Oxford. With the train station located near the entrance to Bicester Village, it’s not too far to carry those designer bags on your return home. Walking around Bicester Village itself there is a lovely, relaxed atmosphere with street music to entertain and gorgeous flower-lined ‘streets’. It’s not all about the designer outlet shops though. There are some great places to eat as well and the restaurant I visited here was the Soho House sister café, Farmshop.
Soho House – Farmshop Restaurant
Soho House in London has long been a hangout of the rich and famous. With a reputation for luxury dining and fabulous cocktails I was looking forward to trying out Farmshop at Bicester Village. It should be said that Farmshop, whilst being part of the Soho House family, is a more accessible restaurant yet still provides great service, atmosphere and food as one would expect. With a menu made of of seasonal dishes and options of breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea etc there is bound to be something to satisfy you no matter what your penchant for fuelling up on your shopping spree.
My evening started with a few cocktails of course. On the menu there are a lot of freshly pressed fruit and vegetable juices as well as botanicals to give a delightfully refreshing mixer to your cocktail of choice. I started with a Bramble (gin, crème de mure & lemon juice) a French 75 (gin, lemon juice & champagne) and that summer favourite of we Brits, Pimms.
Starters and Salads
Starters and Bites range in price from £4.50-9.00 and include perennial favourites such as house cured salmon, mussels, peas, bacon & cider, dorset crab and the most popular dish of the night – chorizo and smoked mozzarella croquettes. If you haven’t tried the croquettes before they are not a dish to be missed. Those around my table agreed that we would have been very happy with just these but of course we forged ahead in the name of fairness to the other dishes. One of the trends on this summer’s menus are salad cups. Usually made from quartered baby gems and layered with dressings and (usually) parmesan in between the leaves, these are a healthy and really delicious.
Soho House is well-known for it’s spitroast chicken so I was pleased to see it making an appearance on the Farmshop menu. From Plaice w/ Brown Shrimp to Mac ‘n’ Cheese to Roasted Vegetables w/ Halloumi and Baby Spinach the rest of the mains are made of a good variety to offer something for most palates. If you reaaly want to treat yourself after all that designer shopping then the Lobster is a must.
The café is open from 8.30am-10pm Monday to Saturday and 9am-10pm on Sundays. Please note when looking at my photos that these are not individual portion sizes although if you would like to host your own dinner party in one of the private rooms, there is the option of dining buffet-style too. If you just want to quench your thirst there is a fabulous outdoor terrace upstairs which is lovely on a sunny afternoon and not to mention for those decadent afternoon treats there is a champagne afternoon tea.